Whether you are taking the whole family out for a hike or simply looking for a relaxing stroll through the woods, Seattle's proximity to mountains and forests mean there are a plethora of easy hikes near Seattle. Nearby state parks such as Saint Edwards on Lake Washington and Twin Falls offer great hikes with modest amounts of mileage and Cougar Mountain has a vast trail network with a variety of easy to moderate trails available. Peruse this list and find the perfect hike!
This hike is top of the list for easy hikes near Seattle as it takes you along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River amongst old growth Douglas Fir trees and culminates with a picturesque 132 foot waterfall, and all this in under 3 miles and about 30 minutes from Seattle. You can extend the hike by crossing over the Twin FAlls Bridge and proceeding up the trail to view additional waterfalls.
There is a large parking lot, but be forewarned, this is a very popular hike and the lot can fill up early on weekends. This hike is in a state park, and as such, requires a discover pass or purchasing a day pass in order to park.
Cougar Mountain is a 3,000 acre park with four different trailheads and an amazing number of trails. The Red Town trail is a great place to start, providing a wide and relatively flat trail perfect for all ages and abilities. While you can certainly head out and back on Red Town Trail, there are numerous other trails that intersect with the Red Town Trail, providing opportunities to do a loop. Coal Creek Falls is a popular destination (note, the falls run dry during the tail end of the summer) and can be accessed via Indian and Quarry Trails off of Red Town Trail.
The Red Town Trailhead has a large parking lot, but can be quite busy on nice weather weekends. There are a number of different trails leaving the parking lot, but every trail is very well signed.
Saint Edward State Park has many trails of varying lengths and difficulty. There are a number of trails that descend down to Lake Washington and they all converge at the Saint Edward Beach. The various trails can be combined to form a loop, and the Beach Trail is a particularly nice trail that parallels Lake Washington and provides a number of spots to hop off the trail and enjoy the lake.
There is ample parking available, just head to the Lodge at Saint Edwards Park - the Lodge is an old seminary building that has been converted into a hotel and has a restaurant and a couple of bars inside. Note, given this is a state park, a discovery pass or paid day pass is required to park here.
Shoreview and Boeing Creek Parks are located just North of Seattle, and have a number of short loop trails at your disposal for hiking. The Boeing Creek Loop Trail follows its namesake and includes a couple of very small waterfalls (Note : the trail is washed out in a couple of places), while the Hidden Lake Loop Trail takes you past a pond that happens to be called Hidden Lake.
There are a number of places to access the trails found in both parks. A good place to start is NW 175th Street next to the Pond Trail Loop - there is parallel parking available on NW 175th St.
Logging in at 2.5 miles roundtrip and 400 feet of elevation gain, Franklin Falls is a relatively easy hike near Seattle that offers a close up encounter with a 70 foot waterfall. The hike is less than an hour drive from Seattle, and is very popular on nice weekends, with the large parking lot often filling up before lunch. Of note, while this hike is suitable for children, the last couple hundred feet to reach the waterfall requires descending down a rock ledge that is often wet and a little slippery.Franklin Falls