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Home Go Hiking Trip Reports Union Bay Natural Area, Foster and Marsh Island Loop

Trip Report

Union Bay Natural Area, Foster and Marsh Island Loop — Sunday, May. 10, 2020

Puget Sound and Islands

Trip Report By

WTA Member




Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Obstacles on trail:
    Muddy or wet trail.


Road suitable for all vehicles


Bugs were not too bad


Snow free

Walked the Union Bay Nature Area and Foster/Marsh Island trails early on this gorgeous Sunday morning.  Starting from the north we dropped south through Union Bay, along the shore past Husky Stadium, over Montlake bridge and over to Foster Island.  Note - pretty much all parking lots and facilities for all areas are closed due to covid19 concerns.  Additionally, with the lake at its higher summer level and the marginal state of repair on the Foster Island boardwalks, there are several areas where you will get your feet wet.  On a more positive note, WSDOT has punched a new shortcut under 520 winding south to the eastern access point of Foster/Marsh Islands and the arboretum which keeps you off surface streets and your feet dry.

The wetlands were teeming with birds, heron, a big juvenile bald eagle, what I think was a peregrine,  RWBBs, all sorts of ducks, including a cinnamon teal and something else that the professional bird watchers were super excited about.  One other very interesting wildlife phenomenon - dozens of huge carp were out in what appeared to be “romantic endeavors” splashing around in the shallow waters - never seen that before!  A shout out to the human population - while not crowded, there were a fair number of folks out and they were all doing a great job with the covid19 guidelines.  Lastly, don’t miss the short walk over to Yesler’s Swamp (shown as Union Bay Boglands on the Googlers) just east of the center for urban horticulture. Still a beautiful little walk even with our current restriction situation.  Happy Mother’s day.