By Emily Woodbury
What’s one good thing that’s come out of quarantine for me, an avid hiker? I’ve found dozens of trails close to home that I never knew about! I thought I had walked every trail within a walk or short drive from my apartment, but boy, was I wrong. So, other than looking up “trails near Seattle” repeatedly on Google, I found a new, easier trick.
You’ll need Google Maps on your phone (it’s an app for both Apple and Android) for this. If you don’t feel like downloading the app (which I recommend you do for instances when you’re not at home near a computer) you can go to www.google.com/maps.
Once you have the app or are on the website, all you have to do to find nearby walking trails is type “trail” into the search bar. Look at that! Do you see all those trails that just showed up around you? Amazing, huh?
That’s a screenshot of my phone from the Seattle area. But, when you zoom in even closer to an area near your home, you’ll see more trails pop up – like in the photo below.
If you want more information about any of the trails or parks listed, simply tap the little red pin and more information will pop up. A tip: Look at the user photos to see what the trails look like. If you’re looking for a flat, paved trail, it’s good to check the photos first to make sure you’re not getting a hilly wooded dirt trail. And vice versa.
And, lastly, once you’re on the trail (or before, to plan out your route), take out your phone, open the Google Maps app, and zoom way in to the trail’s location. You’ll see the trail outlined in a green dotted line. You can plan out your route, and find an easy way back to your car/trailhead.
And there you have it! Now, go for a walk! It’ll do ya good, I promise. (I’m headed out for mine in about 20 minutes.)