Seeley Lake Park
Hike description: A 48-acre green space in the heart of Lakewood offers the perfect destination for a quick, short getaway.
Seeley Lake Park is surrounded by a retail store, apartments, the Lakewood Community Center and a busy road (Lakewood Drive), but at times visitors can feel as if they’re far away. Birds chirp as they explore the marshland, and leaves adorn the trail with greens and golds in the fall.
Starting from the community center, the trail makes a loop around the lake. Seeley Lake’s name is a bit misleading. It’s more of a marsh, but no less worthy of exploring.
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On the eastern side, you’ll hear constant traffic noise, but as you turn away from Lakewood Drive (about half mile into the walk) the outing gets quieter. The southwest corner of the park feels the most secluded. After periods of heavy rain, water approaches both sides of the trail. Red alder saplings line the trail. In warmer months, berries grow in the park (red and blackberries, according to the county). Soon, the trail reminds you that your getaway isn’t far away. On the west side of the park the trail passes within feet of several apartment complexes.
It can be quite dry in summer months, so fall, winter and early spring are good times to visit. It is during this time — when the trees have shed most of their leaves — that more of the marsh is visible.
Directions: Located on the west side of Lakewood Drive between Steilacoom Boulevard and Bridgeport Way. The park and parking lot are entered through the Lakewood Community Center parking lot at 9112 Lakewood Drive SW. The trailhead and parking are to the left as you enter the parking lot. Pierce Transit Route 202 stops near the park.
From Interstate 5, take Exit 127 to northbound South Tacoma Way. Turn left on 100th Street, then continue to Lakewood Drive. Turn right and find the community center on the left.
Difficulty rating: 1 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
Miles round trip: 1.1.
Elevation gain: Flat.
Best time of the year: Year-round.
Map: Not needed, but the trail appears on Google Maps.
Pass: Not required.
Also: The Fallen Officer Memorial is located across Lakewood Drive from the park at the Lakewood Police Department. The Lakewood YMCA is also across the street from the park, giving visitors an opportunity to supplement their walk or run with more exercise. Unofficial paths branch off of the primary trail and should be avoided. Check piercetransit.org for schedules for the bus routes going to and near the park. The community center is home of the Pierce County Parks & Recreation offices and a gym. Animals on leashes are permitted if owners pick up the waste. A geocache is located near the trailhead, according to geocaching.com.