To the south side of the main seminary building, you will find a sprawling complex of play structure. As you would hope with such a play structure, some of the many picnic facilities of the park are close to the play structure.
The play structure is also partly surrounded by a fence so that it isn't quite as easy for children to go wandering off without their parents seeing them do so.
Built into the side of the hill, at only about 10 feet below the plateau on which the bulk of the park rests, is a small reminder that this used to be an active religious community: a stone "grotto" that simulates the empty toumb of the four Christian gospels.
As it was used for religious purposes for many decades, the location has been declared a "State Heritage Place" and "Use of this Area is by Permit Only". While that may be the case, there doesn't seem to be any problem with allowing individuals to walk down to the "grotto" and take a look at it. The "use by permit" system appears to be set up for groups that wish to conduct religious events at this location.
There is a shaded section of cleared grass that is large enough to hold a fairly good sized group of people. There isn't much of anywhere to sit down, unless you sit on the soft grass on a blanket, picnic-style.
As seen in the photos, the stones used to construct the "grotto" have not been cut.
The "grotto" is not too easy to find if you are unfamiliar with the park. There is a trail called "the grotto trail" but that trail goes down to Lake Washington. The actual grotto is located on the far west end of the clearing in which the main structures of the park sit. If you follow the perimeter trail you will see the top of the grotto and the fence marking the entry to this location.
The shore along Lake Washington inside Saint Edward State Park is the longest remaining piece of undeveloped shore line anywhere on the lake.
However, just because it is a shore line does not mean there is a beach or other such amenities here. As a natural Pacific Northwest freshwater lake, the tree line comes right down to the edge of the water.
There is a small clearing of sorts about halfway along the shore between the north and south ends of the park. This is still in heavy shade, but it is at least partly open. You can get to the water here, but it isn't a beach like some people would expect to be along the shore.
Nevertheless, this is a popular enough recreation spot inside the park that the park service has gone through the trouble of adding some pit toilets to the area just uphill from the lake along the wide gravel trail that connects this location to the main recreation center part of the park.
It is also a popular enough location that there are signs asking that people not ride their mountain bikes through this area. Most likely, this is due to congestion of people on warm summer weekends, but I have not seen it during a warm summer weekend!
In some places, the trails have been made intentionally more challenging for those mountain bikers who would like to try to navigate a few obstacles.
In a few other places, no additional obstacle is needed: slippery bridges, steps cut into trails to prevent erosion during the muddy season, and various other potential hazards exist.
Keep in mind there are steeply sloping canyons along these trails, and if you pitch yourself over the side you have a bit of a ways to fall in some places.
Naturally, mountain bikers and hikers are hazards to eachother if the trails are crowded, so you should always be aware of what is happening around you.