Five Easy Hikes

Discovery Park

When winter starts to loosen its grip, Seattleites hit the trails. Even the kids recognize they’ve been cooped up too long and need to expend some energy outside. It’s great to take the family on a relaxed hike to get some fresh air and walk off the winter blahs. Following are a few of our favorite family-friendly hikes.

Discovery Park: There are more than 500 acres of woods, fields, trails and beachfront. If you have young children, you can snag one of the family passes from the information center, which allows you to drive down to the beach and park. You can walk to the lighthouse or along the beach. There is a play are near the east parking lot. For older kids, there are numerous trails and a loop trail.

Ballard Locks: A great stroller-friendly walk involves starting at Commodore Park in Magnolia, walking toward the salmon ladder and then crossing the spillway bridge to the locks and then proceeding to the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens. You can grab some fish and chips at the Lockspot Café before the return walk to the parking lot at Commodore Park.

Lincoln Park: There are 14 trails, including a 1.07-mile beach walk and plenty of wooded area, available for hikes. Also convenient are the picnic and play areas. In the summer, kids can cool off in the wading pool.

Seward Park: This park offers 300 acres of old-growth forest and 10 trails, including a 2.4-mile paved loop that’s great for strollers. Some of the other nine trails take you into wooded areas that make you forget you’re in the city. There are play areas for when you need a break.

Twin Falls State Park: About 35 miles outside of Seattle, this park makes good on the wow factor with the falls. Families can take advantage of the flat first mile of the trail, which takes you through forest along the South Fork Snoqualmie River.

Got a favorite hike? Share it in the comments below.

– Hsiao-Ching Chou