Little Hiker Friendly Trails Near Seattle

A friend asked me for some ‘stroller friendly hikes’ in the area to make the most of the waning days of summer. I never hiked with a stroller but have logged a lot of miles with my littles in wraps, packs and side by side over the last 6+ years. What follows would be good for new hikers with shorter legs, those with waning gumption in the face of elevation or just looking to get out versus something more taxing. I’ll keep adding to this and please put more in the comments too. WTA is a my go-to for information (and donate if you can!), Hike it Baby (find your local group, donate if you can!) is awesome for support, tips and meet ups and I have found the book 60 Hikes within 60 Miles-Seattle a good resource.

Stroller Friendly Hike Ideas (last updated 5/21)

A mix of multi-use trail, board walks, flat and wide trails and some that others have noted to be stroller friendly. Some require a Discovery Pass or NW Forest Pass/National Parks Pass but many are ‘no charge’ as they are part of county trail systems, city trail/parks etc.  

Near/Seattle:

  • Lincoln Park: park down by Fauntleroy Ferry and enjoy the waterfront. You can also hike in the upper wooded park part and drop down to the waterfront path but some of the options have stairs so not fully ‘stroller friendly’
  • Discovery Park
  • Arboretum
  • Magnolia Bluff 
  • Schmitz Preserve Park (West Seattle) – no formal parking lot (just street) but easy/flat/wide trails and small creek etc to keep it interesting 
  • Dead Horse Canyon (near your old house), also called Lakeridge Park
  • Highline Botanical Gardens

Near/I-405

  • Kirkland Waterfront Park
  • Redmond Watershed Preserve – one of our favorite locations. Several loop options.
  • Coal Creek Trail – many starting points
  • Evan’s Creek Preserve – park and start at lower trail, lots of trail options. The upper trailhead might be harder with a stroller to start

Near/I-90

  • Bellevue Botanical Garden- lots of variety in terms of landscaping, flora etc
  • Mercer Slough Natural Area: loop trails and several parking areas. We like parking at Visitor/Education Center and doing Bellefield Loop and Heritage Loop.
  • Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary
  • Tradition Lake loop – several loop trails and flat, stroller friendly with some interesting things to find and see along the way
  • Franklin Falls: maybe part is stroller friendly but it is not far, easy path, some incline, also pretty heavily traveled
  • Ashahel Curtis Nature trail: not far at all so just let him walk and read the interpretive signs along the way. It is beautiful, large parking lot and
  • Gold Creek Pond
  • Pioneer Park in Mercer Island – it is not one of my favorites (just nothing all that interesting) but it is close. Watch for stinging nettles.
  • Meadowbrook Farm – its not bad but wouldn’t necessarily recommend, it was a bit boring and the stroller part is basically a side walk. There was when we went a herd of elk but you couldn’t see them from the stroller-accessible part
  • Iron Horse Trail/John Wayne Trail Train tunnel – intersting and doable with a stroller but the tunnel is 2+ miles long so it is dark, a bit creepy (if you let it get to you or watch too much TV) and for a short bit you can not see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ (again just don’t get all cerebral about that). A fair amount of people use it (bikes, hikers). Bring lots of flashlights/head lamps. It also is cooler in there, a little damp so nice for hot days or late starts but do bring a jacket or layer.
  • Snoqualmie Valley Trail: it’s 30 miles long of mixed use. Lots of sections to try. We love the Tokul train trestle and short tunnel. Park at NE 60th and Tokul Rd in Snoqualmie and head west on trail about a mile. Wide, flat well maintained.

Near/I-5

  • Rhododendron Botanical Garden: You do need to pay a small admission but it is lovely (at all times of year, even if no flowers) and lots of paths to follow. https://rhodygarden.org/ 
  • Dash Point State Park: probably not stroller friendly but it is a great park and you can also walk and play down in the water
  • Soos Creek Trail: multi-use paved trail, several places to park and enter
  • Maple Valley Gnome Trail: little gnomes fill a section of trails, big parking lot, lots of trails that link

Less Near

  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (we love this place!), mostly boardwalks through wetland/tide flats
  • Sequalitchew Creek Trail in Dupont: easy parking, partially paved then crushed gravel. There is a short train tunnel, estuary and rocky beach at the end.
  • Federation Forest
  • Little Mashell Falls: Middle and Lower falls have maintained access trails, due the Middle one first its the most impressive and less steep to get to than Lower. Upper trail is not maintained but not completely impassable, the falls are smaller. Start from Bud Blanchard (a few other places to enter along that side)
  • Ebey’s Landing
  • Deception Pass State Park: so many trails and each section is really different
    • Bowman Bay, Lighthouse Point (just hold hands on the bluffs, go down to tide pools if water is out)
    • Rosales Beach 
    • West Beach – sand dunes interpretive trail. So beautiful, unique, 850 yo Douglas fir, beach with beautiful round rocks and sands and waves
    • North Beach more protected but still awesome rocks, sand, can get there through the ampitheater if road is closed
  • Iron Goat Trail: we haven’t visited yet but it is an old rail way bed and WTA notes other have used a stroller
  • Dungeness Spit in Sequim: stroller friendly but know the last section down to water is pretty steep so I would roll the stroller down as you would have to just push right back up. Just walk it and then wander along the spit/beach/sand etc.
  • Tolmie State Park: several loops, not stroller friendly but easy, with some interest and a rocky beach access area
  • Iverson Spit: has a ‘hobbit trail’
  • Twanoh State Park
  • Staircase Rapids
  • Anacortes
    • Tommy Thompson Trail
    • Whistle Lake- there are a lot of trails in this community forest, for stroller friendly chose trail #237 which goes straight there

There are also so many options up in the North Cascades, down south in the Columbia Gorge (but a lot of that area is closed due to covid) and further out on the Peninsula and ONP. I will need to come back and create a new section!

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