Day Hike - Foster & Marsh Islands

Take an urban night walk through the Washington Park Arboretum to the glory of spring with a trip to Foster and Marsh Islands and the UW Water Front

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
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 4.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 177 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph
  • FULL, 5 on waitlist (10 capacity)
  • FULL, 1 on waitlist (2 capacity)
  • Cancellation & Refund Policy

We'll meet shortly before 6pm outside the Graham Visitors Center where there are restrooms (which may be open).  Additional parking can be found along Foster Island Road and other roads abutting the arboretum.  Metro bus service may not be frequent.  This is the 4th of 5 March urban night walks through and near the University of  Washington, the final will be a longer loop from Green Lake to the Center for Urban Horticulture and return through the main UW campus.

Mountaineers guidebook author Craig Romano reports, "A 230-acre emerald wedge of native forest and ornamental gardens, the Washington park Arboretum offers some of the most aesthetically pleasing paths in the city.  From islands on lake Washington to a small ridge, amble...on miles of well-tended trails through acres of well-tended flora.  Come in the spring for gorgeous blossoms and in autumn for stunning foliage.  And come year-round for peaceful wandering (Urban Trails Seattle, 2018, #13).

The Arboretum was established in 1934 and initially developed by the WPA. The park is a natural learning laboratory for University of Washington urban horticulture and landscape architecture students.  We add the Arboretum Waterfront Trail  to take in Foster & Marsh Islands over boardwalks and floating bridges with a quick visit to the UW Waterfront Center.   Our feet may find some damp (hopefully not flooded) sections.  Your trip leader will test walk the route in advance.


Foster & Marsh Islands

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

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