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When you're ready to roll, try one of these stroller walks

Whether you go for the exercise, or just to get out of the house, pushing your baby in a stroller is a time-honored activity that's good for both of you.

Going for a stroller walk can be as simple as walking out the front door. But not every neighborhood is stroller-friendly, and -- let's face it -- sometimes you just want a change of scene.

We asked ParentMap staff and friends for some of the best local stroller routes. Next time you and baby are ready to roll, try one of these.


Kirkland waterfront. Begin in downtown Kirkland, and stroll along Lake Street which turns into Lake Washington Boulevard. A level sidewalk follows the lakeshore for several miles. You'll pass by shops and restaurants, waterfront parks and posh condos. The biggest downside of this stroll is its popularity, particularly on a sunny weekend. Hungry? You'll find a number of restaurants and coffee shops along the way.

Lakemont Boulevard S.E., Bellevue (between S.E. 63rd and Newport Way). Not for the out-of-shape, Lakemont is one of those streets with a long and steep slope that gets closed in the winter because of ice and snow. It's flanked by a sidewalk, though, and if you make it even part way up and down, you'll get a good workout. Make a stop at the Lakemont Shopping Center to relax and refuel.

Newcastle Park, 4400 Lake Washington Blvd. S.E., Bellevue. A paved trail makes a loop around the periphery of this Lake Washington waterfront park. It's a great place for strollers -- and for kids on trikes. The trail is not a long one, however, and is best for a casual stroll, rather than a workout. There is a 3/4-mile nature trail, as well, but it's not stroller-friendly, and a playground.

Redmond Town Center, 16495 N.E. 74th St., Redmond. Enjoy the paved paths that go around the perimeter of this shopping area. It's also easy to connect with the nearby Sammamish River Trail. Redmond Town Center has a number of amenities, including a fountain that's a popular splash spot for tots on hot summer days, the Redmond Saturday Market (9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, May 1-Oct. 30) and lots of places to grab a bite to eat.


Alki Beach. The approximately three-mile stretch between Harbor Avenue and Beach Drive has a paved pathway, with one lane for walkers and another for bikers and in-line skaters. Keep your eyes toward the water, and you may see a family of seals. Enjoy the fragrant sea smells and views of the city skyline. Across the street, there are plenty of sandwich and coffee shops to sample if you've worked up an appetite.

Discovery Park, 3801 W. Government Way. A paved loop trail, just under three miles, is wide enough for baby joggers, but a bit too curvy for a regular stroller. It goes through a forest, winds around some wild blackberry, offers a vista with a view of the Olympics, and a stretch that parallels the sand. Pause here, and you'll see ferries come and go across Puget Sound. Kids who are already walking can enjoy some beach play.

Downtown waterfront. Hey, it's not just for tourists. You can start at the Pike Place Market and take the elevator at Lenora down to the waterfront. Or begin at Myrtle Edwards Park (3130 Alaskan Way W.) and head south. There's always a lot of boat activity to enjoy, along with the tourists, and the stretch near Myrtle Edwards tends not to be very crowded. As you get closer to some of the waterfront attractions -- such as the Seattle Aquarium -- the crowd will pick up. Go with the flow, or stop for an ice cream before turning around and heading back.

Green Lake, E. Green Lake Dr. N. and W. Green Lake Dr. N. If you haven't been here, you've missed one of Seattle's gems. A three-mile paved path follows the shoreline of this small, urban lake. At the east entrance to Green Lake, you'll find a large, popular playground. All around is plenty of grass for impromptu picnics. If you're here on a hot day, don't miss the large wading pool.

Queen Anne. Here's a great walk in an urban neighborhood -- about 21/2 miles total. Start at Queen Anne Avenue and Boston Street. Walk down Queen Anne Avenue toward the city. Turn right on Highland and hook up with 8th Avenue W., which will take you by some wonderful homes and offer you views of the Olympics. At Galer, turn right and return to Queen Anne Avenue. Stop at the Macrina Bakery for a snack or sample one of the local coffee shops or juice bars.™

A stroller workout

Interested in a real stroller workout? That's the specialty of Stroller Strides, an exercise program that includes power walking and body toning. Classes are offered at several Eastside locations. For information, contact Becky Soliday at 888-489-6844, or 2BeFit@strollerstrides.net, or www.strollerstrides.net/seattle.

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