We all know the feeling. A little turkey, some casserole, a bit of mashers and possibly just a touch of pie, and before you know it the couch is looking pretty comfy. But before you kick your slippered feet up and slip into a turkey-induced coma, consider getting some fresh November air instead.
We’re pretty lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. King County Parks has 28,000 acres of open space to explore, not to mention the 300+ miles of regional trails that are perfect for the whole family. Looking for a flat paved trail good for the grandparents? How about a park with a play area? Want to hit the backcountry and breath the overflowing green of an oxygen-rich forest? You can use either ParkFinder or TrailFinder to plan the perfect trip.
Even a quick ten minute walk will help everyone digest, create a moment to remember, and energize your group to tackle second helpings!
Our top 5 walks in North and South King County
North King County:
- Marymoor Park – Interested in soccer, baseball, or cricket? Need to take the dog for a walk? Want to try your hand at flying a radio-control airplane or climbing a 35-foot freestanding structure? Looking to enjoy the outdoors by strolling along a regional trail, picnicking on the lawn, or birdwatching on the shores of Lake Sammamish? Then Marymoor Park is the place for you! King County’s most popular park, more than 3 million people visit Marymoor annually to explore Marymoor’s 640 acres of recreational activities, rare amenities, and culturally-enriching events.
- Burke-Gilman Trail – The Burke-Gilman Trail runs more than 20 miles from Shilshole Bay in the City of Seattle to the City of Bothell where it intersects the Sammamish River Trail. Part of the “Locks to Lakes Corridor,” the BGT is a paved, off-road facility over its entire length with the exception of an on-road segment in Ballard. The trail crosses Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, the University District and View Ridge within the City of Seattle, as well as the cities of Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell.
- Soaring Eagle Regional Park – Soaring Eagle Regional Park is 790 acres of mature forests, wetlands, and wildlife habitat. Soaring Eagle Parks sits above Patterson Creek on the edge of the Sammamish Plateau along the western flank of the Snoqualmie River Valley. It is connected via forested corridors to the nearby Beaver Lake Preserve, Hazel Wolf Wetlands, and Patterson Creek Natural Area, which increases habitat for wildlife living in the area such as black bear, bobcat, black tail deer, and more than 40 species of birds.
- Grand Ridge Park – Grand Ridge Park is 1,200 acres of deep, green forest that rises to 1,100 feet in elevation east of Issaquah and Lake Sammamish. Established to provide natural resource preservation and passive recreation along the edge of suburban and rural communities, the park is located between Mitchell Hill Forest to the east and the Issaquah Highlands residential development to the west. The steep slope above the north fork of Issaquah Creek is covered by stands of large second growth Douglas fir trees.
- Snoqualmie Valley Trail – The Snoqualmie Valley Trail offers the opportunity to get out and explore one of the most beautiful agricultural valleys in the region. The 31.7 mile-long trail meanders past working farms as well as preserved open space areas, and connects to the cross-state John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Iron Horse State Park. Points of interest include Tolt-MacDonald Park, Meadowbrook Farm, Three Forks Natural Area and the Tokul Trestle.
South King County:
- Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park – Cougar Mountain Park has over 35 miles of trails wending through diverse habitats such as mature second growth forests, streams and wetlands, and cliffs, and nearby caves. While there are sweeping views of Lake Sammamish, the Cascades, and Bellevue, Seattle and beyond, there are areas of the park that are more remote from the sights and sounds of nearby urban development.
- Cedar River Trail – The Cedar River Trail follows the Cedar River from where it enters Lake Washington in the City of Renton upriver to the community of Landsburg at the boundary of the City of Seattle’s Cedar River Watershed. At 17.4 miles in length the CRT is a paved, off-road trail for the first 12.3 miles, and features a soft surface for the last five miles.
- Taylor Mountain Forest – Connecting the Cedar River Watershed to the Tiger Mountain State Forest, the 1,924 acre Taylor Mountain Forest treats visitors with views of Mount Rainier, forested wetlands, and meadows of wild flowers. Taylor Mountain Forest is also home to 75 acres of high-quality habitat and two major tributaries of Issaquah Creek: Holder Creek and Carey Creek, which provide more than five miles of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon.
- Green River Trail – The Green River Trail winds more than 19 miles through industrial lands near the Duwamish Waterway in Tukwila to the broad Green River Valley. The trail provides excellent views and access to the Green River and surrounding river valley from Cecil Moses Park near Seattle’s south boundary to North Green River Park in south Kent near Auburn.
- Soos Creek Trail – The 5.9 mile-long Soos Creek Trail features a gentle grade in a natural setting suitable for leisurely strolls, bicycle rides and horse rides. It traverses wetlands along a solid boardwalk, through foothill and old growth and makes a stop at a park great for young kids on SE 216th St.
Make getting out as a group your new Thanksgiving tradition. Go explore Your Big Backyard!