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Spring is Here!

Posted by on March 11, 2015

Spring means long walks in the woods!

hike seattle

Spring is here! The apple and cherry trees are already blossoming around Seattle and the weather is getting warmer. We did not have much of a winter anyway. I know people from the north eastern part of the country probably do not want to hear that. They are still digging out of seven plus feet of snow in 5°F weather. Sorry, not for me. I am not an Eskimo.

With our beautiful spring weather, I am enjoying getting outdoors and hitting the trails. Unlike those poor Bostonians, I do not have to wear snow shoes. There are more trails to hike and walk in western Washington than anyone could do in one life time. We try different ones all the time, but we also have our tried and true favorites.

If you are in the area, here are our best places to take a walk in the woods either by yourself or with the family.

 

olympic-discovery-trail
1. Olympic Discovery Trail – Our favorite place to casually walk, jog, or bike.
Where: Jefferson and Clallam Counties on the north Olympic Peninsula
Length: Total length is 130 miles
Difficulty: easy (mainly flat)
Surface: mostly paved
Dogs: Yes
Highlights: Old growth forests, spectacular water views, historic bridges over mountain rivers, wide variety of flora, possible animal sightings (deer, raccoons, otters, seals, sea lions, whales, eagles, hawks, and more)
Tips: Our favorite part of the long trail runs from Port Angeles six miles east to the train trestle. Stop at the Feiro Marine Life Center in town. You can have a pick-nick on the pier too. If you are really hungry, on Monday and Wednesday, Joshua’s serves excellent all you can eat fish-and-chips.

 

preston snoqualmie trail
2. Preston-Snoqualmie Trail – Great year round
Where: King County starting at the small town of Preston
Length: 7 miles
Difficulty: easy (mainly flat)
Surface: all paved
Dogs: Yes
Highlights: Dense secondary and primary forests, scenic river crossing, sneak peek at Snoqualmie Falls at the trail’s end
Tips: You must cross and follow a busy road at the half-way marker so be careful, bears have been sighted on the trail so be watchful too, there is a port-a-potty at the end and beginning

 

rattlesnake ridge
3. Rattlesnake Ridge – Beautiful views!
Where: King County, east of Issaquah exit 32 off I-90
Length: various
Difficulty: Moderate (uphill)
Surface: dirt and packed gravel
Dogs: Yes
Highlights: incredible views, beautiful mountain lake, dense forest, nice pick-nick and swimming area
Tips: You definitely want good walking/hiking shoes. If you climb to Angel’s Rest, you are in for a more strenuous 4 mile roundtrip hike, but the view is worth it. For a less energetic walk, follow the 3 mile trail along the lake.

 

fort townsend
4. Fort Townsend – A wonderful state park!
Where: Jefferson County in Port Townsend
Length: 6 miles
Difficulty: easy (flat)
Surface: packed dirt
Dogs: Yes
Highlights: Amazing natural blooming rhododendron plants in the spring, dense forest, nice views of Puget Sound, some historic sites, large grass field for pick-nicks or playing
Tips: Take the whole perimeter trail for a great walk in the woods!

 

fort flagler
5. For Flagler State Park – One of our most favorite!
Where: Jefferson County, on Indian Island
Length: various
Difficulty: easy (flat)
Surface: packed dirt
Dogs: Yes
Highlights: Scenic views of Puget Sound, long beached, lighthouse, historic fort and museum, dense forest, large grassy fields, lots of wildlife (especially eagles).
Tips: Definitely take some time to explore the park. There is a nice little shop and café with a playground on the beach at the far end of the park. The museum is nice and has a scavenger hunt you can do to make the learning fun. They have lots of camping for tents and RV’s for a longer stay too.

You can check out more trails here. We hope you enjoy the great outdoors! Please keep prepared. We want safe family travel adventures.

Please let us know how you liked the trails or if you have another one to recommend.

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