Seattle’s stunning parks have earned it the ‘‘Emerald City’’ nickname. At Discovery Park, windswept beaches and bluffs will make you feel like you’ve left the city far behind. Visit the Washington Park Arboretum for trails that wend through groves of massive evergreen trees. Old growth forests lend a deep green canopy and far-away feeling to Seward Park, a peninsula with hiking trails and beaches.
At the city’s centre is the U-shaped Lake Union, a hub of outdoor recreation. Set sail at the Center for Wooden Boats, which hosts free sail and motorboat trips on Sundays aboard historic wooden vessels. Or rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard at the Northwest Outdoor Center and explore the lake, paddling past houseboats and views of the Space Needle.
The city’s Burke-Gilman Trail is a premier multi-use path on a converted rail line. It’s meant for everyone – from joggers to skateboarders – but is especially ideal for cycling. Rent a bike at Recycled Cycles to make the most of this paved 43km path.
1987: The year that Seattle police force began using bicycles, the first in the US.
Seattle is a sport-lover’s paradise, with major league teams regularly bringing home trophies. The city’s American football team, the Seattle Seahawks, and men’s soccer club, Seattle Sounders, play under the prominent white arches of CenturyLink Field, while the Seattle Mariners baseball team plays next door at T-Mobile Park. The punnily named Reign FC wows crowds with the skills that make US women’s soccer so internationally successful. Catch them at Cheney Stadium in nearby Tacoma. And the championship-winning Seattle Storm women’s basketball team currently splits its home games between Angel of the Winds Arena in nearby Everett and the Alaska Airlines Arena which is located on the University of Washington campus.
Q&A with Jill Simmons, executive director of the Washington Trails Association
Where in Seattle should outdoor enthusiasts go?
The city has many gorgeous parks and green spaces to explore. My favourites are Discovery Park, Seward Park and Lincoln Park, which are all accessible by bus. Seattle’s also within a day’s drive of three stunning national parks – Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades – which offer world-class scenery and hiking. If you want to explore the mountains just outside Seattle, Trailhead Direct will take you from downtown Seattle in the summer months.
How can we find the best trails in the area?
Seattle has a few very popular trails, but I wish more people knew there are so many other trails and green spaces to explore. I suggest checking out our Hike Finder Map at wta.org or downloading the free Trailblazer app to find the trail that fits your interests and ability level.
Singapore Airlines now flies direct to Seattle thrice weekly. For more info and to book a flight, visit singaporeairlines.com.
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This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine