Fabulous Spring Nature Walks and Hikes

  • Sugarloaf Mountain

  • Kubota Garden

  • Catherine Creek

  • Wild Horse Wind Farm

  • McLane Creek

  • Bellevue Botanical Garden

  • Whistle Lake

  • Hoh River

  • Brightwater

  • Goose Rock

  • Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

  • Columbia Hills State Park

  • Lewis Creek Park

  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

  • Lord Hill & Soaring Eagle Regional Parks

  • Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary

  • Paradise Valley Conservation Area

  • Washington Park, Anacortes

  • Rockport State Park

  • Old Sauk River

  • Boulder River Waterfalls

Recent Blog Posts

Teanaway Camping

Teanaway Camping

Last week Gabe was at camp, so I took Annika camping for one night. With the weather taking a turn, I chose the sunny Teanaway for our excursion. We set up at Beverly Campground. This Forest Service campground has less than 20 spots, and felt kind of scruffy, but we got an awesome spot right…Continue Reading

Coal and Independence Lakes Trip Report – 7/15/15

Coal and Independence Lakes Trip Report – 7/15/15

Some friends joined us today for our hike. We’ve been on the search for a good swimming lake, and a friend suggested Independence Lake on the Mountain Loop Highway. On the road up, we stopped at Coal Lake. It’s a pretty little lake that sits right next to the road, with a short path up…Continue Reading

Metolius Camping and Newberry Volcanic Monument

Metolius Camping and Newberry Volcanic Monument

Back in June we had our almost-annual camping trip on the Metolius River near Sisters. We had a smaller family group this time, but we had perfect weather and lots of fun. We took a hike one day along the river trail, from the Gorge Campground up to Camp Sherman. There we all got ice…Continue Reading

Twin Lakes, Cold Creek Trail, 7/8/15

Twin Lakes, Cold Creek Trail, 7/8/15

I had this idea about getting the kids out to a lake to swim and getting away from the heat. I remembered a hike we did several years ago, to Twin Lakes (actually, it’s only one lake…), and thought we’d give it a try. We found the trailhead with little trouble, though the road signs…Continue Reading

Faraway Rock and Reflection Lakes Loop, Mt. Rainier, Trip Report

Faraway Rock and Reflection Lakes Loop, Mt. Rainier, Trip Report

Last week we felt we needed to get out for another big trip to take advantage of abundant sunshine and mountain flowers. We chose Rainier, and I gave the kids a choice about the region to visit. Gabe really wanted to get up to Paradise, so that’s the direction we headed. We stopped for lunch…Continue Reading

Old Sauk River Trail Hike

Old Sauk River Trail Hike

Some trails hold a fond place in our hearts, as we have pleasant memories. Or perhaps the trails are unique and make us feel something special. For me, Old Sauk is like that. Meandering along the Sauk River, this gentle trail leads through mature forest. It feels a lot like old growth, even though it…Continue Reading

Interview with Author Joan Burton

Interview with Author Joan Burton

Whenever people are new to hiking and wonder how to get started or which trails to go on with young children, I recommend the book Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington and the Cascades by Joan Burton, with photos by Ira Spring. I recently had the fortune to sit down with Joan Burton and hear…Continue Reading

Beaver Lake Trail (Mountain Loop Hwy) – 5/29/15

Beaver Lake Trail (Mountain Loop Hwy) – 5/29/15

Winter wrens and Swainson’s thrushes serenaded us as we started our hike this morning. We appreciated the shiny new trailhead for Beaver Lake, as well as the spiffy, clean outhouse. The trail dips slightly then follows an old railroad grade along the Sauk River. It’s shady and brushy at this time of year. The greenery…Continue Reading

Leavenworth Spring Bird Festival

Leavenworth Spring Bird Festival

Birds, sunshine, picturesque mountains in a charming small town – this is what drew me to the Leavenworth Spring Bird Festival earlier in May. I ended up having Annika to myself, as Gabe had plans with a friend for the day. We got an early start and made it to Leavenworth just after 9am for…Continue Reading

Return to Wild Horse – Trip Report, 5/1/15

Return to Wild Horse – Trip Report, 5/1/15

Last week I got a crazy idea in my head that it would be great to bring friends along on more of our adventures. My kids are getting old enough that they are beginning to prefer friends to mom, and I thought it would help with the long drive. I really wanted to go see…Continue Reading

Birding

Juanita Bay Bird Watching

Juanita Bay Bird Watching

Gabriel got to go spend the day with Daddy at work today, learning about what Daddy does and seeing his new office.  Annika and I were on our own, which rarely happens.  What to do?  With some sunbreaks in the forecast, we decided it would be fun to go for a short birding expedition. I…Continue Reading

Lewis Creek Park, Bellevue

Lewis Creek Park, Bellevue

We had the chance last Friday to check out a new park (for us) over in Bellevue.  Lewis Creek Park has about 3 miles of trails on its 55 acres.  It includes wetlands, meadows, and forests. Some of the trails are paved, and some are softer surfaces.  The Visitor Center has some interesting activities and…Continue Reading

Exploring Close to Home

Exploring Close to Home

We’ve hit a lull in our adventuring.  It seems The Holidays and the tasks we’ve had for school have taken most of our energies, and we want to sit at home and veg.  But we’ve made it out to two local parks recently, and I wanted to share our experiences. Lord Hill Regional Park is…Continue Reading