The pie is long gone, the stuffing but a memory, and now you’re paying the price for indulgence: too-tight pants and a lingering laziness. How to snap out of it? How about a nearly painless stroll through the woods?
The amped-up oxygen in the air, the gently rolling slopes and spectacular views will elevate you out of your holiday lethargy and put you on the path—literally—to feeling good about yourself again.
Here is a pair of close-in, not-too-muddy, mellow hikes to ease you back in:
This locals’ fave, 30 miles east of Seattle, is just three miles round trip and easy enough for kids (even whiners!). You’ll meander along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River before hiking switchbacks up into the moss-laden forest. Watch for a spur trail at the one-mile mark; this leads to a wooden platform, where you can eat your sliced apples and gawk at the 150-foot cascade of the falls.
Serious penance: If you said yes to second helpings, continue up to the second falls, another half-mile or so up the trail.
Driving Directions: From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 34. Turn south on 468th Avenue SE and go about .5 mile. Just before a bridge, turn left on SE 159th St. and drive 0.5 mile to the trailhead parking lot.
Park your car at this trailhead in the Issaquah Alps and customize your own hike from the many intersecting trails. If you brought Grandma, stick with the lovely Tradition Lake loop; kids love exploring the mammoth tree-covered boulders at Talus Rocks.
Serious penance: Follow the complex of trails to West Tiger 3, a 10-mile, 1,600-foot-gain stroll that will turn back the clock on all of that turkey.
Driving Directions: From I-90 take exit 20 and then turn right onto the frontage road. Go about a mile (past an open gate) to the Tradition Plateau trailhead.
Note that for most local hikes, you must display a Discover Pass on your dash; you can buy these at most Fred Meyer, Big 5 or other sporting-goods stores for $30/year or $10/one day. Also note that the law requires dogs to be on-leash at all times on these trails.