Renovations at Jackson Park Golf Course are underway and installation of a new perimeter trail is nearing completion. The new trail provides an urban pedestrian loop approximately 2.2 miles long. Locals have been so eager to utilize the trail that Dept. of Parks and Recreation (DPR) staff decided to implement a “soft opening”.
What is a “soft opening”?
Even though the trail is still being tweaked and finalized pedestrians are allowed access to the entire loop. Garrett Farrell, DPR’s manager for the trail project, said that a formal opening will be scheduled for late spring or early summer. The finished trail will also include an art component created by Celeste Cooning which has not been installed yet.
Construction of the trail during winter allowed for identification of several problem areas. Designers were able to rework sections to provide better drainage. The trail path itself is constructed of compacted gravel with wooden steps in steeper areas. New tightly woven chain link fence and angled overhead fencing protects pedestrians from stray golf balls.
Maintenance & Community Involvement
To maintain the trail, a formal Friends of Jackson Park Trail group is in the works. Through ongoing public meetings, DPR staff have identified interested community members and will continue to educate the public regarding proper maintenance techniques. This is similar to other areas of Seattle with trail networks, like Carkeek Park. If you’re interested in supporting the trail through volunteerism, contact volunteer coordinator Junior Kitiona. He can be reached via email at Junior.Kitiona@seattle.gov or phone at 206-615-0780.
Golfers and Proximity Issues
The trail runs in close proximity to several tee-off locations throughout the golf course. Take your young children on the trail for close-up golf experience at no cost. Signs along the pathway remind trail users to be quiet – out of regard for both golfers and local home owners.
One Reader’s Review:
The trail is great! I wouldn’t recommend it for strollers since there are several pretty steep parts where you’d have to haul the stroller up steps. I walked it with my elementary-age kids last Sunday. It was fun and it could be a great workout if I hadn’t walked at my kids’ pace. The golfers were pretty friendly and my kids were really curious about the sport. I was worried about the NW corner of the trail since I know there are sometimes people camped out there. We didn’t see anyone and all of the blackberry vines and underbrush have been cut back there. It felt much safer walking on the trail than on our streets with no sidewalks.