Stress Strolling

Where to Walk to Escape Election Jitters

Steal a page—but just this one—from the Hillary 2016 playbook.

By Allison Williams November 5, 2020

Wait, do we call this doom-strolling? are your nerves this week? It's hard not to think of Hillary Clinton's response to the 2016 election—she and Bill gathered their dogs for a walk in the woods the day after she lost. Before this rollercoaster of a vote has even been fully counted, it's already clear that the calming stroll is the only part of this election era that should become tradition. Fortunately, Seattle boasts a plethora of November-ready city trails.

Washington Park Arboretum

The 230 acres of university property on the shores of Lake Washington are so chock full of plant life—some native, some rare—there's plenty to fill a walker's attention span. The Japanese Garden on the south end requires an entrance fee, but the rest of the three-and-a-half mile loop is fully free and dog friendly.

Kubota Garden

South Seattle's gem of a botanic wonderland is dotted with ponds and manicured hedges, celebrating Japanese horticulture but never losing a taste of damp Washington wildness. The cherry-red footbridge and waterfalls are made for meditative strolling.

Discovery Park

The bracing whip of sea air that whips up the bluffs of the former Fort Lawton demands attention to the here and now. With miles of trail—like a nearly three-mile loop trail that circles most of the park—and big open fields, options abound. Don't forget a trip down to the beach.

Seward Park

The forest on this Lake Washington peninsula encircles walkers like a hug. The interior dirt trails are almost completely sheltered by trees, while the outer paved ring, closed to cars, gets shoreline views. Break out the roller skates for the latter.

Schmitz Preserve

With more than 50 acres and a collection of old-growth trees, West Seattle's pocket of forest is a surprise in such a residential area. A cluster of short trail pieces allows for birdwatching and a chance to view Northwest plant life in its natural element.

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