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Yogi Berra once said of a popular restaurant, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” The same could be said about the popular hiking trails in Washington state.

Many Washington residents tell similar stories of hiking in hopes of relaxing in the fresh air, only to find instead lines, crowds, and that one person blaring Skrillex from a portable speaker.

“The most important thing is that a lot of people live in Washington, a lot of people live here because the hiking is so good here,” says Anna Roth, who is responsible for digital content for the Washington Trails Association.

“The first thing I think about when I go outside is that I’m probably going to be sharing the path with others,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what time of day or year it is. Especially with working from home being a little more common these days, people have flexible schedules. I think people are making it a priority to get outside. … I might want to go outside and spend my time in nature, alone, but so does everyone else. I’m their traffic, too.”

RELATED: Yes, hiking. No, traffic. Trailhead Direct offers car-free travel from Seattle to the mountains

When Rattlesnake Ledge was created over 20 years ago, it was expected that about 70,000 people would use the trail annually. Today, however, it is one of the most popular trails in the state, with about 300,000 hikers using it annually. Another example is the popularity of Mount Rainier. Concerns have been raised about increasing amounts of trash and damage to parks. There is now a reservation system just for access to Mount Rainier.

Washington’s hiking trails are filling up, but not everything is hopeless. It is possible to find a path less traveled to enjoy a little nature and solitude, or at least have a pleasant outdoor experience and not feel so much like you are standing in an airport queue.

Seattle Now picked up some hiking tips and tricks while chatting with Roth. Find hiking recommendations below.

  • If you haven’t heard of the hike, it’s probably because there are fewer people doing it. You’ve probably heard of Mount Si or Rattlesnake Ledge, just like everyone else. That’s why they’re all there. So if a trail doesn’t look familiar, give it a try.
  • There’s an app for that! The Washington Trails Association offers an app with search filters to help find trails. It includes user feedback so hikers can leave comments about the trail’s conditions, popularity, etc. The app includes more than 4,000 trails. Check it out Here.
  • This trail is for the rugged, rough and tough hikers who don’t mind a little extra effort along the way. If you’re using the WTA app, Roth recommends looking for trails that don’t have recent trail reports. Also look for reports that say the trail isn’t in the best condition (trees to climb over, etc.). If you’re looking for a trail that others probably wouldn’t take, this could be an option if you don’t mind a little difficulty.
  • Get to the trailhead early and try to hike on weekdays. Yes, this is not new advice. Everyone here hears it. That’s because it’s true and it works.

RELATED: Annoyed by overcrowded hiking trails and campsites in Washington State? There are apps for that

The discussion on Seattle Now also yielded some hiking recommendations, depending on what you’re looking for.

  • Mount Teneriffe (Cascade Mountains): The trail is quite challenging. Instead of taking the popular Teneriffe Falls trail, you can also try the switchback road for a long hike to the peaks.

  • Mount Walker (Olympic Peninsula, near Hood Canal): Roth notes that this hike is “a real stunner,” but it’s relatively accessible year-round.

  • LBA Park (Olympia): Great for families. Four miles of easy hiking trails with plenty of interpretive signage.

  • Redmond Watershed Preserve: Depending on how sturdy your wheelchair is, this trail might be a good fit for wheelchair users. There is at least one wheelchair-friendly trail.

  • Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (on the Nisqually River Delta, near JBLM): Make sure you have $3 for the entrance fee (unless you have a National Wildlife Refuge pass). This is a wetland trail with some boardwalks that leads out onto the mudflats.

  • Rattlesnake Mountain (along I-90 outside of North Bend): Yes, everyone knows about Rattlesnake Ledge. But if you can get past the popular Rattlesnake Ledge hiking trail, try going a little further to the east summit. Not as many people opt for this next section. Also consider a more challenging hike to the ledge from the other side, starting at Snoqualmie Point Park (that’s a 10.5-mile hike, one way).

  • Kid-friendly half-way hikes: You want to take the kids along but don’t want to walk the whole trail with them. These trails have nice turnaround points.

  • Accessible hiking trails

Listen to the entire discussion about hiking in Washington with Anna Roth on Seattle Now.

Dyer Oxley of KUOW contributed to this article.

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