Cowen & Ravenna Parks


Day Hike - Cowen & Ravenna Parks

Take an urban night walk to follow Ravenna Creek from Green Lake Park through Cowan and Ravenna Parks to Lake Washington and return via the UW main campus.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 6.7 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 350 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at the Green Lake Park Community Center outside the north entrance to Evans Pool shortly before 6pm for a 6pm departure. Metro busses stop nearby.

Yes, Green Lake is 7' lower than a century ago.  We'll follow the historic path of the original Ravenna Creek from Green Lake to Lake Washington, much as described in David Williams' Seattle Walks (UW Press, 2017).  From NE Ravenna Blvd, we'll wander through Cowan and Ravenna Parks where the stream was daylighted in 2006.  We have the option of a two-bridge wander above the ravine.

After a half-mile on the Burke-Gilman Trail we'll come to the heart of the former town of Yesler, site of a sawmill, schoolhouse, two churches and a post office.

We next find the UW Center for Urban Horticulture (bathrooms may be open) and walk through the natural area along Union Bay to wrap up walking through the main campus back to Green Lake.

Yes, you must bring a headlamp and/or hand carried flashlight.  Reflective clothing is a plus.


Cowen & Ravenna Parks

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports