The Puget Sound Regions offers a ton of natural beauty – and a bunch of State Parks are within a short drive from home. Read through the end to see our long list of Seattle-Tacoma State Parks, but before we get into that, we’re going to share our 7 favorite state parks to visit this summer.
Bridle Trails State Park is a park we’ve previously done a somewhat small expose on. To read that and about more Kirkland adventures, click here. Otherwise, this 489-acre day-use park offers an array of activities and is extremely close to Seattle and the Eastside (it’s literally smack-dap between Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond, with easy access to I-405 and I-90).
Unlike some of the other parks on this list, Bridle Trails was designed for equestrians and offers 28-miles of horse trails surrounded by a “horse-friendly culture.” They sport four sports arenas and a “calendar full of horse shows and organize rides.” Because of this, please keep in mind that horses always have the right-of-way on trails.
It probably comes to no surprise that Lake Sammamish State Park is one of our favorite parks, in fact, we’ve already done an expose on the park. Click here or here to read the entire article. But our main highlight for this park is definitely the variety it offers. This 531-acre park offers 6,858 feet of waterfront, 1.5 miles of biking trails, 1.5 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, freshwater fishing, swimming, sports fields, wildlife viewing, and bird watching.
Especially since summer’s coming up – you’re probably interested in the water activities, which include boating, freshwater fishing, kayaking and paddleboard rentals, swimming, waterskiing, and personal watercraft use with launch areas.
Squak Mountain State Park sits between Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and Tiger Mountain State Forest – both of which are amazing places on their own. While all three mountains offer their own brand of challenging mountainscape to traverse, Squak Mountain is great for the “everyday” hiker, as the trek from base to summit isn’t especially long, only 13 miles, and the mountain offers a mix of both flat and steep portions of the trail. Plus, you can bring your horse and enjoy 6 miles of designated equestrian trail.
Breathtakingly beautiful, Olallie State Park offers scenic journeys through the Pacific Northwest mountainscape. Along the western slopes of the cascades, this park is only 45 minutes from Seattle and an easy, one-day adventure. Easy to moderate trails lead to the two main waterfalls, Twin Falls and Weeks Falls, but you’ll also find lesser known, smaller, and less crowded falls along the trail, too.
Though Olallie State Park only offers about 6 miles of hiking trail and 20 miles of mountain bike trails, long-distance mountaineers and cyclists can reach the Palouse to Cascades Trail from the Cedar Falls trailhead, making it an amazing option for families and trainees.
Olallie State Park sprawls across 2,329 acres, with excellent fishing options on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River, challenging cliffsides for rock climbing/bouldering, and wildlife viewing.
Abound with 541 acres of pure Pacific Northwest leisure, the Kanaskat-Palmer State Park sits on a low, forested plateau, with 2 miles of shoreline on the Green River. Perfect for daytrips for weekend getaways, they offer 3 miles of biking trails, 3 miles of hiking trails, freshwater fishing, swimming, white-water boating, and other exploratory activities.
Gorgeous water, gentle trails, and sprawling lawns offers the perfect place for individuals and families to enjoy and soak-up the summertime sunshine. With 25 tent spaces, 19 partial hookups, and 6 yurts, you can make an enjoyable afternoon into a weekend of fun and leisure!
Last, but mostly definitely not least, Lake Easton State Park offers the most varied activities list on this compilation. They offer the usual, such as, camping, hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, freshwater fishing, boating, swimming, personal watercrafting, sports courts, lawn activities, and wildlife viewing; but they also offer more localized activities, including cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and other snow-play recreational opportunities.
With 697 acres, including 24,000 feet of freshwater access on the shores of Lake Easton, this park has plenty of room to explore the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
That completes our list of top State Parks in the Seattle-Tacoma region, but don’t think this list is the be-all, end-all of Washington State Parks – not even by a longshot. We’ve included the long-list we previously promised you below, but be sure to check out their website to see the complete list of Washington State Parks.
Here’s the long-list we promised you:
- Saint Edward
- Bridle Trails
- Lake Sammamish
- Squak Mountain
- Palouse to Cascades Trail
- Lake Easton
- Federation Forest
- Flaming Geyser
- Dash Point
- Penrose Point
- Blake Island
What are your favorite state parks in the area? Let us know in the comments below what you’re favorite parks are – we’d love to hear about them!
Related Blog Posts & Further Reading:
- 10 Breathtaking Washington Islands
- 5 Washington Zoos & Aquariums
- Check Out These Top 9 Mountain Towns to Visit!
- The 4 Destinations of Seattle-Docked Ferries!
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