Unlike the other legends, you don’t need as much faith to believe this story. The Gnome Trail is a 0.7-mile loop pathway in the eastern King County town covered in tiny gnome sculptures doing everything from yoga to cheering on the Seahawks.
These gnomes are placed by the thousands of visitors each year and are often moved around (with encouragement) by others wandering the woods.
It’s an excellent activity for families with young children or those with a penchant for fantasy or quirky locales.
🍄 The more you gnome
The trail was first created in 2019 by an unknown gnome fan at Henry’s Ridge, but it was hard to access without a long hike. So when the gnomes became super popular in 2020 — we were all into escapism back then — illegal shortcuts through private property began to appear.
To make sure the magic remained without irking residents, the City of Maple Valley moved the trail to its current location at the Legacy Site that same year. Officials even created a new trail just for the little woodland creatures.
🍄 Pointy hats as far as the eye can see
If you’re itching to check out this magical little trail for yourself, here are some good things to know.
Length: 0.7 miles, 78-ft elevation gain
Address: 25719 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd. SE (park at the Maple Valley Farmers Market)
Drive time: ~45 minutes from Seattle
Hours: 9 a.m.-dusk
Dog-friendly (but keep the pup on a leash)
Walkable any time of year
Two other trails connect to the Gnome Trail, so pay attention to signage.
Skip the Small Talk | Wednesday, Sept. 13 | 7-9 p.m. | Locust Cider Market Place, 2003 Western Ave. Ste. 110C, Seattle | $15 | Meet some new people and get straight to the deep stuff with conversation prompts from the hosts and food + drink for sale.
Thursday, Sept. 14
After Hours Wine Walks | Thursday, Sept. 14 | 4-8 p.m. | Woodinville, 13590 NE Village Square Dr. Ste. 1030, Seattle | $35 | A tour of Woodinville’s wineries sure sounds nice after a long day of work — tickets include seven tasting tickets.
Fall Boats Afloat Show | Thursday, Sept. 14-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Times vary | South Lake Union, 901 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle | $5-$35 | Gawk at 100+ yachts and other fancy vessels at this waterside exhibit that includes live entertainment, food, and drinks.
Friday, Sept. 15
Snarky Puppy | Friday, Sept. 15 | 7:30 p.m. | Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle | $45-$50 | This jazzy band has as many as 20 members that are in regular rotation — expect a lot of quirky fun.
Saturday, Sept. 16
Burlesque at the Hall | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 10-11:30 p.m. | Queen Anne Beer Hall, 203 W. Thomas St., Seattle | $30-$40 | Enjoy a night of glitz and glamour as these performers grace the stage with their flirtatious ways — and maybe win a raffle prize.
2023 Seattle Modern Home Tour | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Locations TBA, Seattle | $15-$80 | Architecture nerds will use a map to tour the inside of some of Seattle’s most beautiful modern homes.
PLAY! Adult Field Day | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | Jimi Hendrix Park, 2400 Massachusetts Ave. S., Seattle | Free | Get active with a sound bath, yoga class, snacks, dodgeball, three-legged races, egg relays, and more.
Bun voyage — the famous punny marquee on the former Lusty Lady strip club has been taken down, but will return. The building at 1315 First Ave. is undergoing major renovations into a multiuse space focused on the arts. Architects Graham Baba said the marquee will be refurbished and reinstalled when the project is done. (Seattle Times)
Seven current and former UW students won medals at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Serbia this past week. Three of the seven helped bring the US a silver medal in the women’s Eight A Final, which secured the team’s spot in the 2024 summer Olympics. (KIRO 7)
These are some serious bragging rights. Aisha Ibrahim, Canlis’ first female head chef, was recently named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine. Ibrahim is featured as one of 11 in the magazine’s October edition. (Food & Wine)
The Seahawks have signed tackles Jason Peters and Greg Eiland after injuries to the team’s starters in Week One. Peters is an NFL veteran who has won Pro Bowl honors nine times and the Super Bowl once with the Eagles. Eiland was previously waived from the Seahawks.
Make some new mmrs — Fall Out Boy’s So Much For (2our) Dust is coming to Climate Pledge Arena next March. Jimmy Eat World, The Maine, and Daisy Grenade are also on the bill. Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.
The owners behind Capitol Hill’s Rose Temple have opened a new sister bar at 1355 E. Olive Way. Donna’s features a similar dark atmosphere to Rose Temple, but with disco balls and distinct red hue throughout the lounge-like space. Expect spritzy cocktails, amari, and pasta. (Capitol Hill Blog)
It looks like the Fremont Troll may be jealous of the attention its new companions were getting. The Seattle Department of Transportation is building stairs on either side of famous statue to make the area more accessible. Construction should take up to two months, but the troll is still be open for pics. (Fremont Trolls Knoll)
Hi Barbies — miss the “Barbie” movie while it was in theaters or just want to see it again? PacSci will be showing the hit film on its IMAX screen with never-before-seen, post-credit footage Thursday, Sept. 21-Saturday, Sept. 23. Tickets are now on sale.
Dramatic and moody, yet tranquil and grounded. Are we describing ourselves, or Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Month for September 2023? Discover the colorfor your next home project.^
Refinance rates are skyrocketing. But home equity rates remain relatively low — which means that now is a great time to borrow against your home. Calculate your payment.*
I love when learning about spots like this little Gnome Trail. It’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day that we forget to stop, breathe, have a little fun, and let our imaginations wander. Magic doesn’t have to be fantastical — sometimes all it is is a few people with a goofy idea.