Much of the state is covered with dense forests of pine, but tucked away are some unique forests worth the visit.
- Rainier National Park, Grove of Patriarchs: This 1.5-mile roundtrip trail winds through old growth forest. The path is lined with towering western hemlock, Douglas firs and red cedar trees. Take this easy, magical family friendly hike.
- Capitol State Forest, Olympia: The forest encompasses 110,000 acres and is a great spot for outdoor activities. Horseback riding and mountain biking are popular here. There are 150 miles of trails for hiking and biking as well as for motorized vehicles. Hike to Capitol Peak for views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. Adams and the Olympic Mountains.
- Seward Park, Seattle: Staying close to Seattle? Seward Park offers 300 acres of forest land. Stroll through old growth forest. Spy eagle’s nests. Enjoy the 2.4-mile bike or hiking path. The park is situated on Bailey Peninsula on Lake Washington, so enjoy a stroll along the shoreline.
- Hall of Mosses and the Spruce Nature Trail, Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic Peninsula: The Hoh Rainforest gets about 12-14 feet of rain each year. The temperate climate and ample rainfall are the perfect combination for creating this dense rainforest. The Hall of Mosses Trail (.8 miles) or the Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles) wind through the forest, close to the Visitors Center. The forest is home to Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock, Washington’s Official State Tree. Some tower over 300 feet and are covered In lush green moss. The Hoh ecosystem has remained unchanged for 1000’s of years. Tread lightly. Visit when it is raining! The fog and rain highlight the vibrant green mosses.
- Ginkgo Petrified Forest, Wanapum Recreational Area: If you are heading east on I-90, stop by Ginkgo Petrified Forest. This forest is part of the Wanapum Recreational Area, a public recreation area and geologic preserve. This 7,000+ acre park has a number of species of petrified trees. Stop by the Gingko Petrified Forest Interpretive Center for information on this fascinating area and how it was formed.
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Photo Credit: Mike Gurling