Set on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, surrounded by low forest and lawns, Saint Edward's Seminary is not hard to picture as it was in the 1930s, with hundreds of students in residence.
These days, Saint Edward State Park bursts with modern life. Kids enjoy unstructured fun on the grass fields and playground equipment, kayakers cruise Lake Washington and hikers and mountain bikers take to the trails.
Amidst the sprawling grounds, lapping lakeshore and verdant footpaths, you'll find a place steeped in Northwest history. The large brick building was the first successful Catholic seminary in the Pacific Northwest and the first accredited Catholic seminary university in the United States. Envisioned and financed by Seattle's first bishop, Edward O'Dea, and designed by famed architect John Graham, the remarkable edifice was constructed in 1931 and served students until 1976.
Take a contemplative stroll to a quiet Grotto, a river-rock alcove that has become a popular wedding spot. If you're looking for a picnic site close to Seattle, you're in the right place. Relaxing on the grass or at a picnic table, you'll be struck by the play of the afternoon light on the classic old building.
Saint Edward State Park is a 326-acre day-use park with 3,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on Lake Washington. Picnic tables are available first come, first served, and the Grotto and several picnic areas are available for rental. The seminary building is not open for events at this time. There is no watercraft launch at the park, but paddlers launching from other parts of Lake Washington can bring their kayaks and boards onto the beach.
PICNIC & DAY-USE FACILITIES
Saint Edward State Park is extremely popular for special events, weddings, and family picnics. To ensure your family or group can have your event or picnic on the date you select, reservations are strongly recommended. Regardless of the size of your group, a Special Activity Recreation Permit may be required. To make a reservation or to obtain a permit for your event, please call (425) 649-4275 ext 105. Even though the park offers first-come, first-served picnic tables, if the park has reached its capacity with reservations, first-come, first-served tables will not be available. Also, because of limited parking and to help save resources, visitors are strongly encouraged to carpool.
The park offers five unsheltered picnic areas for rental to groups. Each site accommodates at least 100 people with picnic tables and stand-up style grills. The east and west picnic sites have a ball field with their areas. The north picnic area has an open play field and horseshoe pits. The south picnic site has a beach-style volleyball area with a net and is very close to the playground. There are 20-by-20-feet and 10-by-20-feet canopies, tables, chairs and portable heater rentals available for outdoor picnics. Extra parking may be set up for events in advance. For more details, call (425) 455-7010 ext. 105.
WATER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Personal watercraft use
Boats may be launched at the Department of Fish and Wildlife ramp in Kenmore, which is just north of Saint Edward State Park.