We love an easy hike that ends in a beach! Here are ten options that offer a walk easy enough for the whole family with the, “Wow!” factor of a beach at the end. We’ve tried to stick to the South Sound, though I admit we’re pushing it a bit with a couple of these. If you have another favorite you’re willing to share, please leave a comment!
Hidden Beach Trail Tacoma Take a pretty forested path and find a secret slice of Titlow Beach. Note-Thursday would be a good time to come for tide pooling!
Sequalitchew Creek Trail Dupont An easy hike that starts right behind Dupont City Hall and ends at a rocky beach with lots of possibilities for exploration
Dash Point State Park Federal Way You can head straight to the beautiful, sandy beach here, but there are also 11 miles of hiking trails here well worth exploring.
Saltwater State Park Des Moines There are over 1,400 feet of saltwater shoreline at this park, which is also a popular camping spot. You can also hike through the trails and see scuba divers going in and out of the water near the artificial reef.
Des Moines Creek Trail You can begin or end your hike at Des Moines Beach Park for a hike of up to four miles. Find directions and options at the WTA.org site. Young children might get enough of a walk going out on the fishing pier and back. I haven’t done this one personally. If you have, leave a comment for us!
Marine View Park You’ll descend a steep but sturdy wooden staircase at the end of this hike that takes you to a fine gravel beach. This is another I haven’t done personally, but it sounds worth the exploration! Most reviews note steep bluffs, so keep that in mind. This one is in Normandy Park. Note that all the South King County/South Seattle walks mentioned here are subject to some airplane noise.
Kopachuck State Park Gig Harbor It’s a short, 1/8 mile walk down to the beach here. There are also other trails through the forest for longer exploration. During a Very low tide it is sometimes possible to walk out on a normally submerged sand bar between the main part of the park and Cutt’s Island (also park property).
Priest Point Olympia This is a City of Olympia Park. There are numerous trails through out its 314 acres. The Ellis Cove Trail leads you to a mile of saltwater shoreline. This is such a gorgeous park, and it has a fun little playground, too. You could easily spend the day here. Do note that the trails are all quite steep. Try to go at low tide.
Dumas Bay Sanctuary Federal Way This neighborhood park in Federal Way is so worth finding! It might be pushing it to call this a hike, as it’s just half a mile round trip, but that should be perfect for your young ones. It’s a broad gravel path under arching trees, and when you emerge on the hidden beach at the end it feels magical! It’s actually a wildlife sanctuary, so kids shouldn’t dig in the sand or disturb the wildlife, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy exploring the beach and wading. Parking is somewhat limited here-maybe a dozen cars-and you’ll feel like you’re lost because it’s at the end of a dead end street, but I promise it’s worth finding. Note it’s not the Dumas Bay Center The park address is 30844 44th Ave SW, Federal Way, WA 98023. Don’t try finding it on an official web site. It’s almost like they want to keep this one secret!
Chambers Bay There are miles of trails here, and a fabulous playground (as well as that golf course). The Soundview Trail includes a mile and a half of beach walking. Note that you are dealing with some serious hills here! This one is not as easy as that smooth pavement may make you think!
And two walks to consider….
Ruston Way Tacoma While not a hike, if you go end to end, you’ll be walking a good distance. There are several points along the way where you can go down to the beach, or stop at the spray park at Point Ruston
The promenade to Owen Beach Tacoma Park near the Point Defiance Marina and walk as far as you like on the promenade towards Owen Beach. You can also enjoy a long walk on the beach itself. PS It’s Owen Beach, but I mess up and call it Owens Beach all the time, so just ignore anyone who rolls their eyes at you about this. 🙂
PS Did you know? And, finally…… property owners who live on the beach typically have rights from the average high tide and above. That means you can have a beach walk most anywhere once you find a public access point to get to it. You might feel like you’re intruding when you’re walking past people’s homes, but if you’re walking below that average high tide line, you’re not. Just be polite and have fun!