Seattle's Child

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52 ways to nature

Book Review: 52 Ways to Nature Washington: Your Seasonal Guide to a Wilder Year

Local author and outdoors enthusiast Lauren Braden finds adventure for every week from January to December

There are so many fun, interesting and/or challenging things to discover in Washington State’s great outdoors. But gathering information about them and choosing which direction to go can be daunting work.

Do you and your kids bathe in the forest this weekend? Saddle up and ride in the wild somewhere in the Evergreen State? Hunt for mushrooms not far from home? And for any of these great ideas, where do you go? What do you need to know? 

Seattle author Lauren Braden has made the task of finding and choosing awesome outdoor adventures easier with her new book 52 Ways to Nature Washington: Your Seasonal Guide to a Wilder Year.”

Published by Seattle-based The Mountaineers and Skipstone Books, the book is a colorful, easy-to-read, information-packed, 253-page reference that offers a full year of fun in nature and something for everyone in the family. 

Great outdoor ideas for all seasons

Ideas run the gamut from “Find Razor Clams by Moonlight” (Winter) to “Create a Haven for Wildlife” (Spring) to “Go Stargazing” (Summer) to “Be a Lighthouse Keeper” (Fall). Each entry is dotted with interesting history and Braden’s own perspective, which make the book an enjoyable read as well as a good flip-and-go guide.

The fall season, Braden points out, is full of outdoor adventure. 

In September, October and November she suggests families look to the mountains (bike on one), rain (hike in it), hot springs (soak and float despite the cold) and forest floors (hunt for mushrooms and weird geology). 

Fall, a feast for the senses

The Pacific Northwest offers residents during the fall months, Braden writes: “Our senses compete for the delights of fall — the brilliant hues of fall foliage, the tart crunch of a fresh-picked apple, the woodsy warmth of a crackling campfire. This is why we must save some vacation days. “

After reading this book, I made a reservation for a falltime, close-to-home, seaview adventure on Vashon Island. We will be taking up residence in the Point Robinson Lighthouse in late October this year, checking off a big bucket list item for both my daughter and me.

Choose an adventure each week

How to use the book is there in the title. There are 52 weeks in a year. There are 52 adventures in these pages. Follow this guide seasonally, weekend to weekend, for a full year of fabulous nature-filled days and nights in Washington State.

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About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at