The Seattle area offers plenty of opportunity to get out and explore nature without actually leaving the city. There are still expanses of forests and wetlands where you can lose yourself in flora and fauna while enjoying a refreshing hike. Hiking and walking trails are a great way to enjoy the amazing views of Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Here are my recommendations for places to hike in Seattle.
Almost six miles of hiking trail network through this wooded peninsula into Lake Washington. The Seward Park trail that skirts the waterfront is paved and fairly accessible, while the trails that wind through the lovely old-growth forest can be more rugged and rooty. Seward Park facilities include tennis courts and playgrounds, boat landing areas, a fishing pier, the Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center, and the Seward Park Clay Studio.
Located just north of downtown Seattle on Magnolia Bluff and overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park has miles of trails covering a variety of terrain. One trail skirts the shoreline of both North Beach and South Beach. Another loops through natural woodlands that are filled with birds and wildlife. Points of interest in Discovery Park include West Point Lighthouse and Daybreak Star Cultural Center.
Tacoma's grand Point Defiance Park offers a variety of trails for hiking, walking, and biking. Enjoy a slow-paced stroll or a vigorous hike along with water and island views and forest and garden scenery. The hiking trail system in Point Defiance park includes the Spine Trail, which connects the Rhododendron Garden to a Gig Harbor viewpoint, and the Five Mile Drive, a paved drive closed to vehicle traffic on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Beach Promenade is fun for an energetic walk or for strolling and people watching.
Located in Bellevue, the Lake Hills Greenbelt is a 150-acre wetland corridor stretching from Larsen Lake to Phantom Lake. As you hike the trails you'll experience both wild and tamed nature. You can observe the birds and other wildlife that call this expanse of forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes home. Portions of this parkland are set aside for gardens and gardening, including a demonstration garden, pea-patch gardens, and a blueberry farm.
Occupying over 100 acres of boggy forest in Federal Way, West Hylebos Wetlands Park is a marvel of biodiversity. One mile of boardwalk winds through the forested wetlands where you can check out ancient trees, fascinating ferns and mosses, wildflowers and berry bushes, and an abundance of wildlife. Critters you might see along the way include woodpeckers, hummingbirds, frogs, and beavers.