Late Winter Hiking: Following a Less-Traveled Path
Hikers are exploring less-traveled front-country parks this winter. These are parks managed by city and county governments - oases within or at the edges of our urban areas. Learn about where they've been and how you can find a new park near you.
As the curator of WTA's Trip Reports, I've noticed an interesting trend this winter: hikers are exploring less-traveled front-country parks.
These are parks managed by city and county governments - oases within or at the edges of our urban areas. They are well-loved by the people who live nearby, yet practically unknown to anyone else.
Fortunately, hikers - in search of new winter stomping grounds - have been discovering these places and sharing them with us. They are finding quiet forests, bluff-side Puget Sound views, lakes to circumnavigate and much more - all close to home. Here are a few intriguing destinations to consider, courtesy of our wonderful Trip Reporters:
- Lake Padden Park, City of Bellingham: BhamDave calls it a "living gem of a lake" with a six mile path that makes you feel like you're in the mountains.
- Lord Hill, Snohomish County Parks: Chris recently spent his birthday exploring about seven miles of trails in this 1,300 acre park along the Snohomish River near Monroe.
- Soaring Eagle Park, King County Parks: One of several unheralded King County Parks, Alpine Art recently found "lots of solitude and a fair amount of mud."
- Cedar River Trail, King Country Parks: Explore Seattle's watershed on this 17.3 mile trail upriver from Renton. Blue eyes calls it an "easy-going, family-friendly, walk and talk hike for all abilities."
There are many more, and I encourage you to browse and search recent Trip Reports for others near you. If these hikes don't fit your interests or your home base, consider getting out a map and finding a park that is close by, but that you have never visited. It could be the neighborhood park that you've never visited, a county park you've never heard of, or a state park nearby.
It may not fit your summer standards for a top hike, but chances are you will enjoy the fresh air, exercise and opportunity to explore a new place. Then come back and share your Trip Report with the rest of us.