Long pier on Lake Washington
Paved walking path
From Bothell Way NE/Hwy 522 in Kenmore turn south on 61st Ave NE. at the light
At the stop sign turn right, the entrance is straight ahead.
Log Boom Park is at the very north tip of Lake Washington, right next to the Burke-Gilman trail. The main attraction is a really, really, really long pier that juts out into the lake, but the rest of the park is pretty nice too.
At the southeast corner of the parking lot is the paved walkway that leads to the lake and pier. Along the path are several signs that discuss the history of Kenmore and the park site.
At the end of the fairly short path is a paved courtyard with picnic tables and benches. You can look at boats in the private marina next door, and there is usually a cormorant, seagull, or heron perched on the tall post in the water that you can see through the bushes.
To the right is the access point onto the pier. At the end near the shore there are railings, which are handy if you need something to lean against for support while watching mallards swim around.
It’s unfortunate that benches have not been installed in this railinged section of the pier. There is plenty of room and the view is much better than from the benches in the courtyard.
From the shore the super long pier juts straight out into Lake Washington. There are no railings beyond the first section, but the pier is wide and very solid. Some people even ride their bikes out on it.
If you’re up for a walk out the entire length of the pier there are two benches for a rest at the very far end. More limber people just sit on the low wood “curbs” that line the edges of the pier on both sides.
Just beyond the end of the pier in the lake are old pilings, and that’s where the cormorants like to hang out. It’s sort of like the cool kids gathering in the popular spot at school.
From the pier you can watch a wide variety of birds, float planes, kayakers, boats, and people fishing. Evidently some people also swim off the dock in the summer. Bring your binoculars and/or camera.
Once you’re done with the dock there’s still more to see. At the west end of the parking lot is the start of the rest of the park. The first section contains the children’s play area and the bathrooms.
If you continue west on the paved path past the bathrooms you’ll see a long stretch of park that parallels the lakeshore. This part of the park is prettiest once the leaves start coming out in the spring. There are extensive lawns, trees and bushes, and intermittent views of the lake.
Halfway down the walking path is a picnic table, and there is a second picnic table all the way down the path at the west end of the park. At that point the park path heads up and joins the Burke-Gilman Trail.
A lady I was talking to at the park one day said that the west end is where you’re most likely to get a glimpse of a bald eagle if you’re lucky. I haven’t been that lucky so far at the park, but I have seen bald eagles perched in the trees along the highway in between Lake Forest Park and Kenmore several times in past years.
Even on warm sunny days when there are a lot of people around, the park usually has a peaceful hush. (Assuming you can tune out the traffic on the highway.) Though it is possible it gets noisy and crazy in the summer, I just haven’t been there at that time of year yet to know.
Log Boom Park is interesting to visit in all kinds of weather and at all times of day. I have been there on a foggy morning in winter, a late afternoon as the sun was setting, and bright, sunny days in spring. On calm days the lake is like glass. If there’s a breeze the water gets choppy and the sound of the waves hitting the shore and pier is lovely and soothing.
Things to Know
8 am – dusk
There are benches by the playground and at the end of the path to the pier. There are two benches at the far end of the pier.
There are three picnic tables at the end of the path to the pier and two in the west section.
There is also a cement wall on the west side of the bathrooms.
The bathrooms are just beyond the playground from the parking lot. They are open all year as far as I know.
This is one of the nicest park bathrooms I’ve been in. Which isn’t saying much I suppose, but they have plenty of light and best of all, real toilets!
There are a couple handicap slots near the paved path to the playground and bathroom.
The parking lot is good-sized and off-season and weekdays there are plenty of slots available.
I’m guessing the lot might fill up on some sunny summer weekends.
Some overflow parking is available on the street just outside the park entrance.
On a typical weekday the park is primarily used by a scattering of locals and a few bike riders.
In warm, sunny weather more people come from further away and there is a lot of overflow from the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s a convenient spot to break for lunch or to park the car before taking off on a long walk or bike ride.
This means that on some days you can feel like you have the park almost to yourself, and on others like everyone else had the same great idea you did.
Even on the days I’ve been there with a lot of people around Log Boom didn’t have that party central atmosphere that some of the popular Seattle parks get.
Boats and float planes.
Best light: morning or afternoon.
Wildlife I’ve Seen:
Birds – seagulls, mallard, hummingbirds, double-crested cormorant, song sparrow, American coot, bufflehead, common goldeneye, common merganser, great blue heron, canvasback.
Also, crows. In late afternoons as the sun is going down crows often fly overhead in the hundreds. It’s quite a raucous show. (If you’re still scarred from watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds as a kid you might want to avoid that time of day.)
After turning off of the highway to get to the park keep an eye out at the bottom of the hill. The Burke-Gilman Trail crosses the street before you make the turn to the park, and you want to avoid hitting inattentive pedestrians and cyclists.
Getting back onto the highway after leaving the park is a little tricky. The road is facing uphill and curves just before the light, so it’s an awkward angle. Make sure you pay close attention to oncoming traffic if you’re making a left turn onto the highway.
The park is also called Tracy Owen Station, which can cause some confusion.
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