Update 3/27: As of Wednesday, March 25 King County Parks closed all parks. Parking lot and trailhead gates were locked, and restrooms were closed.
The closure comes on the heels of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which included guidance to further restrict groups from gatherings. For the latest information visit King County Parks: Corona Virus Update
With everyone cooped up at home, social distancing being the order of the day, and gyms and other sports being a no-go zone, what’s a person supposed to do to get a little exercise and maintain your sanity?
How about some ‘forest bathing’? Also referred to as nature therapy, ecotherapy, or ‘hiking’, forest bathing is a new term for an old practice. Trails and parks that don’t have play structures are an open invitation to the imagination, and they don’t need sanitizing wipes after use.
Here are our top four trails and parks to get your forest bath on. Please remember that when using our parks, trails and open spaces, please follow Public Health’s guidelines in preventing the spread of this virus:
- Practice social distancing, leaving at least 6 feet between others.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Go for a bike ride on one of King County’s regional trails – With more than 300 miles of regional trails in King County, chances are there’s one in your backyard. Plan a trip and find a regional trail near you with our TrailFinder site.
Try these quieter trails for a fun ride without the crowds:
Cedar River Trail – This 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 Cedar River Trail is a paved, off-road trail for the first 12.3 miles, and features a soft surface for the last five miles.
Soos Creek Trail – Features a gentle grade in a natural setting suitable for leisurely strolls, bicycle rides, and horse rides. A connection from the Soos Creek Trail to the Lake Youngs Trail (9 miles, unpaved and great for runners) can be made along SE 216th St corridor.
Green River Trail – This trail winds more than 19 miles through industrial lands near the Duwamish Waterway in Tukwila to the broad Green River Valley. The Green River 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.
Snoqualmie Valley Trail – This trail offers the opportunity to get out and explore one of the most beautiful agricultural valleys in the region. The 31.7-mile-long Snoqualmie Valley 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.
Visit one of these backcountry trails for a relaxing hike – Visit one of 26 natural parks that offer 215 miles of backcountry trail networks.
Try one of these less visited parks for a breath of clean forest air:
Moss Lake – Moss Lake Natural Area is a DNRP Ecological Land. Located 5 miles southeast of Duvall, 3.5 miles northeast of Carnation, and 1 mile east of Lake Joy in the Cascade foothills. One of our colleagues said about Moss Lake, “It has a great spiritual vibe. No kidding. I always feel great after I visit there.”
Tanner Landing – On the banks of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Tanner Landing Park is a waterside green space that is a popular put in for white water enthusiasts. An easy, mile-long loop has a stretch along the river with views of Mt. Si, Little Si, and across the valley to the profile of Rattlesnake Ledge.
Soaring Eagle – Soaring Eagle Regional Park is 760 acres of mature forests, wetlands, and wildlife habitat. Soaring Eagle sits above Patterson Creek on the edge of the Sammamish Plateau along the western flank of the Snoqualmie River Valley. This natural area provides sanctuary for black bear, bobcat, black tail deer and more than 40 species of birds.
Ring Hill Forest – Ring Hill Forest is 320 acres of rural forestland located on the west wall above the Snoqualmie Valley above the Snoqualmie River. The forest slopes from the plateau in the west steeply to the Snoqualmie Valley floor to the east. Ring Hill was acquired to conserve rural forestlands, provide a buffer between rural residential development and agricultural uses in the Snoqualmie Valley, and provide revenue while demonstrating sustainable forestry.
Grab the kids, the dogs, your partner, or your camera and hit up one of these parks and trails. Breath deep, listen intently, and let your ‘forest bath’ wash away your worries.
8 thoughts on “Top 4 trails and parks to kick your cabin fever”
Why does the King County Parks web page still have an article about the best places to bike and hike posted when all King County parks are closed? https://kingcountyparks.org/2020/03/14/top-4-trails-and-parks-to-kick-your-cabin-fever/
King County Parks are great places to visit and enjoy. But my family and neighbors stopped going to any of the parks we regularly visit 2 weeks ago because of these very issues. The large groups gathering and amount of parents with kids not practicing safe distancing or other recommended habits set forth by the health care advice is alarming and sad. None of us will return to any of these parks because we do not fell safe. Oh well we can do things in our yard and help keep the rest of the population safer even the as Heather K. says selfish people.
Well KCP maybe you should actually go to one of your parks and see how very few are actually practicing any form of social distancing. The carefree attitude of park users and almost laughing at signs we see in your parks reminding park users of the virus and safety precautions. Your can say all you want about following guidelines but you are going to cause many more cases of the virus because of your decisions and lack of swift action. Doing the bare minimum is not showing care for the community or people you serve. Step up your game and do something for the greater good and sacrifice for your neighbors instead of going for political points. POOR leadership. Just look at how bad Italy is and that is coming our way. Great job.
How do you stay 6 feet away when the trails are so crowded. Wildly irresponsible.
What are you doing about other areas where people are congregating? It seems like only the revenue side is closed. I drove by a park by me a couple days ago and there had to be 100 people out on the soccer field. Like opening day of soccer season out there. And the play area? You gotta be kidding me…..
Look, I know the masses are stupid, so stop trying to lure them further towards their own demise at least.
KC Parks is adhering to Public Health’s guidelines in preventing the spread of the virus by closing our key facilities and asking all park users to follow Public Health’s guidelines. This is a rapidly changing scenario and ask that the public find the latest information about the status of our parks at https://kingcountyparks.org/2020/03/06/king-county-parks-coronavirus-update/.
Taking a hike, going for a walk, riding a bike are all things that people can do while meeting Public Health’s social distancing guidance. All parks users should leave room, at least 6 feet, between themselves and other trail users. If Public Health’s guidance changes, we will update our parks operations as appropriate.
Stupid is the word that comes to mind with King County Parks decision to promote and invite more people to parks and trails at a time when all the smart people are telling you to social distance and stay away and home to not spread the virus to the vulnerable ones in our community. Bad Bad Bad. Whoever is making the decisions at Parks is doing a disservice to the public as well as their own workers. Get a clue and take action before you cause more people to get and spread the virus.
I agree, bad decision to leave parks open and invite the spread of the virus. Ignorant decisions by people who are not on the front line of exposure. With other businesses being closed and all the experts saying stay home and limit exposure it is a very bad thing to expose county employees and the neighbors to more virus exposure. Think of others at a time when all need to sacrifice for the greater good. But the Seattle area is a selfish people.
It is beyond reckless that King County Parks is promoting people going out in public and recreating when that will cause more of the virus spread. And put your parks workers and the community at greater risk. Shame on you! Well i guess the ones making those decisions are telecommuting and not at risk themselves. And shame on the parents bringing thier kids out to the parks and all others not heeding th W.H.O., CDC< and state and federal warnings. Dow is leading a do what i saw not what i do when it comes to County employees. Hunker down people and flatten the curve!