Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Mercer Island

With blue skies, on the warmest day of the year thus far, seven of us paddled around Mercer Island and enjoyed clear views of Mt Rainer.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

We launched from South Day Street Park under the west side of  the I90 bridge, on Lake Washington Blvd, and went clockwise around the island, stopping at Enatai Beach Park, Clark Beach Park and Seward Park.  Total distance covered was 13.6 nm.   

South Day Street Park had plenty of parking at our 9:30 departure time.  There is additional on-street parking outside the park.  Unfortunately there is no restroom, but there is a restroom at Mount Baker beach Park 0.5 miles to the south.  The carry to the beach is short.   The launch under I-90 provides the option to cross to the island either on the north or south side of the bridge dependent on the wind and chop.  We elected to travel on the north side of the bridge and enjoyed some chop generated by the 6 kt wind from the north east.   

Our first stop was planned for Luther Burbank park.  However, on this warm sunny Saturday it was busy.   We continued to Enatai Beach Park, which was similar busy.   The REI boathouse has just reopened so between REI and other recreational launches we had to  wait; and there wasn't much space to park boats.  The Mercer Island boat launch (opposite Enatai beach) may be a better spot on popular days.  It has porta potties and there's a small park (Barnabie Point/Michael Phillips Trail) just south of the launch that may afford a decent landing (that isn't the boat ramp).

Our lunch stop at beautiful Clark Beach Park was good, but getting in and out of the water at the concrete steps was complicated by frequent boat wakes.  The restrooms were open.  

We skipped our last planned stop at Groveland Beach because the wind moved around to the NW and made a Seward Park stop look more attractive.   Groveland looked busy as we passed, so on warm sunny days it's probably not a good option.   There was a lot of boat traffic on the last leg from Seward back to South Day Street Park.