Whether you’re looking for something just a little more strenuous than the trail around Green Lake or really want to break a sweat and possibly a few blisters, the greater Seattle area features many trails for all types of walkers. Below, you’ll find trails suited well for pets, children, adventure seekers and common everyday folk. So, dig out your wool socks and lace up some sturdy shoes or boots and let’s get going.
14503 Wallace Lake Road
Goldbar, WA 98251
One of the state’s most beautiful and versatile hikes in the state can be found at Wallace Falls. Whether you want to hike all day or just for a few hours, there is plenty to see and the higher you go, the more beautiful the view. Wallace falls is both family and dog friendly. The beginning is flat following the path of an old railroad. Going deeper in the woods, you’ll enjoy a pleasant walk along streams in a shaded canopy. Don’t be fooled by the total distance of 4.7 miles. If you go to the top, you’ll be working hard for the last mile or so.
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
18201 S.E. Cougar Mountain Drive
Bellevue, WA 98027
Cougar Mountain offers a wide variety of short hikes (at least 17), perfect for families with small children. Each trail is unique with the shortest being Bagley Seam Trail (.2 miles) to the longest, De Leo Wall Trail (1.5 miles). The Rainbow Town Trail (.4) weaves around a number of mining artifacts which provides for a little history lesson at the same time. Many of the hikes are on flat terrain and even those that make you climb a bit aren’t too taxing for novice hikers.
Snoqualmie Pass/North Bend
Mount Si is said to be the most heavily used trail in Washington, but offers a wonderful view even if you have to contend with a few other folks. Mount Si offers some cool relief during the “dog days of summer” as much of the trail is hidden under the shade of the trees. The summit is known as “haystack,” a rocky type of surface which is known to be slippery when wet and can be pretty tricky for novice hikers. The trail itself is kept up nicely and is dog friendly.
Robe Canyon Historic Park
22221 Waite Mill Road
Granite Falls, WA 98252
Up north, about an hour or so from Seattle, lies the Lime Kiln Trail at Robe Canyon Historic Park, one of the country’s largest parks that stretches over 1,000 acres and seven miles of the South Fork Stillaguamish River. While it may take you half a day to cover the two-mile Old Robe Trail and the 3.5-mile Lime Kiln Trail, the pathway is a fairly easy hike to master. Along the way, you’re sure to find relics and remnants from the Everett and Monte Cristo Railway and of course the century-old lime kiln.
3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, WA 98199
Discovery Park provides 10 miles worth of trails within the 534-acre park. Over two miles of trails cross over state-protected tidal beaches. Some trails are paved, which may not be rustic enough for some but a welcome site for others. Highlights includes the views from the Magnolia Bluff, the Olympics and the Cascade Mountains. For some, the highlight will be to “discover” the historic Fort Lawton and the Discovery Park Lighthouse.
Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at Examiner.com.