One of the great things about Seattle is our prime location. We’re set along the beautiful Puget Sound and Lake Washington, only a few hours from the Pacific coast, and close to many areas for hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing, kayaking and camping. These state parks are only about an hour drive from the city or less, and perfect if you feel like getting out but don’t want to travel far.
1. Dash Point State Park
Dash Point sits on the shores of Puget Sound between Federal Way and Tacoma. The park has a huge campground, miles of several trails for hikers to spend the day wandering, and sandy beach you can explore at low tide.
2. Saint Edward State Park
Saint Edward differs from most state parks because it used to serve as a Catholic seminary. Now open to the public, it’s only a half hour drive from the city near Kirkland and Kenmore, with hiking/biking trails, picnic areas, a playground, incredible architecture and sandy beach on the shores of Lake Washington.
Aside from the main seminary building, you can also see this enchanting Grotto stone sanctuary in the park. The garden alcove was once used for prayers and meditation, but can now be rented for private events like weddings and memorial services, accommodating up to 120 guests at a time. (Get more details here.)
3. Saltwater State Park
Saltwater State Park has beautiful Puget Sound beachfront about half-way between Seattle and Tacoma, not far from the Sea-Tac Airport. On top of beach access the park also has miles of walking trails, tide pools and a decent sized campground.
4. Lake Sammamish State Park
For peace and quiet on the Eastside, make your way down to Lake Sammamish State Park on the south end of the water. You can relax by the beach, play volleyball, lay out in the grassy area for a picnic, or just follow the easygoing, paved trail for hiking & biking.
5. Kanaskat-Palmer State Park
Nestled in the woods along the Green River, Kanaskat-Palmer State Park offers a remote place to go camping, fishing, kayaking, picnicking, or just for a short hike. It’s about an hour drive from Seattle, set in the small town of Ravensdale west of Maple Valley. They also have heated yurts available for a more unique camping experience.
6. Bridle Trails State Park
Bridle Trails is an urban oasis in Kirkland with great hiking and horseback riding trails. The park is almost completely wooded, with 28 miles of various routes you can take all year.
And because these are Washington State Parks, you’re going to need a Discover Pass for parking. You can find more info about that here.