This holiday weekend, would you rather spend your day off inside a crowded shopping mall frantically searching for deals, or enjoying the peaceful sounds of singing birds, fall leaves crunching below your boots and the fresh smell of pine trees?
Join us and opt outside! Tag your photos on social media with #OptOutside and #northwestnature. We may share your stories on our map!
Explore nature in your neighborhood
Staff stories: Our favorite places to #OptOutside
Church Mountain: "I love being in the mountains both for the expansive views and for the fine details of a delicate flower petal, squishy moss on a stream bank or the high clear whistle of a pika." // Jenny Baker, Senor Restoration Manager. Photo taken by Julie Morse.
Palouse River Rock: "In the fall, the Palouse River is gorgeous. Grasses turn blonde and Ponderosa pines trees loom in contrast along the steep canyon walls. The Palouse River flows through a canyon carved out by the catastrophic Missoula floods of the previous ice age. The river flows from northern Idaho, through the Palouse region, and then drops dramatically over Palouse Falls before joining the Snake River. The Snake River flows into the Columbia River on out to the Pacific Ocean." // Erica Simek Sloniker, Conservation Info Manager.
Ebey's Landing: "My favorite place to visit this time of year is the bluff trail at Ebey’s Landing. It is beautiful in any season but this time of year, it’s a great place for storm watching. Dress for the wind! Hike up the bluff and nestle into the driftwood and sand dunes to watch the weather change out over the water." -// Carrie Krueger, Director of Marketing.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness: "There’s nothing quite like being in the high peaks of the Cascades to clear your mind and make you feel like you’re a world away from the busy city life. And the views aren’t too bad, either!" // Melinda Milner, Director of Operations.
Ozette Lake: "Many years ago I opted outside by spending Thanksgiving at Ozette on the Pacific coast of Olympic National Park. I listened to owls around the campground while sleeping under the stars. I vividly recall hiking the fabulous loop trail and seeing wonderful rock shapes, tide pool critters aplenty, sea otters floating in kelp beds, lots of birds, and mother and cub black bears!" // Jeff Compton, Director of Donor Communication & Stewardship.
Stehekin: "The Buckner Family Orchard and Homestead.
My non-profit for my graduate school degree was based on this place. I was able to finally visit the last remaining orchard of common delicious apples in the world in 2013; such a treasure. Yes, I had pink ombre tips." // Stephanie Burgart, Contracts and Conservation Coordinator.
Ancient Lakes Trail: "In the shoulder seasons of fall and spring, when it is rainy on west side, snowy in mountains, hiking and camping at Ancient Lakes in beautiful shrub steppe near Quincy often is just right!" // Reese Lolley, Director of Restoration & Fire.
Golden Gardens Park: "When out-of-town friends visit us for Thanksgiving, we head over to Golden Gardens in Seattle for the brisk winter breeze and the glorious sunset. Try it! You might want to jump for joy!" // James Schroeder, Director of Forest Conservation & Partnership.