It’s finally beginning to look a lot like Spring as the rains wash away the mountain snow-pack and as flowers bloom in the lengthening sun. We are eagerly looking forward to getting outside and enjoying the numerous parks and wilderness areas nearby. Some are right here in Seattle, while others are within day-trip distance.
The city of Seattle itself boasts a nice variety of outdoor adventure. Favorite activities include hiking the forest and rugged coastline before relaxing at a beach bonfire at Golden Gardens; enjoying scenery and sports (tennis or maybe windsurfing) along Lake Washington at Magnuson Park; or picnics and flying kites while gauging the solar position atop the hill in Gas-Works. Volunteer Park boasts a conservatory and large water tower you can climb for a unique view of the city and surrounds, while the Washington Park Arboretum offers acres of strolling and fauna. Seattle’s largest green space, at 534 acres, is Discovery Park, overlooking Puget Sound with a stunning view of both Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. There, you can hike the meadows, forests, cliffs, and dunes to view the lighthouse. Another spot to the south is Seward Park, with hiking and biking in an old-growth forest, plus beaches and boat launches.
Making excellent day trips are state parks such as the roaring Snoqualmie Falls to the east; expansive Deception Pass to the north, with over 40 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails; and historic Fort Worden on the Olympic Peninsula, which features decommissioned artillery battlements and Victorian-era Officer’s quarters along the picturesque Strait of Juan de Fuca. (That last one actually is worth an overnight or more.)
And, if you are reading this as we write it, what better time to visit iconic Mt. Rainier, the glacier-filled North Cascades, or the temperate rainforests of the Olympic National Parks than during National Park Week, April 21-29. The 21st is free admission to all State and National Parks.