As the winter holidays approach and people reunite to gather together, check out King County Parks for some approachable lowland walks in our many woodland and natural areas. With picturesque views, and everything from gently graded, paved footpaths to unpaved, wooded trails, these lowland excursions make for a great nature break during the frenzy of holiday and end-of-year activities.
At Soos Creek Trail in Kent, you’ll find a gently graded, paved trail suitable for easy strolls, bike rides, and horseback riding in a natural setting. The 7-mile trail extends through both farmland and wetland. A connection to the unpaved Lake Youngs Trail, which continues for nine miles, can be made along the SE 216th Street corridor.
Located south of the City of Black Diamond on the Green River, Flaming Geyser Natural Area features fairly mature floodplain forests and steep bluffs. For those looking for a forested, more rugged walk, this is your spot! Offering an expansive trail system, paths wind through 76 acres of woods with river access. At Flaming Geyser State Park, which is just east of King County’s natural area, visitors can view a small, still active, bubbling geyser next to Christy Creek.
If you’re looking to get further out from King County, check out Maury Island Marine Park for a short day trip. Located on the east side of Maury Island, a peninsula of Vashon Island, this destination rewards visitors with stunning views of the East Passage, Mount Rainier, and the Cascade Mountains. The park contains rare stands of Pacific Madrone, a salt marsh, eelgrass beds and significant fish and wildlife habitat for species like great blue herons, bald eagles, kingfishers, chinook salmon, orca, and bull trout.