7 great hikes near Seattle to help kick-start your new year

Dec 18 2020, 11:10 am

Not everyone has to start the New Year with a hangover. Kick-off the new year with a hike and breath of fresh Washington air during the first day of the State Parks Free Days, a day in which you don’t need a Discover Pass to fully enjoy the parks.

Start the next decade right by taking part in this year’s First Day Hikes, a program of America’s State Parks which encourages folks to start their year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.

In typical times, Washington State Parks would offer a guide to lead you on the hikes. This year, check out one of these seven gorgeous Washington state parks at your own pace. Remember to stay distanced from others, and wear a mask if you’re getting close.

Griffiths-Priday State Park


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Set on the Pacific coast, this park is perfect for beach lovers. Sure, it’s too chilly to enter the water, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the ocean as well as the river at this gorgeous state park.

Where: Ocean Shores, WA
Approximate distance from Seattle: 2.5 hours

Lake Sylvia State Park


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Set in a former logging camp, enjoy wandering around the five-mile loop that revolves around the large swimming and fishing lake. While hiking, keep on the lookout for the dam that provided hydro-electric power to the logging camp in the early 1900s.

Where: 1812 North Lake Sylvia Road, Montesanto
Approximate distance from Seattle: 2 hours

Bottle Beach State Park 


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Bottle Beach State Park is a perfect spot for birdwatchers. The guided hike takes place at 10 am at the Bottle Beach Interpretive Trail, and meets at the Bottle Beach State Park parking lots. This hike is stroller accessible and dog-friendly.

Where: 33 Ocosta 3rd Street, Aberdeen
Approximate distance from Seattle: 2 hours

Twanoh State Park


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Enjoy a moderate guided hike through the beautiful forest on Hood Canal. The park has an old-timey feel but with modern amenities. The hike is 2.5-miles and child-friendly.

Where: 12190 East SR 106, Union
Approximate distance from Seattle: 1.5 hours

Nolte State Park


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The forested, lakeside park is a perfect pick for those looking to encounter small woodland animals. The park includes 1.4 miles of bike trails and 1.4 miles of hiking trails. This is the perfect family park, with a playground as well as a large, grassy field.

Where: 36921 Veazie Cumberland Road, Enumclaw
Approximate distance from Seattle:
1 hour

Schafer State Park


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Schafer State Park is best for those wanting to camp out. The national historic and heritage site offers great fishing spots, as well as a two-mile trail.

Where: 1365 W Schafer Park Road, Elma
Approximate distance from Seattle: 2 hours

Lake Easton State Park


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Enjoy gorgeous views of the lake and watch for wildlife while trekking through the forest. This hike is for avid snowshoers and those who hold a snow park permit with a groomed sticker. Snowshoes, hiking poles, water, and warm clothing are all required.

Where: 150 Lake Easton State Park Road, Easton
Approximate distance from Seattle: 1 hour

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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