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The Best Hikes for Kids Who Hate to Hike

Entice reluctant kids out on a hike with Seattle-area trails that feature a “prize”

Published on: July 17, 2023

The Best Hikes for Kids Who Hate to Hike

late afternoon sun at Meadowdale beach in Lynnwood near Seattle hikes for families with a prize at the end
Meadowdale Beach. Credit: Nancy Chaney

6. Meadowdale Beach Park

Editor’s note: A restoration project began in 2021 and will continue through the summer of 2023. Public access to the beach has opened as of January 7, 2023, with remaining park construction occurring in a fenced-off area of the park. 

The prize: A ravine and a surprise saltwater beach; also, a relatively short drive to the trailhead

The hike: Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds is a popular local destination for families. What starts as a wide dirt trail descends sharply into Lunds Gulch, eventually leveling out along a creek and providing an environment similar to many woodsy Northwest walks. The trail then emerges from the woods, skirts a swale and darts under a new train bridge. Follow the creek to duck under the bridge and you'll be greeted by a wide stretch of Puget Sound beach with amazing views. Parents will appreciate the deep shade of the mature forest along most of this hike, kids will love dipping their toes in the water and frolicking on the open stretch of beach. Be sure to save some energy for the climb back up to the parking lot.

Details: 2.5 miles round trip, 400 feet elevation gain; no parking permit required

Can you convince your crew that hiking is fun?

Editor’s note: This article was originally published a few years ago and updated for 2023.

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