The leaves in the parks and streets are turning bright orange, yellow, and red, and falling into the streets. Pumpkins are popping up on stoops. There’s a wide variety of winter squash and decorative corn available at grocery stores. Boots and coats are back on. Fall is here, and it’s lovely.
While some are excited about autumn for menu and wardrobe reasons, some of us stoners are excited for another reason. It’s mushroom season. And I’m not talking about oyster mushrooms. Though you can probably find those too and they’re delicious. I’m talking about psilocybe cyanescens. Magic mushrooms.
Lucky for Seattleites, these things grow everywhere. Don’t go looking for them unless you’re with an expert. Because one wrong shroom can kill you. But if someone who knows what they’re doing finds some, the experience can be, well, magical.
And while we at The Sesh would never encourage public intoxication, we would admit that doing mushrooms inside is kind of a waste of a trip. And having to interact with sober humans and exchange money is pretty lame when you know the true meaning of life.
So as long as you’re not an idiot and freaking people out, you probably won’t get arrested. It is Seattle after all, we’re used to weirdos here.
So here is a list of outdoor spaces to enhance your trip in every neighborhood. So walk, bus, or Lyft to (don’t even think about driving) to your nearest wild space and let your inner animal loose.
If you’re a north ender looking to get lost in nature, this is the spot. There are 88-acres of woods, trails, fields creeks, and even a hidden lake. If weather permits, it’s a fun place to explore and awaken your soul’s secrets. Or spend twenty minutes embracing a tree. Whatever.
If a beach fire is more your style than traipsing through the woods high, check out Richmond Beach. There are shelters, a cool statue, and a beautiful beach. You can commune with nature without risking getting lost. Just don’t swim, it’s cold as hell, I swear to you.
This little beauty of a park is an Olmsted Park with ample trails and woods to explore without risk of getting lost. Plenty of privacy and room to explore. Dress for the
Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens
The arboretum is awesome anytime, but it’s extra awesome when you’re high. The fall colors are popping off right now and it’s not quite as busy as it is in the summer. Of all the parks in Seattle, this is one of the best.
Beach, trails, shelters, this park has it all. Carkeek is also a little off the beaten path making it perfect for a high adventure. Fewer humans to interrupt your wildness. Wander the trails, then start a bonfire on the beach and pontificate about what the hell it all means.
Golden Gardens is another Northwest Seattle wonder. Walk the wetland trails, hang at the beach, and even order a tea at Miri’s if it’s early enough and you’re functioning. If you’re looking for seclusion, this isn’t the park for you, but if you don’t mind being high in a crowd, Golden Gardens has a lot to offer. Getting weird as hell at Golden Gardens in the fall is a tried and true Seattle tradition.
Gas Works Park
The old Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant structures turned sculptures and play area at Gas Works park serve as a perfect metaphor for the blight humankind is upon the Earth. Something to ponder when you’re staring at them tripping balls.
The second-largest park in Seattle has so much to feed your mind. Check out “A Sound Garden” a wind-activated art piece overlooking the lake. There’s also “The Fin Project” sculptures that can let your mind imagine the grass as waves and the decommissioned Navy attack submarines as marine mammals. Or you can laugh hysterically at the Warren G. dog park while listening to Regulate, ok maybe that’s just me. There’s also lots of nature to explore.
If there’s one park that every Seattliette should be high at, just once, it’s Discovery Park. It’s Seattle’s biggest park and it’s jam-packed with nature: birds galore, beaches, woods, bluffs, wetlands, it covers the spectrum of Pacific Northwest wilderness. Best saved for a sunny clear day, as it’s 534-acres and is quite a slog to explore when it’s raining. Nothing is more beautiful than being high, and Discovery Park is full of it.
Myrtle Edwards Park
If you’re looking for a more urban excursion, Myrtle Edwards has all of the fun things. It’s like two parks in one. It’s on the water, so you get natural beauty, but it also has the Olympic Sculpture Park, a manmade beauty that’s fun to explore anytime, but as with pretty much everything on earth, it’s even better high. There’s also the Neukom Vivarium which will teach you a thing or two about life and death or how there isn’t such a thing and we’re all just in one endless cycle of being. Or something. There’s also the nearby waterfront to walk around and explore.
UPS Waterfall Garden Park
One of Seattle’s secret parks, it’s described as a “pocket park” this 60-by-80-foot hidden gem in Pioneer Square was created in 1978 and marks the spot where the original United Parcel Service was founded. There are chairs and picnic tables and even a little light covered area. It’s in the middle of the city but it’s pretty secluded, and there’s a waterfall to look at which is pretty rad. It closes at 3:45 pm, so this is for day-trippers only. You can mosey over to Occidental Square when you’re done for some guaranteed-to-excite sights. And you can pretty much guarantee no one will raise an eye at you for being a little less than sober in Pioneer Square.
Another on the list of Olmsted parks, Volunteer Park has the best of both worlds, city sights with nature galore. There are 48.3-acres to explore in the heart of Capitol Hill, and there’s everything from a conservatory to a water tower complete with an observation deck. There’s the famous doughnut sculpture to capture your imagination, and some woods to werewolf out in. Plus, you’re in Capitol Hill which is a fun adventure in and of itself when you’re in an altered state.
Fall is the perfect time to explore Seward park. If looking at Old Growth forest and seeing a bald eagle fly by on mushrooms isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. And you could do that at Seward Park. The park, which is located on the shores of Lake Washington, is another one of the Olmsted parks. There’s tons of bird species, a native plant garden and an amphitheater to explore.
Frink and Leschi Parks
These lesser-known parks are a must-see for stoners in Southeast Seattle. Ravines, creeks, animals, and trees will speak to your soul and tell you the secrets of the urban forest.
Yeah, everybody’s been to Alki…but have you been to Alki high on mushrooms. If not, you should! Watch the waves crash on the soar and imagine what life was like before we had pesky things like “money” and “electricity,” and then Lyft back to somewhere warm and cozy and stare into a screen until you drift into slumber.
Schmitz Preserve Park
Nature baby. That’s the name of the game. And Schmitz Preserve Park has lots of it. The 53-acre park is full of Old Growth trees that can teach you the wisdom you need to succeed as a deer, or whatever.
Fall into Nature
Get your fall on, get outside, and explore! Better yet, do it on shrooms. Have fun, but don’t be a dumb ass, stay away from kids, don’t drive, and don’t get arrested.
Editor’s note: This story, and the sustained interest in it, is what launched our former editor’s psychedelic news and lifestyle site, The Psychonaut.com.