January and February days in Washington state may look like some of the least inviting when it comes to traipsing outside.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the fresh air and beauty of our state in the winter, even amidst the constant cloud cover and chilly sprinkles. Here are some ways to stay warm, get exercise, and get outside this winter.
While many trails are closed off during winter months due to snowfall, there are still beautiful hikes you can do around the state that will get you outside and into the evergreen beauty of Washington. Preparation is all that’s needed to stay warm, from waterproof shoes and jackets to hand warmers and gloves that can keep you toasty in cold, wet weather. Check out hikes like Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park in King County, the Grand Forest on Bainbridge Island, or Whipple Creek Regional Park in Vancouver.
On particularly cold days, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your car seat warmers to enjoy the natural beauty of Washington. Take a ferry ride on one of the many boats around the Puget Sound and discover the glittering waters and mountain views. Drive through islands like Whidbey or Bainbridge or traverse up the Olympic Peninsula to small towns like Friday Harbor or Port Townsend.
When the Cascade mountains get snow, the only thing stopping you from a good time are some winter tires and chains that can withstand the pass. Skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing are all popular activities for the Cascades. Try some of these hikes along the Pacific Ring of Fire, giving you stunning views of the surrounding mountains covered in snowy blankets. Head down the mountain to a small mountain town nearby, like Leavenworth, where you can warm up with hot chocolate and a local meal.
From the Burke Gilman to the Centennial Trail to the Sammamish River Trail, there are dozens of paved pathways hundreds of miles long that are great for everything from a bike ride to a run to a long walk. The great news is they’re not far from your suburban home, and you can start and stop at any point along them. They can even help you explore a new area of the city and introduce you to your new favorite restaurant or coffee shop!
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