Washington Park Arboretum Claudia G Cooper/Shutterstock

Tranquility Among Trees

Maximize your relaxation in Seattle’s sublime green spaces.

By Caitlin Huson


Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the Japanese practice of walking in the woods to relieve stress and to engage bodily awareness through the senses. The Emerald City is filled with opportunities to connect with nature and to soak in forested nooks and crannies for potential therapeutic benefit.

Forget distance or speed. Forest bathing is about slowing down, looking around, and breathing deeply. For a guided experience, join Cascadia Forest Therapy’s walks at the Washington Park Arboretum (2300 Arboretum Dr E). These tours are quite literally a walk in the park and don’t require peak fitness levels. Plus, you’ll get to spend time in one of Seattle’s most beautiful green spaces along the shores of Lake Washington.

If you’d like to commune with the trees on your own, you can of course meander solo. For fresh air and old-growth forests, head to Seward Park (5900 Lake Washington Blvd S), on the south end of Lake Washington, or Schmitz Preserve Park (5551 SW Admiral Way) in West Seattle. Want to take wellness walking to the next level? Try massage acupressure by walking with bare feet on the Northwest river rocks that comprise Bastyr University’s (14500 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore) 65-foot reflexology foot path, the first public reflexology path in North America.


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