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Explore Masterpieces of Nature on Scenic Washington Trails

The Coulee in eastern Washington were painted by outbursts of Lake Missoula in the last ice age leaving beautiful remnants behind. The awe inspiring crisscross pattern of channels cut in to bedrock can be seen when hiking the above ground Lake Lenore Caves. Spend the afternoon exploring the scenic mile and a half trail for a firsthand look at one of the most marvelous geographic formations in Washington.

For up-close views of the sea-side coupled with whiffs of evergreens the Burke-Gilman Trail is a recreational trail spanning 20-miles from Shilshole Bay in Seattle to the city of Bothwell. A paved trail housed in what was once a railway corridor, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a favorite for hikers, bikers and runners.

If mountain views are what you are after head to Oyster Dome Trail located just south of Bellingham for a six-mile hike through the Chuckanut Mountains. At the precipice enjoy commanding vistas of the San Juan Islands, Olympic Mountain, and Bellingham Bay.

Burke-Gilman Sammamish Trail

The Burke-Gilman Sammamish Trail is a wonderful trail along the Sammamish River in the northern Seattle area. This multi-use trail stretches twenty-seven miles along the historic Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern (SLS&E) Railway line. Recreational enthusiasts can walk, run, bicycle and skate on the trail through many Seattle neighborhoods, parks and sites.

The trail runs through Ballard, Fremont, Northlake, Lake City, the University District, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, Woodinville and Redmond. Many bicyclists ride along portions of the trail as a part of the 90 miles of dedicated bicycle routes in Seattle.

Lake Lenore Caves

An estimated 12,000 years ago, the Lake Lenore Caves were carved out of the Washington Cascades by a flood of melting ice. Today, they serve as an ideal getaway for residents and visitors of the Ephrata area – conveniently located just 20 minutes north of the city.

The Lake Lenore exit on Washington State Route 17 leads visitors straight to the trail parking lot. There visitors find history and information about the Grand Coulee area before embarking on well-maintained trails leading to seven separate caves. Once serving as shelter for prehistoric man, the Lake Lenore Caves are the perfect way to get a sense of early human life.

Oyster Dome Trail

The Oyster Dome Trail, located south of Bellingham, encompasses over six miles through the Chuckanuts Mountains. Hikers along this maintained trail can reach the summit of Oyster Dome, a natural landmark, after 6.5 miles.

Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains, the Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. This Puget Sound area trail climbs an elevation of 1,900 feet, reaching an elevation of 2,025 feet at the summit. After approximately two miles of hiking, take a minute to admire the incredible views from the Samish Overlook.

Centennial Trail State Park

Get set for an outdoor adventure when you visit Spokane – be sure to explore the Spokane River Centennial Trail at the Centennial Trail State Park. At 37.5 miles long, the Centennial Trail, as many of the locals call it, reaches all the way from Sontag Park to the Washington-Idaho border.

As you get set to explore the Spokane River Centennial Trail, you'll want to plan for cycling, walking, jogging, and even Segways. Enjoy stunning views of the Spokane River as you walk, jog, or bike the trail.

With most sections of the Spokane River Centennial Trail built between 1989 and 1991, the Centennial part of the name is due, in part, as a celebration of Washington's centennial year. As you hit the end, the trail connects to the North Idaho Centennial Trail.