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Best Spring Hikes in the Seattle Area for Kids and Families

Kid-friendly trails with indoor learning spots that are perfect for cool or rainy days

Published on: March 01, 2019

Best Spring Hikes in the Seattle Area for Kids and Families

Jennifer Johnson

Brightwater Center, Woodinville

You might think a wastewater treatment plant in Woodinvlle wouldn’t be a pleasant place to hike, but King County designed the space surrounding Brightwater Center for recreation, wildlife and education. There are open areas, ponds, streams and forest to attract wildlife and humans.

Favorite trails: There are three miles of hiking trails on the 70-acre site. You can choose from a couple of short loops on varied terrain and good surfaces. Make sure to stop and visit one of the ponds while you are there.

Indoor options: At the Brighwater campus, kids and adults can learn all about our water system – where our water comes from, how we use and waste it, and how our wastewater is treated. There are interactive exhibits for all ages.

Extras: You’ll see lots of interesting and engaging art on the Brightwater campus, such as glass microbes and industrial pipes in the shapes of tree branches. You can also participate in educational events and walks throughout the year. Kids ages nine and older and adults can take a tour of the treatment plant. Bainbridge Island's Islandwood offers popular family programs and summer camps at Brightwater.

Logistics: The grounds and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily. The Center is open from Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. It's also open one Saturday a month for tours and other events. You can get driving directions and print out trail maps from the website.

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