Saint Edward State Park

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.

Park features


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 boat launch at the park, but paddlers launching from other parts of Lake Washington can bring their kayaks and boards onto the beach.

Automated pay station: This park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass.

Pets in the park: Staff at Saint Edward State Park remind you that dogs are welcome in state parks if they are on leash and under control at all times. We want to provide safety, comfort and enjoyment for all visitors and ensure the protection of wildlife and natural resources in the park. Please keep your dog on leash, and pick up after your pet.

The Carole Ann Wald Memorial Pool is closed indefinitely.

Pets in the park: Staff at Saint Edward State Park remind you that dogs are welcome in state parks if they are on leash and under control at all times. We want to provide safety, comfort and enjoyment for all visitors and ensure the protection of wildlife and natural resources in the park. Please keep your dog on leash, and pick up after your pet.
  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. History
  4. Maps

ADA amenities/facilities


  • Restroom
  • Hiking trail

Picnic & day-use facilities

Saint Edward State Park is extremely popular for special events, weddings, and family picnics. To ensure your family / group can have your event / 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.

Picnic areas


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.

Group accommodations


The Grotto
The Grotto is a secluded garden alcove that lends itself well to intimate ceremonies and services. The capacity is 120 people. Water and electricity are not available at the site. Tables, chairs, outdoor heaters, and 20-by-20-feet or 10-by-20-feet canopies are available to rent for an additional fee.
More information about The Grotto at Saint Edward

The Grand Dining Hall
 

The Grand Dining Hall is unavailable for rental until further notice.


 

Activities


Water activities & features


  • Boating
  • Fishing (freshwater)
  • Personal watercraft use
  • Swimming
  • Water skiing
 

Additional information

  
  • A big toy playground is popular with kids. The playground was built by the community for the community and completely funded by donations from the community.
  • Picnicking, hiking, soccer, mountain biking, fishing, bicycling, swimming, bird watching, softball, and horse trails can be found in the Holmes Point area.
  • Access to waterfront from the shore is by trail only. There is no vehicle access to the beach, which is undeveloped and unguarded.
  • There are many trails open to mountain biking which is a very popular activity within Saint Edward State Park. Remember that several of the trails are open to hiking only and bikes are strictly prohibited on these trails. Check with the park office or kiosk for trail maps and information.
  • A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.