Best Reason to Play Hooky

Yes, there are still old-growth trees in Seattle proper. West Seattle's Schmitz Preserve Park boasts a few standing old pines—maybe not possessing the generous girth of the ones you'll find in the Hoh Rain Forest, but certainly stately and awe-inspiring. Here, you'll wend your way through well-shaded, beautifully canopied paths to find them. Entering through a back entrance in residential West Seattle (from Southwest Hanford Street), there's a steep climb down, fragrant with enormous ferns, salmonberries, and (be careful) nettles. The preserve itself is dark and moist, rich with the loam of old fallen trees. And best of all, you don't have to take a two-hour drive to visit this forest.—Adriana Grant 5501 Southwest Admiral Way,

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