A sign for Mercer Slough Park in Bellevue, with elevated guideway for the light rail 2 Line extension in the background

Go green: How to connect to nature from the 2 Line

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There's so much natural beauty on the Eastside (the city of Bellevue is named for its ‘beautiful view’). 

And with the 2 Line opening soon, it will be easier than ever to connect to some of the prettiest parks, trails and gardens in Bellevue and Redmond. 

Whether you're biking, rolling, walking or even boating, there are a ton of ways to connect to nature from the new light rail stations (and what better time to explore than Earth Month?).

Here are just a few ideas:

Rent a kayak at Enatai Beach Park 

Less than a mile from South Bellevue Station is Enatai Beach Park — your gateway to Lake Washington and the water trails of Mercer Slough Nature Park. 

Kayaks in yellow, blue, gray, green, orange and red on a rack

This almost three-acre park features a swimming area, dock, boat house, picnic area, restrooms and seasonal canoe and kayak rentals offered by REI. The park is also a non-motorized watercraft launch site.

Visit the Mercer Slough Nature Park 

Nestled in the heart of Bellevue, the 329-acre Mercer Slough Nature Park offers a tranquil setting for walking, biking and observation.

The slough is Lake Washington’s largest remaining wetland, containing hundreds of plant species and an abundance of water resources.

The Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center features classrooms, a visitor center, a community building and a "tree house," all sustainably built. 

The City of Bellevue and Pacific Science Center offer year-round education about wetlands and nature for adults, youth and families at the center. 

For updates on the status of the Sweyolocken boat lunch construction project, click here

There is a detour map available here while construction is ongoing.

Play at Wilburton Hill Park 

Wilburton Hill Park, at 105.49 acres, is the largest upland park in the city, encompassing a wide variety of recreational opportunities. 

The park’s trail is a major link in the Lake to Lake Trail and Greenway System, and is less than a mile from Wilburton Station. 

Active play enthusiasts can take advantage of the one soccer and two ball fields, and the children’s play area, which includes a zip line. 

Explore the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Also in the Wilburton neighborhood, the Bellevue Botanical Garden comprises 53 acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands. 

The entrance to the Bellevue Botanical Garden

The living collections showcase plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest. 

Discover what makes our region unique, ideas for working with the landscape to create your own beautiful garden, and ways to be responsible stewards of the Pacific Northwest environment.

Bike the Eastrail 

Built on a historic railroad line, Eastrail runs 42 miles along the east side of Lake Washington – from Renton to Snohomish – fostering community and sustainability for our region.

The 42-mile flat trail features not only amazing scenery, but also a lot of ways to connect with communities and our region.

The Eastrail corridor also serves as a home for many services, including direct connections with future light rail stations and utilities.

It is major spine of our regional trail network, linking to over 175 miles of existing regional trails.

What did we miss on this list? Tag us on social media @SoundTransit and let us know!