Wandering Around the Washington Park Arboretum

Post & Images by Ethan Bresner

There’s a lot to explore in the Pacific Northwest. It’s one of the greatest things about living here. Even when you live in the city, there are green spaces pretty much everywhere. No matter how urban your particular neighborhood is, I will guarantee you that there is an expansive and cavernous place for you to wander around somewhere within ten or fifteen minutes of your apartment.

Arguably my favorite thing to do when high is to explore such places. A blessing and a curse with working a service industry job is the weekends tend to be my workdays, and weekdays are my weekends. It makes wandering activities all the more enjoyable because all those expansive green spaces are pretty much empty, except for my dog and me on a Wednesday at two in the afternoon. Getting ripped on a heavy limonene strain of your choosing, putting on your headphones, and walking around for a couple of hours, is a pretty great way to spend the day.

Walking is REALLY good for you.

According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, going for regular walks can be beneficial for a wide range of things. Everything from body fat reduction to lowering blood pressure to cholesterol reduction is aided by going on daily walks. But beyond the physical benefits, walking has shown a correlative quality with things like improved mood, increased creative output, and improved memory function.

That being said, I mostly go on walks in nature because I like it. On a day off, there’s very little I enjoy more than rolling a joint (yes, I still roll joints) and walking up to my favorite place to go for a stroll: The Washington Park Arboretum.

It’s a particularly beautiful walk. The wonderful thing about the Arboretum is that it’s a different landscape pretty much every time you take a stroll there. The reason for that is twofold. Firstly, the Arboretum is 230 acres of winding and hidden trails. Every time that I think I’ve explored the whole park, I take a different path and end up somewhere I’ve never been to before. You can take the bike loop and go all the way around the park in about thirty minutes (depending on the pace that you walk I suppose), but if you’re feeling like meandering (which let’s be honest: if you’re high, you probably will) you can easily spend a couple of hours just perusing the park.

Changing with the Season

As the seasons change, so does the topography and aesthetic of the park. In the autumn months, everything is orange and red. The leaves are blanketing the ground, and taking a look across the tree line has a sort of rainbow look. Everything is in different colors. Bright greens still clinging to the enormous trees, giant redwoods, the stray delicious-looking but undoubtedly poisonous berry trees, and vibrant red and orange leaves everywhere. In the springtime, after a looooong rainy season (I know, I’m not happy about it either), everything is misty, lush, and green. By the Summer’s hot and notably drier season, you’ll be looking at flowering plants and a much more dry look to the park.

The Japanese Garden

The Arboretum also features the Japanese Garden. They charge a nominal but worthwhile fee (8$ for visitors, 6$ for Seattle residents, 4$ for seniors and children) but also have free admission on the first Thursday of the month. There’s a visitor center there as well where you can learn about the park and how it was constructed and planned.

The absolute best part about the Arboretum, in my humble opinion, is all the hidden benches. I’m not going to tell you where my favorite is because half the fun is finding the bench YOU like best, but there are little resting spots everywhere. Spots at lily-pad gardens. Places in the middle of giant trees, or little nooks looking over the horizon. The choice is yours.

The park is dog-friendly as long as you keep the pup on a leash and other than the Japanese Garden, entirely free.

Plan Accordingly

Now you may not live close enough that this is the walk for you (there is ample parking, but if you’re planning on getting ripped, driving probably isn’t the best idea anyway). But, I can guarantee that you will find a similar experience somewhere close to you. Volunteer Park or Discovery Park are also excellent choices. Golden Gardens is gorgeous at any time of year, and there are other places around that will meet your needs with a little bit of searching.

Smoking weed doesn’t have to be the antithesis to healthy living. In fact, in my experience, often the two go well hand-in-hand. It’s hard to explain, but I have to find a sort of passive activity that is active. Things, like walking around and looking at flowers, are a great option for people like me who like to be outside, getting exercise, but hate gyms and running.

So find your place to wander, just maybe don’t crowd mine on the weekdays! And for more fun wandering around the Sound, check out this post on Mini-Hikes around Seatac and some of my tips for Getting High and Getting Outside in the Northwest.

Ethan Bresner

Ethan Bresner

Cannabis Culture

Ethan Bresner is a bartender and freelance writer living in Seattle, Washington. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst with a degree in Literature, Ethan decided to pursue his passion for cooking, eventually returning to school to get a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales. After many years working in kitchens on both coasts, he transitioned to bartending. When he isn’t working, he spends most of his time exploring with his dog, ‘The Lady Dogmeat’ whether that means checking out a Mexican restaurant an hour away or exploring some of the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

*All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

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