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8 Secret Urban Hikes for Seattle-Area Kids and Families

From woodsy loops to lakeside trails, perfect starter hikes for little kids

Bryony Angell

Published on: May 10, 2023

A mom dressed in running clothes stands along a wooded trail. She is holding the hands of her young toddler who is walking along a large fallen tree as sunlight filters through the woods
Urban hikes for little legs.

City nature walks for little legs

As a mother and nature lover, I was thinking about my son’s outdoor enrichment from the moment he was born. When he turned 3, we started to explore one of the Seattle area’s greatest offerings — hiking!

We started off easy and local, as I wasn’t about to commit to a long drive to the mountains only to find out I had a resistant preschooler on my hands (or in my arms). During those early years, we investigated the wealth of tucked-away wild areas in the Lake Washington region. We discovered some jewels, from very short wetland walks to a nearly 2-mile hike with significant elevation gain. 

What follows are eight local trails which we’ve used as a training ground for later summer hiking in the mountains. These trails are “secret” urban hikes — part of official open space in and around Seattle but not so well-known. Each offers different ecosystems to explore, most are maintained by dedicated neighbors, and each trail varies in distance.

First stop: Kingfisher Natural Area

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