Snowpocalypse 2019 is underway here in King County WA! What started as a cool 6” of snow is turning into a whole lot more. The grocery store shelves are running thin if not cleared out and the lines at Costco are to the frozen aisles. Luckily, your favorite dispensary still has plenty of pot!
It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. If you start feeling a little cabin fever this next week, there’s no better way to cure it than a snow walk! Depending on where you’re located, you can plan on getting outside to enjoy the PNW weather with a nice walk in the snow.
Here’s a few of our favorite cold weather walks!
Bridle Trails State Park:
Located a few minutes north of The Novel Tree, Bridle Trails State Park is a heavily forested 482-acre park with 28 miles of walking & equestrian trails, but no bikes allowed. Called “the wilderness in the city” it has a high-density of trees making it a winter wonderland when Snowpocalpyse hits. There may not be as much snow on these trails because of the trees, but it will provide a very muffled noise experience creating a feeling of whimsy. There is plenty of parking on 116th Ave NE with easy access to the trails although it does require a Discover Pass. Mostly all flat, and dog friendly, this is a great stroll through the snow
5300 116th Ave. N.W., Kirkland, WA 98033
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Bellevue Botanical Garden, located in the middle of Bellevue, is a 53-acre nature sanctuary with beautiful walking trails. It may be closed so make sure to call in advance, but if it stays open this could be an incredible opportunity to explore the snow covered gardens. Make sure to checkout the Lost Meadow Trail- “Stroll a 1/3-mile loop trail through 10 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands that are being restored and enhanced to create native plant communities. See how active forest management can create a refuge for people, plants, and wildlife.
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005
Mercer Slough Nature Park
Don’t miss the Heritage Loop Trail in the Mercer Slough Nature Park. It’s a wildland track in south downtown Bellevue. Don’t expect to rent canoes during snowpocalpyse, but maybe you’ll see some brave souls ice skating (is that legal?!). This park offers 7+ miles of walking trails on 320 acres of wildlife habitat, agriculture, and freshwater wetland ecosystems!
PARKING: As of July 31, 2017, the parking lots at the Winters House and Blueberry Farm are closed due to East Link light rail construction. Access to Mercer Slough Park and the trail system will remain open, and a new temporary parking lot near the South Bellevue Station site is be available for users.
Mercer Slough Website
2102 Bellevue Way SE, Bellevue, WA 98005
Weowna Park Trails
Over in East Bellevue? These are the trails for you! At the eastern end of the Lake to Lake trail, is this 90+ acre open space of old-growths, waterfalls, stream pools, and views of Lake Sammamish. Will the waterfalls be frozen over? If you go, make sure to tell us! Take a hike through the main loop as it winds around Phantom Creek. This ~3 mile walk also features lovely views of the Cascades! Street parking is usually available too.
565 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE, Bellevue, WA 98008
Lake Hills GreenBelt Park
Lake Hills GreenBelt Park trails can actually be connected with the Weowna Park Trails for an even longer snow day walk via the Lake to Lake trail. This city park is about 150 acres with over 3 miles of trails. This park is a wetland corridor with diverse wildlife habitat including forests, wetlands, streams and lakes. The bird watching here is fantastic, and we’re predicting the blueberry patch will look extra magical covered in snow.
15416 SE 16th St, Bellevue, WA 98007
Luther Burbank Park
Looking for a great view of Bellevue covered in snow? Then consider checking out Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. Located on the north eastern tip of Mercer Island, this 77-acre park has 3/4 of a mile of Lake Washington waterfront. The amount of wildlife in this park is surprisingly large & diverse- including 135 species of birds, 50 species of waterfowl, raccoons, beaver, muskrats, tree frogs and rabbits. *Hint* Many of these animals live in the wetlands that occupy the north and south ends of the park. Send us a picture of any you see! The trails are well maintained, largely on the water, and it’s dog friendly- there’s even an off-leash play area! There’s nothing better than watching your companion frolic in the snow!
2040 84th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040
Kirkland Waterfront Parks & Lake Street S
The Kirkland Waterfront is the perfect place for those looking for a snow stroll with slightly more amenities. Either start at Kirkland Marina Park and do a down-and-back walk, or start north or south and direct your walk into the downtown for hot drinks at any one of the fine establishments in downtown Kirkland. You’ll get wonderful views around Lake Washington and easy access to delicious snacks!
Marymoor is about to be OUTRAGEOUS with dogs playing in the snow! That’s mostly why we’re including it on this list. However, Marymoor has great access to the South end of the Sammamish River Trail with a few easy access coffee shops in Redmond to duck into to warm up. The south end of this trail is beautiful and a little more populated than further north, making it another great option similar to the Kirkland Waterfront, just more of an actual trail the entire way.
6046 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy. NE Redmond, WA 98052
Sammamish River Trail
North of Redmond is where the Sammamish River Trail really feels like you’re in nature! Walk on the west side of the river to enjoy more isolated experience, paralleling the Willows Run Golf Course makes it feel extra wild. There’s plenty of parking at 60-Acres Park. From there, head north to Woodinville to feel the wide-open valley. You might even stop at some wineries if any are braving the snowpocalpyse. Someone must have Mulled Wine! There’s nearly no limit to how far you can walk, as this trail will lead you to downtown Seattle even.
15200 NE 116th St, Redmond, WA 98052
Saint Edward State Park
Snow hiking and snow biking?? Saint Edward State Park might be your answer! Located on the Eastern shore of Lake Washington, in Kirkland just south of Kenmore, lies St Edward. The 326-acre park has many miles of hiking and biking trails. This park has a storied history so be sure to take your time, enjoy the snow, and learn about this old seminary. Note* This park was closed on February 6th so be sure to verify before driving to it.
14445 Juanita Drive NE Kenmore, WA 98028
Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens
This is surprisingly easy access from The Novel Tree, although maybe not so much during Snowpocalypse. This 230-acre park features tons of species of wildlife, rare trees, and Japanese gardens (sorry, no onsens or snow monkeys that we know of). From the parking lot, follow the trails out to Foster Island and March Island, sure to be absolutely beautiful in the snow!
The Arboretum provides miles of trails for exploration and contemplation. Arboretum Drive runs the length of the Arboretum from the Graham Visitor Center to the Pacific Connections Gardens. The Lookout Loop and Pinetum Loop provide interpretation of the collections and the history of the site. In late 2017, the new Arboretum Loop Trail will open, which will run along the east side of Lake Washington Boulevard and connect to the north and south ends of Arboretum Drive, completing the loop.
Washington Park Arboretum Website
2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112
Stay safe & stoney out there!