Hiking and nature walk guide for Seattle, Washington

Find your trail. 🍃

Discovery Park in Seattle with a lighthouse and the water in the background

Discovery Park offers one of the most popular Seattle trails.

Photo via Seattle Parks and Recreation

Table of Contents

From quick and easy nature walks around town to drives that take you to fantastic lakes and mountains, our region has so many options to hit the trail. So lace up your shoes, because we’ve compiled a hiking and nature walk guide for the Seattle area with 27 routes and trails to help you plan your next adventure and experience our great outdoors.

Note: While parks and trails may be listed as open, we recommend checking park websites before visiting for further info, current trail conditions, and safest practices for the area.

Key: Easy = 🥾| Moderate = 🥾🥾 | Hard = 🥾🥾🥾

Seattle

Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr. E

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 3.8-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions

Check out the arboretum if you want to stay in the city but experience the wonders of nature. The Lookout Loop and Pinetum Loop are well maintained and provide signs that share the history of the site.

Myrtle Edwards Park to Elliott Bay Park, 3130 Alaskan Way

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 2.7 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

This paved path offers views of the waterfront, trains, boats, and the nearby sculpture park. There are separate paths for hikers and bikers — and it’s a great option for those just getting into trail running.

DiscoveryPark_SEA

Discovery Park is one of Seattle’s most popular nature walks.

Photo by TIA International via Seattle Parks & Recreation

Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop Trail, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 4.4-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions (but limited)

This easy-to-follow stroll is close to town and gives you a little bit of everything outdoors, from forests and beaches to small sand dunes. This route is also ideal for beginner birdwatching.

North Seattle

Ravenna Park Loop Trail, Ravenna Park, 5520 Ravenna Ave. NE

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1.7-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions

This trail is another great route known for its birdwatching opportunities. You’ll adventure along a ravine and experience deciduous trees, playgrounds and a large footbridge.

A pathway through the woods at Piper Creek in Seattle

Piper Creek makes for a nice leisurely stroll.

Photo by @cody_allen525

Piper’s Creek and South Ridge Trail, Carkeek Park, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 1.9-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

This option is fairly flat, follows a peaceful creek, and has hills along the way. Since there are many trail outlets, you can make your hike as short or long as you want.

South Seattle

A view of Lake Washington with a stone monument in the foreground

Seward Park offers picturesque Lake Washington views.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Seward Park Perimeter Loop, Seward Park, 5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 2.4-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

This flat walking trail is the place to go if you’re looking for a simple stroll with minimal elevation. Visitors have noted it’s great for both wheelchairs and dog-walking. You’ll find lovely views of the water, the city and the mountains.

Chief Sealth Trail, Dearborn Park, 2919 S. Brandon St.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 8.8 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

This trail connects the Beacon Hill neighborhood with Rainier Beach via the greenbelt. Pro tip: This paved trail is along a designated path, but there are unavoidable road crossings, so use caution when you reach these points.

West Seattle

A lush area of trees at Schmitz Preserve Park in Seattle

Schmitz Preserve features old growth trees.

Photo by @sonny_brz

Schmitz Park Preserve, 5551 SW Admiral Way

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 0.6-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required in most areas
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions

This short and sweet option is filled with old growth forests covered in colorful foliage. Though the ground can be muddy in some spots, check this loop out if you want something with lovely scenery and don’t feel like driving too far from the city.

Alki Trail to Hamilton Viewpoint and Seacrest Parks, Alki Beach Park, 2665 Alki Ave. SW

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 7.6 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

This is a great spot for trail running as it’s mostly flat, and the scenery has been noted to be the best during the first two miles of the trek.

Kenmore

A pathway on the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle

Scenery on the Burke-Gilman Trail make it that much better.

Photo by @wendole_

Burke-Gilman Trail, Kenmore, WA

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 20 miles point-to-point
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Sitting on a former railway corridor, this option provides access to Gas Works Park, Magnuson Park, and Log Boom Park, as well as trail connections to the Cheshiahud Loop, the Elliott Bay trail, and the Sammamish River Trail. Take on the challenge of completing the entire route and checking out all the stops along the way — or pick your preferred starting point for a nice neighborhood stoll. Heads up that this is an extremely popular trail for bikers, so stay on your toes.

Lake Washington North Trail, 14445 Juanita Dr. NE, Kenmore

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 2.3-mile loop
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Another great location for birdwatching, this sometimes muddy route in Saint Edward State Park connects to other trails so you can change up your path and prefered difficulty during each visit. Many spots along the path are likely to not be crowded, while also providing great views of the lake. Pro tip: The Discover Pass is required for vehicle entry.

Lynnwood

Cyclists on the Interurban Trail north of Seattle

The Interubran Trail is a popular one for cyclists + urban hikers.

Photo via Snohomish County

Interurban Trail, Scriber Creek Park, Lynnwood

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 24.6 miles point-to-point
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

No one ever said easy had to be short. This hike is great for those looking for a paved run, a dog-friendly exercise route, or straightforward road biking trail. Visitors have shared that while this is a generally flat trail, there are sections with hills. Pro tip: There are points where you will be required to cross roads, so use caution and read local signage.

Meadowdale Beach Park, 6026 156th St. SW, Lynnwood

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 2.5 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

When fully open, you can hike through its native forest vegetation to access the beach and search for crab shells and anemones. Once you reach the bottom of the trail’s staircase, you’ll see the peaceful Lunds Gulch Creek that pours into the Puget Sound. Pro tip: Parts of this hike are closed through the fall due to estuary restoration projects — they should reopen in the winter after work is done.

Woodinville

Lushootseed Whispers Trail, Woodinville

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 3.1 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, no leash restrictions
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Check this option out if you consider yourself a non-experienced hiker but still want that forest trail experience. Along the narrow and flat path you’ll find beautiful trees and all sorts of native wildlife. This route is known to have tons of mushrooms, so read up on the proper foraging practices for our region. Be prepared to run into some muddy spots and stay alert to your surroundings, especially if you bring your pet.

Mainline Trail, Paradise Valley Conservation Area, 23210 Paradise Lake Rd., Woodinville

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 3.1 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, no leash restrictions
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Here you’ll find a great spot for those looking to get into trail hiking or running because of its ideal distance, moderate difficulty for beginners and all the shade it provides. If you want to switch up your hike, this spot offers many well-marked side trails with refreshing forest views.

Renton

A view of a wooden bridge with lush greenery in the background

Coal Creek Falls has lush scenery — and those waterfalls await.

Photo by @lala_od

Coal Creek Falls, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 18201 SE Cougar Mountain Dr., Renton

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 2.6 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

The incline during the first half mile is worth adventuring for the lovely waterfalls at the end. It’s a shaded hike and there are seating options along the way, making this option great for the entire family.

Margaret’s Way Trail to Debbie’s View, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Renton

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 6.8 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Start this well-labeled, well-maintained adventure by using old access and logging roads before you hit the trail — one viewpoint boasts glimpses of Mount Rainier. Visitors have noted that this would be a great option for solo hikers — just be prepared to encounter mosquitoes, especially at the viewpoint.

Snoqualmie

A view of Snoqualmie Falls on a cloudy day

Snoqualmie Falls is impressive even in inclement weather.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Snoqualmie Falls Trail, Fisher Creek Park, 7805 Fisher Ave. SE, Snoqualmie

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1.4 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Known for its lovely waterfall views, this steep but well maintained and wide, paved path is perfect for families who want a short adventure. The hike will take you ~50 minutes to complete and the viewpoints are the same ones you’ll see in the opening credits of the show “Twin Peaks.” Pro tip: Be prepared for crowds on this popular trail.

Cedar Butte Trail, Olallie State Park, 51350 SE Homestead Valley Rd., North Bend

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 3.1 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

For the trails less taken, check out this forested butte hike that only has 900 feet in elevation gain. This route is less crowded than other options in the region, providing several switchbacks and glimpses of Rattlesnake Lake. One you reach the summit, take in the views on the low log seats. Discovery Pass is required for park entry.

Teneriffe Falls Trail, Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area, Snoqualmie

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 5.6 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Formerly known as Kamikaze Falls, this route offers breathtaking waterfall views, tree cover, 22 switchbacks, and steep inclines. It’s recommended that you wear sturdy boots for this adventure as the route is covered in slippery and loose rocks. Pro tip: Visit this trail in the spring when the tread is snow-free and the waterfall is fully flowing.

Mount Si via Old Si Trail, Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area, Snoqualmie

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 6.1 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

A shaded hike with muddy spots at times, this difficult trek is one for adventurers looking for some true exercise. At the top, you’ll be required to scramble as its 3,556-ft elevation gain and steep terrain involves the use of your hands. Pro tip: Many regulars recommend bringing hiking poles and wearing shoes with great traction.

A view of a lake from Rattlesnake Ledge in Washington

Rattlesnake Ledge is rigorous, but pays off.

Photo by @absolutelybacon

Rattlesnake Mountain Trail to East Peak, Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, Snoqualmie

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 8.6 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Want a challenge ? This hike with a 2,500-ft elevation gain will give you the chance to get some miles in with great views along the entire trail, showcasing a beautiful green glow when the sun rises. There’s an easier Rattlesnake trail that’s about half the length, but it gets crowded during nice weather days.

Kerriston Ghost Town Trail, SE 104th St., Snoqualmie

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 10.6 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions

This flat gravel trail along an old logging road takes you to an abandoned town with historic artifacts along the route — from bricks and metal drums to large pot belly stoves. If you want to take a break from walking on the road, there are side paths on approved walking trails that will lead you to a peaceful creek.

Stan’s Overlook, Raging River State Forest, Snoqualmie

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 3.9 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

As the first stop on the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail, this well-maintained exercise route offers views of wildflowers and knocked down trees forming arches along the way. Pro tip: Make way for mountain bikers along the path.

Issaquah

A biker in Tiger Mountain State Forest

The Tiger Mountain State Forest has more than 13,000 acres.

Photo by Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Cable Line Trail to West Tiger #3, Tiger Mountain State Forest, Issaquah

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 3 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

This trail gets the blood flowing with its ~2,000-ft elevation gain and steep incline right from the beginning. The path has loose gravel and can be muddy at times, so be mentally and physically prepared for a leg-burning hike that provides a little view of Rainier at its summit on a clear day.

Hobart Middle Tiger Railroad Trail, Tiger Mountain State Forest, Issaquah

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 5.5 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Hike here if you’re looking for a path that is great year round and does not allow biking or horseback riding. Loaded with wildflowers like foxgloves, this option is ideal for trail runners who want to take in the views.

Chirico Trail to Poo-Poo Point,| Tiger Mountain State Forest, Issaquah

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 4.5 miles out-and-back
  • Pet friendly: Yes, leash required
  • Wheelchair accessible: No

Even though this hike is steep, has a 1760-ft elevation gain and is considered difficult for most, there are benches every half-mile for you to take a break — because you’re going to want to make it to the top. Once there, you’ll see a beautiful view of Mount Rainier and possibly people paragliding. You can even have a chance to give that a try yourself, with paragliding instructors at the top. Pro tip: Parking is limited, so arrive early.

More from SEAtoday