Itching to get out of the house? These outdoor destinations offer a much-needed dose of nature, without serious elevation gain or difficult terrain. Perfect for a quick outing without the crowds.  

Squires Lake Trail  

Located off Highway 99, only a short drive from central Bellingham, Squires Lake gets you out into nature with little time in the car. The quick, two-mile trail starts with a few moderately-graded switchbacks, gaining around 300 feet. Once you’re on level ground, you can take the loop clockwise or counterclockwise around the charming lake. With plenty of offshoot trails leading up to a ridge that connects to the Pacific Northwest Trail — which will ultimately lead you to Glacier National Park — you can make your outing as short or long as you’d like. The trail is also perfect for pooches. 

Kiket Trail at Kukutali Preserve  

This flat, 2.2-mile loop near La Conner is perfect for a quick afternoon outing before the sun goes down. After walking along the main Kiket Trail, choose from three different paths. The North Trail requires a slight gain in elevation, but a view of Deception Pass Bridge makes it worthwhile. The other trails — the Kiket Trail and South Trail — are both relatively flat. All paths lead to a grassy area perfect for picnics, and then to a small point where you can walk by the water, dig around in the rocks, or read interpretive signs about the area’s history. Enjoy views of nearby Hope, Fidalgo, and Skagit Islands before taking a different path back to the parking lot. Dogs are not allowed.   

Rockport State Park  

Choose your own adventure at this park located directly off Highway 20, just a few miles beyond the town of Concrete. Multiple trail options plus low shoulder-season traffic mean you’re likely to have the trail to yourself. Stay on the north side of the highway for views of giant old-growth trees, some more than 250 feet tall, or meander across the highway to the Skagit View Trail, which offers peek-a-boo views of the Skagit River and surrounding mountains. There’s also a mile of ADA-accessible trail, with interpretive signs along the way. 

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