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Stroller Friendly Trails

Is your newest hiker still in the stroller stage? Don't let that stop you! There are lots of stroller-friendly trails all around Washington, from paved to more rugged dirt trails. And many of these are just long enough to keep older brothers and sisters entertained as well.

Is your newest hiker still in the stroller stage? Don't let that stop you. There are lots of stroller-friendly trails all around Washington, from paved to more rugged dirt trails. And many of these are just long enough to keep older brothers and sisters entertained as well.

The paved trails around the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center are perfect for a stroller. Photo by Frederick Stapenhurst. 

This list is just a sampling. If you want to find your own stroller friendly spot, take a look around a state, local or county park. Another helpful resource is Accessible Trails in Washington's Backcountry: A Guide to 85 Outings. Though it's geared towards hikers with wheelchairs, it's a great resource for families with strollers looking for inspiration.

Be sure your stroller can handle the trail! We included tread type in the hikes listed below, but if you're curious about another trail, you may want to double check with the closest ranger station or land manager.

Southwest Washington

Castle Rock Riverfront Trail

Location: Lewis River Region
: 3.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: paved

Castle Rock by Anna Roth.jpegLooking upriver at Castle Rock. Photo by Anna Roth.

For a delightful riverfront walk with plenty of diversions along the way, consider the Castle Rock Riverfront Trail. A steep side trip takes you up the trail's namesake -- Castle Rock, while a small skate park, bike park, and picnic area dot the trail.

> Plan your visit to the Castle Rock Riverfront Trail

Multnomah Falls

Location: Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
: 1.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: paved to gravel

Multnomah Falls. Photo courtesy WTA community.

Iconic Multnomah Falls is perhaps the most popular location on either side of the Columbia River Gorge. Luckily, a paved trail near the visitors area makes it accessible for strollers. Families with kids of varying ages and abilities can explore further on the more rugged trails above Benson Bridge.

Note: Many trails in this area remain closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire. Multnomah Falls and the viewing area are open, but the nearby trail that climbs to the top of the falls remains closed. 

> Plan your visit to Multnomah Falls

Olympic Peninsula

Marymere Falls

Location: Northern Coast
: 1.8 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Tread Type: paved to gravel

Marymere Falls by DraxPlunkett.jpeg
Marymere Falls. Photo by DraxPlunkett.

Many waterfalls are accessible to the stroller crowd, particularly on the Olympic Peninsula. This nearly two-mile paved trail offers both an upper and lower observation platform, and access to the also accessible Moments in Time Interpretive Trail near the Storm King Ranger Station.

> Plan your visit to Marymere Falls

Want more? Don't miss Madison Falls near the Elwha Ranger Station.

Quinault Rainforest Nature Loop

Location: Pacific Coast
: 0.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 40 feet
Tread Type: gravel and packed dirt

Quinault National Recreation Trails.jpegPhoto by Rachel Wendling.

While the whole trail isn't accessible to strollers, the first section is, and carrying your little one through the rest of the loop is an option, since it's only a half-mile long. Plus, the giant trees of Olympic National Park are something your child will remember for quite a while.

> Plan your visit to the Quinault Rainforest Nature Loop

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Olympia
Distance: 5.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: gravel to boardwalk

Nisqually National Wildlife by AmyK.jpegThe boardwalk at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by AmyK.

The National Wildlife Refuge at Nisqually is a simply gorgeous trail just a few miles off of I-5, making it an ideal stop during a trip if you have wiggly little ones, and it's close enough to Tacoma or Olympia to be worth a trip in and of itself. A spot where migratory birds congregate and the boardwalk is fascinating for little ones whether the tide is in or out, be sure to stop here.

> Plan your trip to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Central Cascades

Gold Creek Pond

Location: Snoqualmie Pass
: 1.0 mile, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 10 feet
Tread type: paved

Gold Creek Pond by Mike.jpegGold Creek Pond is a ADA-accessible as well as stroller-friendly. Photo by Mike.

Touring around Gold Creek Pond gives you the best vista per mile ratio with nearly none of the elevation gain you'll find on other hikes in the Snoqualmie Corridor. Right from the parking lot, snowy peaks provide a backdrop to a large pond ringed by a well-maintained paved path. While there's no swimming or fishing here, you'll feel refreshed after this short stroll. Bring a picnic, there's a lovely resting area near the beginning of the loop.

> Plan your trip to Gold Creek Pond

Iron Goat Trail

Location: Stevens Pass
: 6.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
Tread Type: barrier-free gravel

Iron Goat Trail by RacingSnail.jpegCrossing a wetland on the Iron Goat Trail. Photo by RacingSnail.

Take a trip back in time on the Iron Goat Trail, a historic railroad route in the Central Cascades near Stevens Pass. The first three miles are ADA-accessible, then the trail becomes more rugged. Take note -- there's plenty of snow here in the winter, so you may want to save this in your Backpack as a summer trip.

> Plan your visit to the Iron Goat Trail

Also check out the nearby Deception Falls trail for a rollicking waterfall cascading down on the other side of the highway.

Puget Sound

Tommy Thompson Trail

Location: Anacortes
: 6.6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: boardwalk

Tommy Thompson Trail by Mike Morrison.jpegTommy Thompson Trail and Trestle. Photo by Mike Morrison.

It's rare that you get the chance to walk along an old railroad trestle safely. But the Tommy Thompson Trail in Anacortes offers views of the North Cascades and Puget Sound from the well-developed boardwalk, all with high handrails to keep little ones safely on trail. Plus, with access points in town, you're only steps away from snacks and a hot drink at the end of your hike.

>Plan your visit to the Tommy Thompson Trail

North Cascades

Old Sauk ADA Loop

Location: Mountain Loop Highway
: 1.0 mile, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Tread Type: gravel, hard packed dirt

Old Sauk Trail by Jon Lee.jpeg

A newly developed trail takes you along the mighty Sauk River and through giant trees -- a captivating location in any season. If one mile isn't enough exploring, you can start at the trailhead near the Clear Creek Campground and do a thru-hike to Murphy Creek. This is three miles one way.

> Plan your visit to the Old Sauk ADA Loop

Picture Lake

Location: Mount Baker Area
: 0.5 miles
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: hard packed dirt

Picture Lake by EvocativeApe.jpegThis is a very beautiful area of the Mt. Baker Wilderness to explore and even in the winter months can be exhilarating to view. Photo by Evocative Ape.

Share one of the best views in the North Cascades with even the very youngest of adventurers. Picturesque Mount Shuksan looms over all on this stunning, short hike in the popular Artist Point area of Mount Baker. There's plenty of parking and picnicking opportunities as well.

> Plan your visit to Picture Lake

Near Picture Lake is the popular Fire and Ice trail -- where you can find snow nearly all year round as well as scenic mountain views.

Eastern Washington

McDowell Marsh Environmental Education Trail

Location: Selkirk Range
: 1.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: boardwalk

McDowell Marsh by Dan Price.jpegThe boardwalk and newly installed interpretive signs at McDowell Marsh are a nice diversion for new hikers. Photo by Dan Price.

This educational trail is a great place for families of mixed ages and abilities to have a fun, educational outing. With brand new interpretive signs, and an observation blind, kids and adults alike can see wildlife in a natural setting without disturbing the environment.

> Plan your visit to McDowell Marsh Environmental Education Trail

Columbia Plateau Trail

Location: Potholes Region
: 143 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain: minimal
Tread Type: varies, mostly gravel

Columbia Plateau Trail by Mary Weathers.jpegEast of Fish Lake. Photo by Mary Weathers.

Pick your own adventure on this 143-mile stretch of reclaimed railroad that extends from Spokane to Pasco. Though most accessible at the Cheney Trailhead, this railroad trail includes an ADA-Accessible section through the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.

> Plan your visit to the Columbia Plateau Trail