As the spring weather finally heats up, King County Parks offers some great options to explore hiking in scenic, shaded landscapes. Whether making a short daytrip to Vashon Island or birdwatching in Marymoor Park, these short walks will get you immersed back in nature in no time. To be specific by what we mean by “short,” all the walks on this list clock in at around 1.5 miles or less.
This short 5-minute hike leads visitors to Mukai Pond, along a trail that travels through grassy areas which have been rehabilitated with native plants to provide habitat for birds and another animals. Along the way, hikers pass the iconic “Forest Cathedral” picnic shelter, a structure that was designed and built by islanders using local wood. Just beyond the shelter is Mukai Pond, where there’s a viewing platform that offers additional views.
Wooded paths wind through Vashon Island’s Island Center Forest.
Green River Trail, Kent / Auburn
A flat, paved trail with cooling views of the Green River winds through Cecil Moses Park and Fort Dent before converging with the Interurban Trail. Along the Green River Trail, visitors also pass by pastoral farmlands. Access the trail from the intersection of 26th St NE and M St NE at Brannan Park and head north. A shorter stretch of the trail hugs the Green River on the border of Kent and Auburn.
A cooling view of the Green River.
Find easy and accessible walks that are under half a mile at Marymoor Park’s Audubon BirdLoop Trail. Hikers will encounter boardwalks and mostly flat grass, packed dirt, or gravel trails. More than 200 bird species have been sighted at Marymoor, so bring your binoculars and leave your headphones at home! Five interpretive signs with commissioned artwork are installed along the BirdLoop trail providing information to visitors.
Frequent birdsightings are a feature of the Marymoor Park BirdLoop Trail.