Seattle Area Lakes and Rivers:
This 259-acre freshwater lake in Seattle is located north of Lake Union, adjacent to Woodland Park. The 2.8-mile paved path around the lake makes it perfect for walking, bicycling, and roller-skating, and the lake itself is a popular destination for windsurfers, kayakers, paddle-boarders, and more. Boats are available for rent right on the lake, so the only thing you need to bring is yourself!
Whether you come for the fishing, or waterskiing is more your thing, one thing is certain - Lake Sammamish packs quite a punch when it comes to summertime activities. This 8-mile long lake located east of Seattle is a popular spot for all sorts of water sports, including jet-skiing, boating, kayaking, swimming, and much more. The north end of the lake even offers a public slalom course for waterskiing.
Offering stunning views of the Seattle skyline, Lake Union is located just north of downtown and offers amazing recreational activities right in the city. Rent a kayak for the day, take a sailing class, watch the fireworks from Gas Works Park - Lake Union offers all that and more. From houseboats to pleasure boats, seaplanes to paddle boards, fireworks to city lights - Lake Union offers a little something for everyone!
Situated between Seattle and Bellevue, Lake Washington is the state's second largest lake and the site of numerous Seattle-based activities, from the SeaFair hydroplane races every August to dinner cruises year-round. Rent a canoe from the University of Washington's rental facility in Union Bay, or join other bicyclists for a leisurely ride along Lake Washington Blvd on Bicycle Sundays!
Beginning on the south side of Mt. Rainier, the glacial-fed Nisqually River travels 81 miles through the towns of Elbe, Ashford and McKenna to the southern end of Puget Sound near Lacey, Washington. On its descent, it passes through two dams - Alder and La Grande - which form reservoirs of the same names and are popular recreational areas near Mount Rainier National Park.
The Sammamish River flows through north King County for about 14 miles, draining Lake Sammamish into Lake Washington. Along its course, the Sammamish River flows through Redmond, Woodinville, Bothell, and Kenmore. Kayakers will enjoy paddling this slow-moving river, and the paved Sammamish River Trail that follows the river for most of its length is popular with both bicyclists and pedestrians.
If whitewater rafting is your thing, then Skykomish River is the place to go. Boasting mostly Class III and Class III+ rapids, it also includes Boulder Drop, a class IV+ rapids. The Skykomish will take you through Gold Bar and Monroe before meeting up with the Snoqualmie River to form the Snohomish River. Steelhead fishing is also popular here - several launch sites provide easy river access.
The scenic Snohomish River begins where the Skykomish and Snoqualmie Rivers come together near the town of Monroe in Snohomish County. There are several parks along the river, including Lord Hill Regional Park in Snohomish, a 1,300 acre upland nature preserve. Further north in Everett, Langus Riverfront Park offers a boat launch and fishing pier, as well as a 3-mile paved trail perfect for dog-walking.
This 45-mile long river begins near the town of Snoqualmie, where the river's three forks join just above Snoqualmie Falls. It meanders its way north through rich farmland before meeting up with the Skykomish River to form the Snohomish River near Monroe. Fishing is a popular activity here - the combination of steelhead runs in the lower river and trout fishing in the upper forks makes the Snoqualmie a favorite among many Seattle-area anglers.