Night running in Seattle - tracks and trails?
December 4, 2013 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Now that the deep dark winter is upon Seattle, I'm looking for suggestions of where the best nighttime running is. Specifically, I'm looking for 400m tracks that are (1) open to the public and (2) lit at night. I'd also be interested in hearing about good streets or trails to run on that are well-lit (or even semi-lit) and not too sketchy.

I live on the south side of the city, work downtown, and am hoping to do some track workouts in the upcoming weeks. It would be great to find a track where I could get a workout in during a weeknight. The nearest track to me is at Franklin High School, which does have a track, but it is not generally lit at night, apparently not really 400 meters, and frankly kind of sketchy at night. I'd love to hear about some facility, ideally within city limits, that has a real 400m track, is reliably lit at night, and that gets some use by runners.

Also, bonus points for other good night running routes that people like. I have a couple, but they get kind of boring. I'd be willing to drive a bit if there was some popular well lit trail or road on the eastside I'm unaware of.
posted by bepe to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I run sometimes at Nathan Hale High, 110th and 35th NE. I have run there probably forty times, ten of those at night. I haven't been there in about three months, so I suppose things might have changed. It is sometimes explicitly lit late at night for e.g. adult league soccer and always somewhat lit from ambient light, since the track is tucked right up against 110th and 35th. It is never sketchy. The track is a well maintained 400 meters. It is, however, about as far from you as could be while still remaining in the city limits.
posted by Kwine at 1:05 PM on December 4, 2013

Best answer: Here's a list -- scroll down to the list of 400m tracks, including Nathan Hale. The ones I know on this list, including the Woodland park track, are NOT sketchy.
posted by bearwife at 1:09 PM on December 4, 2013

Also, I'm a solitary (and in winter, indoor) runner, but you may want to consider one of the running groups that does evening track workouts like this one.
posted by bearwife at 1:13 PM on December 4, 2013

Best answer: My workout partner and I are struggling with this too right now, the time change in autumn is the worst! I don't know how long your runs are but around Lake Union is about 6.5 miles and mostly illuminated. Running across the I-90 bridge and back is 4 miles and lit but loud and in one direction you feel like you're running directly into traffic and have headlights in your face. (We hate that route and never choose to do it.) You can run along the waterfront on Alaskan but once you get to the sculpture park it's dark but well populated with both runners and others, it can get sketchy, I do it with a partner but wouldn't alone.

I'll be watching this thread for more ideas. We have lately been picking a neighborhood and running around lit streets.
posted by palegirl at 1:17 PM on December 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all! I may try the Garfield track out, we'll see whether it's lit. I appreciate the recommendation for Nathan Hale as well--definitely a good backup option. As for night running routes, I've been doing the I-90 bridge lately, despite its shortcomings. Didn't realize that the Lake Union trails were lit--that's very helpful!
posted by bepe at 1:41 PM on December 4, 2013

Lake Union trail isn't so much lit as mostly not completely dark, and there are lots of people also running there. There are a few stretches that are dark. We don't wear headlamps and it is good enough for us.
posted by palegirl at 2:42 PM on December 4, 2013

Best answer: Not sure if this is helpful, but since you live in South Seattle: Beacon Ave, south of the VA Hospital, has a median/strip that separates the north and south streets and the median has a path all along it - only walkers, runners, and bicyclists can use it. It starts a bit south of Columbian/Alaskan and runs pretty far south.

It's not directly lit but it gets some light from the streetlights on either side. If I bike to work I usually use this path as I can see fairly well in the dark and you don't have to worry about cars, but it's not remote so there are people around if you run into trouble.
posted by canda at 8:01 PM on December 4, 2013

Response by poster: Hmm that is really helpful, and I had no idea, thanks!
posted by bepe at 9:26 PM on December 4, 2013

Not Garfield, especially not alone at night. That's such a violent area. It could be lit as brightly as the sun and it would still be a terrible place to be observed spending time alone on a regular basis.
posted by SakuraK at 9:40 PM on December 4, 2013

Best answer: Comments from my brother-in-law:

Yes the (dirt) track just on the south end of greenlake is lit at night until 8/9pm. I can't recall the exact time... but it is very open to public, safe, and they keep the lights on until a reasonable time.  He may want a "real" track instead of dirt though... that might be a limitation.  But meets the other criteria!!
posted by Artw at 11:07 PM on December 4, 2013

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