If you're looking for an easy to moderate weekend adventure for your family this summer, look no further than these beautiful hiking trails in and around Everett. It's no secret that we live in a gorgeous little city with easy access to the outdoors right in our urban midst. If you and your family would like to partake in a little weekend fun, these are places I recommend for stunning views, great picnics and all ages.

Japanese gulch, mukilteo

This trail exists right in the heart of Mukilteo and whenever you need a quick outdoor break, this hits the spot. This piece of nature was originally owned by the Mukilteo Lumber Company before it was bought over by the city for preservation. The reason why it has "Japanese" in its name is because the millworker residents here were mostly from Japan. I love this trail mainly because of how convenient it is. There is a gentle uphill climb and views of the Puget Sound. This trail is not as well maintained as some of the National and State Parks so be prepared for no signs and some trail obstacles. It was part of the excitement for me but if you'd like more updated trip reports, I recommend reading the Washington Trails Association website. If you'd like to read more about the history of Japanese communities in Washington and Snohomish county, click here.

Ebey's landing, Whidbey island

The word I use to describe this trail is "majestic". If you live in Everett, this trail is quicky accessible via the ferry in Mukilteo. Once you get off the ferry, you drive for about 25 miles and voila - you reach the Prairie overlook trailhead. With stunning views of the Puget Sound, you start off along a bluff and then the loop takes you down to the beach before a gently climb back up. Make sure you carry enough sun protection and water as this trail has you directly exposed to the sun on warmer days. You will need a Discover Pass for this hike.

Mill Creek Family Photography: A couple and their dog at McCollum Park

mccollum park, everett/mill creek

The Forest Loop trail in McCollum Park sits at the border of Everett and Mill Creek. It's a quite respite from the busy sounds of the city and a few steps away. This is more of a walk than a hike but it's a great way to introduce very young children to the outdoors. It starts off at a bridge going over a creek and then taking you into a forest of Douglas Firs and cedars. Depending on the time of the year, you can walk down to the creek and get your feet wet. There is plenty of flora and fauna to observe and the path is wide enough that it accommodates walkers in both direction easily. This is a loop trail and only 1.2 miles long.

Centennial trail, snohomish

This trail is one of my favorites because not only can you walk it, you can also bike it. The Centennial Trail is a paved trail of which the southern part starts in Snohomish county. The trail goes in one direction, all the way up to the historic Nakashima Heritage Barn off I-5 exit 208 going north. There are plenty of rest stops along the way with picnic areas and bathrooms. If you start off at the Snohomish trailhead you can also walk along the Snohomish Riverfront trail and access the local businesses in the downtown area.

Big four ice caves, mountain loop highway

This is an easy hike with a great reward at the end in the form of stunning panoramic views of the Cascades and the ice caves. The trail gets really busy so be prepared to pass by people in the opposite direction if you get there a little later in the day. It is only a 2.2 mile roundtrip so if you have new little explorers with you, this is a great way to get them to build excitement of walking through the mountains. There is a restroom near the parking lot with plenty of parking spots. A word of caution: Please follow the cautionary signs and stay away from the actual caves. They are not very stable to begin with and especially so in the summer. This trail also requires a Discover Pass, which you can buy online or at the Verlot Station at the entrance of the North Cascades Park.

If you would like to book a family session at one of my favorite spots in Everett or at any of these spots above, contact me here and let's go on an adventure.