Snohomish County Department of Parks and
– protecting the environment and supporting healthy
communities through parks, programs, and people.
Parks and recreation bring people together helping them to connect with nature,
their community, and each other.
A strong and healthy parks and recreation system can open up a number of
opportunities for people to enhance the quality of their lives. Physical recreation
and fitness contribute to a full and meaningful life, help to keep people healthy,
reduce stress, and promote self-esteem and positive self -image. Participating in
leisure activities and enjoying nature can help people lead a balanced life.
As a parks department, our hope is to provide park settings, facilities, and
programs that enhance the recreational opportunities available to the citizens of
The Parks and Recreation Department
The Parks and Recreation Department was created in the mid-1960‟s to provide
park and recreation services for the enjoyment of the public and for the
protection and enhancement of the County‟s natural resources. Over the last
five years, the county‟s park land inventory has nearly doubled to over 90 sites
encompassing 9,000 acres countywide.
Parks is comprised of three sections, Administration, Operations, and
Maintenance, and has a staff of 45 full time employees. The Administration
Division provides management, office support, planning, and property
management for all divisions. Park Operations includes a staff of park rangers
who operate the parks, provide security, and serve as a resource to the public; it
also includes a recreation staff that administers seasonal recreation programs
and summer camps. The Maintenance Section does special maintenance/small
improvement projects and implements an on-going preventative maintenance
and stewardship program.
The Department of Parks and Recreation was reorganized in 1993 and now
includes the Parks, Evergreen State Fair, and Cooperative Extension Divisions.
The Parks and Recreation Department‟s responsibility is to provide quality and
effective management of the County Parks and Recreation System, Evergreen
State Fair, Kayak Point Golf Course, and the Washington State University
Cooperative Extension/Noxious Weed Program. A director who is responsible for
administration of the Parks, Fair, and Cooperative Extension Divisions oversees
the Department of Parks and Recreation. While the activities of these three
groups are often related and are referenced throughout this plan, the
Comprehensive Park Plan is specific to the Parks Division.
Park System Overview
Snohomish County Parks come in an array of shapes and sizes and provide a
variety of services. They range from small local parks to large resource
conservancy holdings and represent the many unique recreational opportunities
available to the citizens of Snohomish County.
The County has many beautiful regional parks that highlight the region‟s natural
resources. These parks feature hiking trails, camping areas, beach access and
other facilities focusing on enjoyment of the out-of-doors.
The Centennial and Interurban multi-use trails as well as the many trails within
our parks provide miles of walking, biking, and equestrian opportunities.
An equally important part of our park system is the many acres owned and
managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation as sensitive resource lands.
These lands are set aside primarily as wildlife habitat and often include
restoration or enhancement projects designed to improve wildlife habitat. Many
areas provide specialized facilities and nature paths allowing visitors to observe
and enjoy wildlife without adversely impacting their habitat.
Providing access to Puget Sound and Snohomish County‟s many lakes and rivers
is another key component of the park system. Opportunities for swimming,
fishing, and boat access (motorized and non-motorized) are offered throughout
Community parks provide local opportunities for programmed recreational
activities such as team sporting events, classes, swimming lessons and sports
camps. They also offer opportunities for leisure and informal recreational
activities such as picnicking, walking, and play.
Snohomish County park land is classified by several factors, which include park
size, service area and type of use. The matrix in Chapter 4 lists all Snohomish
County park lands, along with their various classifications. The initial
classification is based upon park size and service area. These categories are as
· Regional parks
· Community Parks
· Combination parks
· Neighborhood parks
Regional Parks are generally larger sites, which offer a variety of unique features
or recreational experiences that serve the entire county population. These may
include one-of-a-kind natural, cultural, or historic features, water access, or a
concentration of facilities that can accommodate large-scale events. Kayak Point
Regional Park is an example of a facility with several significant features
including saltwater access, camping, and hiking trails.
While Regional Parks may feature both active and passive uses, many regional
properties within Snohomish County‟s inventory are devoted exclusively to large-
scale natural area preservation. Over 1,200 acres within the Snohomish River
estuary have been preserved as natural area habitat. Similarly, Lord Hill
Regional Park is over 1,400 acres and provides a variety of hiking, equestrian,
and mountain biking trails in addition to Snohomish River access.
Consistent with the GMA‟s emphasis on the County‟s role as a service provider
for unincorporated areas, Community Parks are primarily intended to serve the
needs of citizens living in unincorporated UGA‟s and rural areas.
A Community Park provides a setting for community activities and recreational
opportunities for children and adults. A Community Park must generally be large
enough to accommodate popular recreational activities that require a significant
amountof space, such as baseball, soccer, skateboarding, and other team sports.
Play fields are dedicated to and scheduled for formal league play, but are also
available for pickup games, team practice, and informal events such as group
outings. It may also include natural areas, depending on topography and other
conditions. Traditional park amenities such as picnic tables, benches, shelters,
open play, playgrounds, trails, basketball and tennis courts are also typical in a
Community Park, which is targeted to serve a population of between 10,000 and
Combination Parks are sites that feature one or more regional attractions, in
addition to community park facilities. As such, they serve both the entire County
and several surrounding neighborhoods. Several Snohomish County Parks have
been developed in this manner. They occur in urbanizing areas, as well as more
rural environments. In urban settings, they provide a regional feature (such as
water access) or facility (i.e. an outdoor pool) in addition to active play areas and
playgrounds to serve the surrounding community. In rural settings, the
Combination Park may be the only facility to serve the rural population. As some
of these rural areas develop, there is often a need to incorporate active play
areas and playgrounds to serve the rural community‟s needs.
A Neighborhood Park is generally small, pedestrian-oriented and situated to
serve residents of an immediate area. Recreational activities may include both
passive and active uses as well as multipurpose facilities to serve the needs of
the adjacent neighborhood.
Active uses at a Neighborhood Park should include non-organized sports facilities
such as basketball, tennis or play equipment. Passive uses include open play
areas, nature trails and picnic areas. Age appropriate needs of the surrounding
neighborhood, such as play equipment, should be emphasized at a
Neighborhood parks may also feature natural or conservation
areas. Passive recreational development includes boardwalks, nature trails,
picnicing facilities, shelters, park benches, picnic tables, environmental, cultural
or historic interpretive facilities, and parking. Natural areas include streams,
wetlands, forest lands, or an area with a unique natural feature. Such
neighborhood parks may also function as a greenbelt or view shed on which
there is no public access.
Park Land Categories
Snohomish County park lands are further classified by the land type and
anticipated level of development, which relates to the type and intensity of uses
that are allowed. The park land categories are as follows:
· Trail park land
· Resource Conservancy park land
· Resource Activity park land
· Special Use park land
· General Purpose park land
Trail park land:
These consist of park lands acquired for the development of multi-purpose trails.
These properties often correspond to existing transportation or utility rights of
Resource Conservancy park land:
These properties offer significant natural features, such as streams and
wetlands, which have been set aside for conservation and open space. When
developed and maintained, these lands offer appropriate public access facilities
such as interpretive trails or boardwalks.
Resource Activity park land:
Like resource conservancy lands, these properties may feature significant natural
areas. They are typically intended for more intensive park uses, such as water
access (motorized or non-motorized,) hiking and/or mountain bike trails, and/or
Special Use park land:
These park lands are acquired to provide for park activities that have specific
needs that may not be compatible with other uses. Examples include land
acquired for development of a golf course, off-road vehicle facility, or shooting
General-purpose park land:
These sites consist of usable property that is suitable for a variety of future
development options. They typically are developed into Community Parks or
Combination parks, if they also include a regional feature or facility.
Park Facility Categories
Depending upon the park type and function, different facilities may be provided.
Snohomish County Parks and Recreation uses four facility designations for capital
planning and budget purposes. They are:
· Trail Facilities
· Resource Facilities
· Community Facilities
· Special Use Facilities
Trail facilities include the development of paved or natural surface trail corridors
and trail heads in a variety of park settings.
This category includes those facilities necessary for passive park development
and the associated infrastructure. These may include water access facilities
including fishing, boating, and/or viewing docks and boardwalks. Development
may include saltwater or freshwater beach areas, shelters, interpretive exhibits
and kiosks. Mitigation and restoration projects also fall into this category.
This broad category includes those facilities typically found in “traditional”
community parks that feature active uses, along with associated infrastructure.
Such facilities include athletic fields (baseball, softball, soccer etc.), playgrounds,
walkways, picnic shelters, restrooms, concession stands, storage areas, parking
lots, interpretive trails, etc.
Special Use Facilities:
This category features facilities that serve a specific use. There are two different
scales of special use facilities. Single-use facilities, such as golf course or
shooting ranges typically have minimum acreage requirements and would conflict
with other park uses. These factors limit potential locations. Dedicated
recreation areas generally take up less space, and are more flexible in their siting
requirements. As such, they may be included (if appropriate) in existing
developed parks or planned for in future community or combination parks.
These facilities, such as skateboard parks or off-leash dog areas, may require an
urban location in close proximity to the local population.
Your Snohomish County Parks
Lying along the northeasterly edge of Puget Sound and covering more than 2000
square miles, Snohomish County contains some of the most scenic and diverse
natural areas in the Pacific Northwest.
Many of these natural areas have been recognized for their unique and special
environmental qualities and have been set aside, or acquired, by federal, state,
and local agencies, as parks or restrictive preserves. Over the last 40 years,
Snohomish County Parks has invested its own resources to make sure that many
of these exceptional lands are protected and made available to the people of the
Some of these lands are found in urban, or urbanizing, regions of the county
providing open space, recreation opportunities, while others are located in more
rural, or yet undeveloped, regions. County-purchased sites have provided a wide
range of services including scientific research and environmental education,
preservation of wildlife habitat and bio-diversity, and protection of certain
elements of exceptional scenic grandeur and “sacred space”.
Several thousand acres of developed and undeveloped parkland provide the
setting to appreciate nature and enjoy recreational activities. Whether you are
looking to take an invigorating walk, picnic with friends and family, or play a
raucous game of soccer, Snohomish County Parks is striving to ensure that these
opportunities are available, both for now and for many generations to come.
As a regional recreation provider Snohomish County wants to make sure access
to these beautiful natural landscapes is available. We also work closely with the
many cities, park and recreation districts, school districts, and non-profit
organizations, of the county, to provide local park facilities for recreation and
leisure. These efforts include funding programs, providing technical support, and
promoting partnerships that provide facilities and programs.
As a Department we are also committed to protecting natural areas and critical
wildlife habitat. Working together with the many departments that make up
Snohomish County government, and with state and federal agencies, we are able
to make available a wide variety of recreational opportunities, as well as protect
the valuable natural resources that make Snohomish County a pleasant place to
work, play, and live. The extensive land inventory provided by Snohomish
County Parks and Recreation includes both developed parks and land slated for
future development, as well as lands managed for wildlife habitat and open
The following park descriptions highlight developed, proposed, and undeveloped
parks within the Snohomish County Park system. They are organized as follows:
· Multipurpose trails
· Nature trails within parks
· Walking and hiking trails
· Aquatic trails
· Mountain biking trails
· Commuter trails
· Linear parks
· Saltwater shorelines
· Foothills and Mountain region
Snohomish County Parks is proud of its multi-use regional trail system and the
many trails within its parks that provide miles of walking, bicycling, and
Multipurpose trails generally serve a wide variety of users in combinations
depending on the surface of the trail, the topography, and the trail‟s location.
Snohomish County developed and opened the first leg of the Centennial Trail,
the first of Snohomish County‟s linear parks, in 1993. The 7- mile non-motorized
multipurpose trail from the City of Snohomish to the City of Lake Stevens set the
standard for multi-use trails in Snohomish County: an accessible 12 foot paved
pedestrian/bicycle trail with a parallel, separated 6 foot equestrian trail. Over
200,000 users annually including walkers, joggers, bicyclists, equestrians, and
rollerbladers enjoy the Snohomish County Centennial Trail. The trail has proven
to provide a safe recreation environment for families, folks of all ages, and
people with disabilities. The Centennial Trail corridor represents 444.15 acres of
which seven miles of multipurpose trail have been completed and is in operation.
In response to the highest-ranking public park facility need in Snohomish County
(documented in a countywide recreation survey), the County Parks Department
is continuing an extensive trail right-of-way acquisition and development
program in several areas of the region. Sites and projects involved in this
The present Parks‟ “Rails to Trails” program, creating a 44-mile multi-use trail
system along the former Burlington Northern Railroad corridor, is about to add
another 10 miles of paved trail to the existing 7 ½ mile trail between the City of
Snohomish and the outskirts of the City of Lake Stevens. This new trail
development will extend northward to the City of Arlington within a few months,
and then will be followed by an additional 10 miles of trail, finally reaching a
trailhead farm site at the Skagit County border.
Nakashima Farm lying at the upper terminus of the Centennial Trail is the former
Weeda farmstead near State Route 9. This site will be established as the
northern “portal” of the trail as it connects to Skagit County. Trail Day
celebrations have already been held at this site the past two years to help
promote public awareness of the program, and to encourage volunteer
participation in trail design and stewardship.
The proposed Lake Cassidy & Lake Martha Trailhead located on the Centennial
Trail just 3 miles north of the Lake Stevens-Hartford area, this lot-sized site will
provide a rest stop and lake access and viewpoint to the west, across Lake
Cassidy. Future nature trail development will be planned through the extensive
Snohomish County continued its efforts to develop regional trails through the
creation of the Snohomish County Interurban Trail, a paved multipurpose trail
stretching from the City of Everett into King County. The Interurban Trail was
developed thanks to the efforts of the Snohomish County Department of Public
Works, the Cities of Everett, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood, and funding
provided through the federal ISTEA transportation enhancement program.
Three Creeks Trail This proposed connector trail follows a three-mile-long PUD
transmission line right-of-way, from the county Interurban Trail near Swamp
Creek to North Creek Park near Mill Creek. The trail easement will provide an
urban walking route, away from streets and automobiles, through a densely
populated portion of southwest Snohomish County.
Other multipurpose trails provided by the Snohomish County Parks system
include the trails at Lord Hill Regional Park and the Whitehorse Trail, which serve
equestrians, mountain bikers,
and hikers. The type of trail at Lord Hill Regional Park has a natural surface, a
varied topography, and generally is six to eight feet in width. The Snohomish
County Department of Parks and Recreation has continued to acquire corridor to
the Centennial Trail and will be developing 10 miles of trail from the City of Lake
Stevens to the City of Arlington and an additional 9 miles from the City of
Arlington to Skagit County. This is being accomplished with the assistance of the
Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, which has provided significant
funding for the development of the trail. Snohomish County has matched these
funds more than dollar for dollar. Snohomish County continues to seek corridor
acquisition between Snohomish and King County in order to link with King
County‟s multi-purpose trail system.
In 1994 Snohomish County also acquired an abandoned railroad right-of- way
from the City of Arlington to the City of Darrington. This is known as the
Whitehorse Trail corridor and represents 445 acres stretching 27 miles from
Arlington to Darrington. With the assistance of volunteers from the City of
Darrington, Snohomish County will open six miles of unpaved trail for the use of
walkers, bicyclists and equestrians near the town of Darrington. Beginning at a
“Y” connection to the Centennial Trail just north of the City of Arlington, this 27-
mile trail follows the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, and Highway 530,
east to the City of Darrington. As it moves along the valley floor, this former
railroad grade passes through one of the most scenic rural landscapes in the
county. With the addition of two former farm sites along its route, this trail
provides convenient access to several river fishing locations and viewpoints.
Near Darrington, the trail also accesses the famous Bluegrass Festival site, and
may eventually be connected to Squire Creek County Park and Campground.
Nature Trails within Parks
Nature Trails require one of several designs depending on local conditions, the
environment, the topography, and the end user. They can be paved using
asphalt, concrete, or compacted gravel. They can use a natural material such as
wood chips or “hog fuel”. In wet locations where there can be standing water or
flooding a boardwalk may be the facility of choice. Nature Trails provide the
opportunity for interpretation of environmental, cultural or historic conditions. As
one of the important roles of Snohomish County Parks is environmental
education, nature trails provide the opportunity to interpret wetland and steam
ecology, fish, wildlife, and local history.
The nature trail at North Creek Regional Park, for example, consists of floating
boardwalk. A boardwalk is a trail design of
choice in wet areas. Sensitive wet areas may not support a natural surface or a
paved trail. A boardwalk minimizes the impact on the sensitive areas and only
has contact with the surface through its pilings or foundation. Where flooding
may occur, as at North Creek Regional Park, the boardwalk can be engineered to
float with the rising water, preserving the infrastructure and providing access
during the flood conditions.
Snohomish County Parks has been very active in the acquisition of properties in
the Snohomish River Estuary. In order to provide public access to this very
sensitive area the perimeter trail was surfaced with hog fuel. This is a soft
natural surface that biodegrades slowly and provides a soft, dry surface for
The nature trail that winds through Southwest County Park is an example of a
nature trail that requires the use of varied surfaces. Compacted gravel, wood
chips and asphalt are used to surface the trail, displaying sensitivity to local
McCollum Park offers paved and natural surface trails that provide access
through the North Creek riparian corridor. Inside the park, the adopt-a-Stream
Foundation is developing the Northwest Stream Center. It will include one mile
of raised boardwalk that will lead visitor through 16 acres of diverse wetlands to
viewing platforms where salmon can be seen spawning in North Creek, and to a
visitors building where training classes on stream and wetland ecology are
offered. Lundeen Park and River Meadows Park offer easier walking
environments that provide paved and natural surface trails in and around the
Walking and Hiking Trails
Walking and Hiking Trails offer recreational opportunities in Parks. These range
from a pleasant stroll through most of the developed Snohomish County Parks to
a challenging park such Lord Hill Regional Park that requires hiking up hills or
over rough terrain. These types of trails can offer public access to natural
features, serve people with varied physical abilities and skills, or just provide for
circulation through a park.
Located east of the City of Granite Falls, just off of the Mountain Loop Highway
and along the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River, is 940-acre Robe Canyon
Historic Park. The initial property acquisition began in 1995 and was completed
in 1997. The sites‟ primary claim to fame was as the travel corridor of the
famous Monte Cristo Railroad that served the mining and logging interests of the
area several decades ago. In more recent times, the canyon has been the
frequent location of many Boy Scout trail clearing and service project activities.
As part of a current park site management plan effort, the old railroad bed will
be developed into a scenic hiking trail route through the safer sections of the
rugged canyon. Signs and historical interpretive displays will be provided at
strategic locations and scenic viewpoints. The Park consists of a linear corridor
that winds through a natural canyon cut by the South Fork of the Stilliguamish
River. Access to the Park is by trails cut by volunteers. These trails take hikers
over natural surfaces and through switchbacks down from the rim of the canyon
to the river on the northeast and up to the rim of the canyon on the southwest.
The trail provides opportunities for cultural interpretation reliving the history of
the railroad through the canyon as well as the town of Robe and the lime kiln.
Environmental interpretation opportunities include education about substantial
wetlands along portions of the trail, salmon and associated information about the
Endangered Species Act, and how the river dug the canyon itself.
Aquatic Trails are typically watercourses connecting parks or specified landings
that are frequented by canoe, kayak, or small boat enthusiasts. Longer aquatic
trails require landings that provide the opportunity for overnight stay.
Snohomish County Parks does not operate or maintain an aquatic trail. The
Cascade Water Trail, however, which winds its way through Puget Sound, does
have stops at Kayak Park and Meadowdale Park. At Kayak Point Park folks using
the trail can stop overnight and camp under the supervision of Snohomish
County Parks personnel. The stop at Meadowdale Park does not have overnight
An equestrian trail provides opportunities for folks on horseback to enjoy
Snohomish County Parks. An equestrian trail is typically six foot wide and can
have a variety of surfaces. A natural surface is preferred by most equestrians but
turns to mud in wet conditions. Most equestrians do not prefer a gravel surface
because individual stones can get caught in a horse‟s hooves and cause
discomfort to the animal. Gravel surfaces are easier to maintain and do not turn
to mud in wet conditions. In other parts of the country equestrian trails or “bridle
paths” are surfaces with cinders. This material is not readily available in this part
of the country and has related environmental concerns. Equestrians generally do
not like asphalt or concrete paving because, despite its low maintenance, it can
be hard on a horse‟s hooves and/or shoes.
Equestrians can take advantage of the Snohomish County Centennial Trail. A six-
foot separated natural surface equestrian trail parallels a paved multipurpose
bicycle /pedestrian trail. The trail is currently seven miles long and stretches from
the City of Snohomish to the City of Lake Stevens. An additional nine miles of
trail are slated for construction in 2000 extending the trail to the City of
Arlington. Ten more miles are planned from the City of Arlington to Skagit
County. Trailheads provide space and opportunity for parking of horse trailers.
Lord Hill Regional Park has a number of trail opportunities for equestrians. These
natural surface trails traverse the forested areas of the 1400-acre County park
and provide a wide variety of topography and challenge.
Mountain Biking Trails
The mountain bike has put new and additional pressure on the nature of park
trail systems. A conventional bicycle is more than adequate for the bicyclist
interested in pleasure, speed, or distance riding on paved surfaces, even those
with substantial hills. The off-road mountain bike with its fatter tires and
alternative suspension provides the opportunity to the athletic or recreational
bicyclist to take advantage of unpaved trails, even those with barriers such as
downed trees or uneven surfaces. Topography is an asset as opposed to a
disadvantage for the mountain bike enthusiast. Steep slopes and sudden change
in terrain provide part of the varied experience that challenge and are preferred
by the mountain bike enthusiast. Lord Hill Regional Park has the only mountain
bike facilities offered to the general community. The changing terrain and steep
slopes typical of the trails at Lord Hill Regional Park are well used by mountain
bike enthusiasts. The trails are natural surface. Equestrians, however, also use
many of these trails. When a horse meets a bicycle on the trail, the encounter
can be difficult for both. Trail etiquette is demanded in these
situations. Bicyclists musts yield to equestrians at all times. This helps ensure
safe use of the trail by all users.
The Snohomish County Department of Public Works has published the Paths for
People Plan. This plan described existing and desired routes for bicycles and
pedestrians over or adjacent to the road system maintained by Snohomish
County. Bicycle lanes on streets and roads have important transportation
benefits but are generally not associated with connections to the Snohomish
County Parks Regional Trail System. The community asks regularly for more of
these connections. The Paths for People Plan addresses some of these concerns.
As the County continues to grow there will be more demand for these types of
Property of this type has been acquired in fee, by easement, or by dedication in
various urban utility corridors and platted residential areas over several years.
These sites are intended for casual trail use, or simply for protecting habitat and
greenspace. Examples of this type of parkland property are: Transmission Line
Corridor („77-‟82) 17.5 acres along the Seattle City Light right-of-way just south
of the City of Mill Creek and east of the Mays Pond community. Admiralty Way
Trail Corridor (1926) 4.2 acres of undeveloped, dedicated road right-of-way just
south of Everett between Gibson Rd. and 4th Ave. W, on the west side of
Interstate 5. Shenandoah Woods Trail Corridor (1988) 2 acres of dedicated
greenbelt over a pipeline right-of-way just north of Filbert Road and west of I-5
in the southwest county urban growth area.
From its earliest years, the Snohomish County Parks Department has acquired
large and small parcels and properties of various types throughout the county,
for the protection of environmentally sensitive open space “green areas” or to
secure sites for casual outdoor uses such as walking trails.
Some of the very first County parkland ownership‟s came as dedications from
private estates and individual wills. At times, the provisions in these wills and
property deeds would reflect certain values of the particular families or estates.
Some donors wished to preserve their property for scholarly purposes, thus
providing settings for environmental study by future generations. Others donors
simply wished to save their cherished land and forests from commercial
development. (Occasionally, the County is presented an opportunity to purchase
strategically located, or environmentally sensitive, property for future park use
when population and growth levels become much higher). For the most part,
these special properties have been situated in the more rural areas of the
Another source of parkland has been via the residential development process, in
which tracts and parcels are dedicated to the public to satisfy open space
recreation requirements for plat approval. A large number of these properties
are located in the more urban portion of southwest Snohomish County near
existing city growth areas.
Snohomish County Parks are found in very distinct environmental zones:
saltwater shorelines, tidelands and beaches, river corridors, estuary and
floodplains, upland plateaus, freshwater lakes, foothills and mountain regions.
Many of these natural areas are recognized for their unique and special
environmental qualities and have been set aside as parks or restrictive preserves.
Some of these lands are found in urban, or urbanizing, regions of the county,
while others are located in more rural, or yet undeveloped, regions. County-
purchased sites provide a wide range of opportunities including scientific
research and environmental education, preservation of wildlife habitat and
biodiversity, and protection of certain elements of exceptional scenic grandeur
and “sacred space”.
The following descriptions are organized based on the natural feature highlighted
at each particular park.
There is an incredible variety of natural elements along the hundreds of miles of
Puget Sound shoreline and Snohomish County encompasses many of these
dramatic features. Within the County Parks‟ custodial inventory can be found two
accretion beaches; one at 100-acre Meadowdale Beach Park and the other, just a
mile north at Picnic Point Park, both in the southwest region of the county. These
fan-shaped beaches are constantly being replenished with sand and gravel
material deposited by streams flowing through steep-sided, eroding gulches and
In the northwestern portion of the county, known as Port Susan, lies one of the
County‟s larger ownership‟s, 670-acre Kayak Point Regional Park. The park‟s
shoreline features nearly two-thirds of a mile of high quality beach and over
1500 lineal feet of high bluff, immediately behind the most southerly portion of
the beach. This bluff area is an excellent example of the ongoing natural process
of the sloughing of sand and gravel materials needed to maintain the park‟s
RIVERS AND STREAMS
Along the major river corridors within Snohomish County are several sites
acquired by County Parks, which provide a wide range of natural area
stewardship opportunities. These opportunities may be strictly preservation and
protection of environmentally sensitive lands, or may involve various levels of
site rehabilitation and re-establishment of wildlife habitat and natural functions.
On the Stillaguamish River system, the 55-acre Twin Rivers Park site at the City
of Arlington includes both riverfront access and an active community park facility.
The extensive river edge woodland and cobble-bar area (at the confluence of
the North and South forks of the river) is primarily accessed by sports fishermen
and is some distance from the active sports fields nearer the SR530 highway
corridor to the east. Through a management partnership with City of Arlington
the two portions of the park are managed as separate and distinct areas, which
allows for the protection of the riparian woodland and wildlife habitat zone. A
nearby site, just west of Arlington, is the 160-acre Portage Creek Wildlife
In addition to the creek flowing through the property, several acres of wetland
meadows and a large pond and wildlife
habitat area are featured. The site is utilized primarily as an outdoor laboratory
and regularly receives groups of school children on environmental study tours.
At the more recently acquired Trafton farm site, some three and one-half miles
further upstream to the east, river edge and channel improvements are being
considered in a cooperative working relationship with the County‟s Surface Water
Management (SWM) Division.
Park‟s 27-mile long, Whitehorse Trail route between Arlington and the Town of
Darrington follows the Stillagaumish River. Several projects for stream bank
protection, spawning area enhancements, and removal of fish migration
blockages, have been accomplished along this route.
Located on Hwy 530, just west of Darrington is Squire Creek Park. Just 30 acres
in size, the site boasts one of the largest Douglas Fir and Hemlock tree stands in
the park system, and is also one of its best camping locations. Additionally,
Squire Creek itself is home to notable salmon spawning and bald eagle activity.
Along the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River are two county-owned properties
which exhibit both scenic and dramatic river edge qualities: River Meadows
Regional Park, on the Jordan Road southeast of Arlington, and Robe Canyon
Historic Park, just off the Mountain Loop Highway east of the Town of Granite
Falls. At River Meadows Park is a similar river woodland, sand/gravel shoreline,
and cobble-bar environment, as is found at Twin Rivers, Arlington. However, the
character of this site is more pastoral and scenic in nature. This 152-acre park
features nearly a mile of mixed-forest and wooded shoreline, expansive
floodplain meadows, and forested upland areas and slopes, which support more
passive activities such as picnicking and nature trail use. Also found in the park
are wooded wetlands and habitat, and the confluence of Jim Creek and the
Stillaguamish River. This site‟s history includes evidence of early Native American
encampment and trading activity, and more recent pioneer settlement, logging
and farming activity. Since coming under public ownership, only limited areas of
the site have been closely maintained, with a great portion of the forest and
shoreline allowed to revert back to a more natural state.
The Robe Canyon Historic Park is perhaps one of Snohomish County‟s most
exciting landscapes. Over a hundred years ago, the canyon was the location of
the famous Monte Cristo Railroad, hauling silver ore from the mining town of
Monte Cristo to the rail connection with the main line of the Seattle, Lakeshore &
Eastern Railroad at Hartford, near Lake Stevens. Today, the site is a steep-sided
gorge through which the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River flows over giant
boulders and through swift rapids. The forces of nature have slowly, but surely,
reclaimed most of the canyon from the former railroad and tunnel construction.
Only remnants of the railroad use and grade remain, and hikers who are able to
traverse the near-wilderness site will experience the rushing water and cool
depths of the canyon much as early peoples and pioneers must have years ago.
The Pilchuck River, at the southwest edge if the Town of Granite Falls, flows
along the northern boundary of the 125-acre O‟Reilly Acres County Park reserve.
Deeded to the County through a private will over 50 years ago, the site is
perhaps the best example of the importance of securing a beautiful and
environmentally-complex site long-before the pressures of urban development
arrive. The O‟Reilly Acres property is presently an oasis of dense-forest wildlife
habitat, streams, beaver ponds, and forested wetlands, surrounded on three
sides by clear-cut land scheduled for large-lot housing development. For a
number of years, the only public access to the northern edge of the site was
over a log footbridge across the Pilchuck River. With the removal of the bridge
for structural and safety reasons, this beautiful and valuable natural area will
have to remain inaccessible for the present time. It is hoped that, in the near
future, a controlled access route can be secured to provide security and
Along the upper reaches of the North Fork of the Skykomish River, a tributary of
the Snohomish River, are two county-owned sites known as Index Properties No.
1 & 2. These properties are steep, wooded slopes, with narrow, rocky shorelines
along a swiftly flowing section of the river. There is no land access to the sites,
and their chief value is associated with the preservation of the old, second-
growth forest, which is part of the Washington State Parks and Recreation
Commission‟s Scenic River Corridor.
The Pilchuck River Property, recently acquired as a donation in the year 2000,
serves as a fishing access and conservation site. This 35-acre property is located
on Russell Rd. about two miles east of the City of Lake Stevens.
RIVER ESTUARY LANDS
Immediately east of the City of Everett lies the vast river floodplain of the
Snohomish River. Meandering channels and sloughs wind through this riparian
zone, moving up and down with the seasonal river flows and tidal influences.
Within this dynamic water- oriented landscape lie several islands of varying size
and characteristics. Many of the natural features of these islands have
experienced a historical transformation from the primitive forests and wetlands
of the native peoples to agricultural and other uses introduced by European
In the latter part of the 20th Century, these island farm-related activities began to
die-out, in part to economic trend influences, but more likely due to increasingly
frequent river flooding. In a program of acquisitions to return these river
floodplain lands to their former tidally influenced habitat state, the County Parks
Department purchased 1030 acres of these lands which include:
. Portions of North & South Spencer Island.
. The northern portion of Ebey Island
. The entirety of Otter Island
. Several nearby island and shoreline wetland parcels.
As with great many properties located in valuable riparian habitat zones, these
lands have been reclaimed from former agricultural and farming uses. Man-made
dikes on one of the larger parcels, Spencer Island, are now being breached to
allow the tidally-influenced waters to flow through the inner island areas and re-
establish saltwater marshes and fish habitat. Waterfowl resting and feeding
areas are also being restored and expanded with the breaching efforts. Other
benefits are also being achieved through environmental educational and
interpretive programs featuring fish and wildlife values.
Upriver, just west of the City of Snohomish, is a recently acquired 65-acre site
along the Lowell-Snohomish Road. This yet-to-be-named county property is
comprised of a long, north-facing shoreline frequented by salmon and steelhead
fishermen, and a lagoon or bay feature which provides excellent bird and wildlife
habitat. The future River Road Trail will provide controlled public access and
viewing over this riparian area.
Four miles further upriver is the County‟s Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas‟
Eddy. This 343-acre site, also a reclaimed farm property, is what has been
described as “The best river fishing spot in the county”. The park site is
essentially a wetland situated at the edge of a vast floodplain and gravel bar. It
has over a mile of meandering shoreline, thick with willows, cottonwood, and
dense riparian vegetation. Former agricultural fields are frequently inundated
with seasonal floods overtopping the old protective dike and the small ponds and
spring-fed lakes are permanent features. On the upland overlook, near the park‟s
public entry and parking, are vast territorial views: across the river to the north,
and also east toward Lord Hill.
Lord Hill Regional Park, another mile and a half upriver toward the City of
Monroe, is essentially an upland or foothill property with related forest, pond and
wetland features. However part of the site reaches the Snohomish River
shoreline and contains a third of a mile of quality riparian vegetation and habitat.
Most of these upland regions in Snohomish County have experienced
considerable environmental impacts due mainly to decades of logging activity
and subsequent urban population growth. Wetlands and streams have been
impacted or altered, and many of the former wildlife habitat areas have been
reduced to small “islands of refuge” with little or no connecting migratory
corridors. The County Parks Department has been fortunate in its efforts to
secure a few of these scarce lands, which exhibit the sometimes-fragile qualities
and characteristics of stressed ecosystems. As with the land acquisition efforts in
other parts of the county, sites in the upland plateau region often need
rehabilitation and relief from previous human activities and uses.
In the southwest county upland area, the various cities, towns, and urban
growth areas have relatively few large, or substantial, remaining land parcels
exhibiting quality wildlife habitat or natural area functions. 120-acre Southwest
County Park, along Olympic View Drive in Edmonds, is one
of these scarce properties. This heavily wooded site, though previously logged
some forty years ago, contains a variety of mixed-forest trees and plants, along
with several pockets of wetlands, some modest hilly topographical relief, and the
stream corridor of Perrinville Creek. The site is completely surrounded by
residential development and an active roadway bisects a portion of the parkland.
The natural features of the site interior are accessed by a series of informal foot
Further north, between the city limits of Edmonds and Mukilteo, are 427 acres of
gulches and ravines identified variously as the Chevron Parklands or Harbour
Pointe Properties. These lands are heavily wooded and provide the primary
stream corridors of Big Gulch Creek and Picnic Point Creek, which flow westward
to the Sound. Though covered by dense forest and understory vegetation, the
gulches experience significant erosion impacts and loss fish populations of from
seasonal high surface water runoff events. Acquired in 1978 from Chevron USA,
as dedicated open space in the planned residential community of Harbour Pointe,
these deep, densely vegetated gulches and ravines serve as important stream
corridors to Puget Sound as well as important wildlife habitat in the heavily urban
county area. The heavily wooded gulches provide quiet, informal outdoor
walking trails along old logging routes, with many easily seen examples of the
former timber harvesting activity, such as large, decaying stumps of giant cedar
Near the I-5 corridor on 128th St SE is McCollum Park, the first Snohomish County
park. While the ballfield and parking area occupy a large highly visible portion of
the property, the bulk of the 78-acre site has a significant amount of natural
area. The North Creek riparian corridor runs through the evergreen forested area
on the western, and a large wooded wetland occupies the southernmost section
of the park near the Northwest Stream Center facility.
The North Creek Greenway is an acqisition program funded by a State matching
funds grant program. Several strategic parcels of privately owned land in
southwest Snohomish County are targeted to begin the creation of a long,
stream oriented greenbelt. These sensitive riparian habitat and salmon
spawning areas, along the North Creek corridor south of McCollum Park, will be
secured by purchase or conservation easement, and will serve as a protective
natural buffer from increasing pressures of urban development and growth.
North Creek Park, just south of the City of Mill Creek, offers over 85 acres of
meadow wetland environment accessed via a mile-long floating boardwalk and
interpretive trail through the property. The stream corridor itself is accessed only
from the boardwalk at a designated viewpoint. Once part of the historic John
Bailey Farm, the site presently exhibits few of the former agricultural uses. The
process of allowing the wetlands to revert back to a natural state has been
accelerated through a series of re-vegetation and reforestation projects. It is
hoped that in a relatively few years, a broad range of native plant and wildlife
communities will begin to thrive and out-compete the introduced, non-native
Tambark Creek Community Park, at the eastern edge of the Mill Creek Urban
Growth Area, is an undeveloped 40-acre site composed of riparian vegetation
and habitat corridors along with several wetland features of varying size. The
future use of the property will most likely be associated with interpretive trails
and boardwalks for environmental education and interpretation, serving this
rapidly growing area of the county.
Approximately a mile south of Mill Creek is Silver Creek Park. At nine and one-
half acres in size, this neighborhood park site contains a significant amount of
riparian plants and wetlands, re-established after previous housing development
land-clearing activity. While the park provides a trail and two children‟s play
activity areas, the greater portion of the site‟s landscape has quickly evolved into
a good quality small bird and mammal habitat with rehabilitated wetland marsh
Northwest and central upland plateau areas are characterized as rural for the
most part, with population concentrations developing in and around town centers
and certain recreational lakes and long-standing resort locations. As with the
southwest plateau region, former logging and agricultural activities have
dramatically altered the ancient ecosystem, with residential subdivision
construction adding to the habitat loss in recent years.
In the northwest upland plateau area, three undeveloped properties have been
donated to the County Parks Department for the sole purpose of protection from
possible timber harvesting and residential development. These sites are identified
as the Hawthorn and Pelz properties (near the Tulalip
Reservation and Kayak Point Park), and the Norgaard Property north of
Stanwood. All three wooded sites will remain in their present-day protected
state. However, the Norgaard property will be managed for scientific and
environmental education purposes as directed by the deed from the donating
In the upland portion of Kayak Point Park, east of Marine Drive, are several
hundred acres of forest, including the Kayak Point Golf Course. Large, mixed-
forest parcels flank the golf course property on the north and south, with
significant wooded corridor connections running throughout the complex of
fairways and greens. From evening, through the night, and into the early
morning hours, a great many bird and mammal species are presently thriving
within this unique, and somewhat protected environment.
In north Marysville, the Mother Nature‟s Window site is a 34-acre acquisition
containing the last old, second-growth forest stand in the area. Several species
of small mammals and birds reside within the wooded boundaries of the site.
This property is also an “oasis” of green in an otherwise built-out residential
community. Steadfast resistance to urban development by the former owner,
and great public and neighborhood support for park status, lead the way to
eventual purchase of this special forest environment by the County Parks
This 34-acre site is located along Marine Drive, on the Tulalip Tribes Reservation,
about 8 miles from the City of Marysville. Dedicated to the County in 1970, this
property acquisition was also intended for the protection of its dense forestland.
Nearly the oldest of Snohomish County Parks‟ properties, this 122-acre site,
which includes the original family homestead, was dedicated as a public parkland
in 1947. Dense stands of cedar, fir and hemlock occupy the centermost portion
of the property, with a thick, mixed forest of maple, alder and cottonwood
comprising the remainder of the site. The property is located across the Pilchuck
River from the western edge of the City of Granite Falls, near State Highway 92.
One of Snohomish County Parks‟ most recent acquisitions, this 663-acre property
in south county, east of Crystal Lake, is an example of another homestead farm
and forest preservation. Of greater importance however, is the protection of an
extensive wetland unit that forms the headwaters of Bear Creek, flowing into
King County and eventually into the Sammamish River and Lake Washington.
Snohomish County residents are fortunate to enjoy the benefits of several small
lakes. Twin Lakes Park originated from the excavation of gravel for the
construction of nearby Interstate 5. The County acquired the site in 1973, and
the two adjoining lakes have evolved into a popular 54-acre park. The park
features two swimming beaches, walking paths, and picnic areas. The natural
spring fed lakes are stocked with bass and rainbow trout. They can be fished
year round, and are a very popular destination for local fishing enthusiasts.
Lake Goodwin Community Park Snohomish County Parks recently received a
grant from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation to assist in
development of this water-oriented site. It will provide community park facilities,
as well as much needed public swimming beach and picnicking
facilities, as well as a fishing pier and wetland interpretive areas.
In the southwest urban region, Martha Lake Park, on 164th St SE, between
Lynnwood and Mill Creek in SW Snohomish County, is yet another example of an
environmental reclamation project. Formerly a tavern and resort property with
greatly disturbed lake shoreline, the six-acre urban site has been redesigned to
accommodate a much needed public access to the lake, while enlarging,
enhancing and protecting over two acres of shoreline habitat and wetlands.
The old Leckies‟ Resort site, now Flowing Lake Park, still retains a great deal of
its former peak season intense uses such as camping, picnicking, swimming,
fishing and boating. A small section of shoreline has been kept in its natural state
however, and now provides good aquatic habitat along this portion of the lake.
Lundeen Park on Lake Stevens (also a former resort site, with an altered stream
channel). In each case, with the removal of the former uncontrolled use and
activities on the site, plant and animal communities have returned, and are
becoming larger and more complex as each season of protection and
enhancement effort continues.
In contrast to the former resort sites, in one of the more isolated and less known
areas in the county, the 195-acre Lake Cassidy-Lake Martha Wetland, along the
central section of the Centennial Trail corridor north of Lake Stevens, is primarily
a natural area preservation purchase. Occupying the site‟s wooded edge on the
northern shoreline of Lake Cassidy is an exceptional natural feature: a large,
floating, sphagnum moss mat, which has created a special and sensitive plant
environment found in few places in the region. As mentioned with previous site
descriptions, the imminent threat of logging activity prompted public agency
action to prevent the loss of a sensitive and valuable environmental resource.
At the former pioneer homestead site at Lake Roesiger Park, a beautiful cove
and marshland environment has been kept separate from the day-use park and
swimming beach activities, and held in reserve for future interpretive and nature
FOOTHILLS AND MOUNTAIN REGION
In this region of Snohomish County, where state and federal land holdings reign
supreme, County Parks has had little presence with regard to ownership of
natural areas and resources. The State and National Forest and Wilderness Areas
have provided an incredible amount of scenic and environmental opportunities
for the population of the entire Puget Sound area. In the foothill region, the only
inventory examples of county-owned properties have been previously identified
as lake-related sites (i.e. Flowing Lake and Lake Roesiger). But on an ancient,
basalt-based hill, not far from the largest population area of the county, is
perhaps the most unique property under Snohomish County‟s stewardship.
Situated nearly 700 feet above the river floodplain between Snohomish and
Monroe, is Snohomish County‟s largest land ownership, Lord Hill Regional Park.
Formerly a state trust land, this 1400-acre site is by and large a wooded
landscape, with heavy stands of cedar, fir, hemlock, maple and alder. Prior to
County ownership, some of the timber acreage had been harvested, but even
the most recent cuts have grown back to thick stands of mixed forest and
understory vegetation. In the large basins and depressions throughout the
upland portions of site are numerous wetlands, and beaver ponds of
considerable size and volume. A great variety of wildlife is at home on
Lord Hill including dear, beaver, coyotes, owls, jays, and numerous small
mammal and bird species. Some residents of the hill, as well as trail hikers, claim
to have encountered a black bear at various times and locations within the park.
About thirty years ago, Snohomish County was involved in a land trade with the
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and received the only
mountain region properties in its inventory.
Combination Park Land
The following Combination Parks sites feature one or more regional attractions in
addition to community park elements. They are located in urbanizing areas and
in rural environments. They often provide a regional feature (such as water
access) or facility (i.e. an outdoor pool) in addition to active play areas and
playgrounds to serve the surrounding community. In rural settings, the regional
park may be the only facility to serve the rural population.
Lundeen Community Park provides regional water access and community park
facilities. It includes a large secured swimming area, dock, and three covered
picnic shelters, picnic areas, playground equipment, and outdoor basketball
Located next to a sensitive wetland on the north shore of Lake Stevens, this 9-
acre park also provides interpretive displays explaining the ecology of the
wetland community. Kokanee salmon have been documented here in
In 1904, the Lundeen family began building a private resort on their Lake
Stevens farm, which later became known throughout Snohomish County for its
dance hall, ball field, swimming beach and other attractions. The famous dance
hall later burned and the Lundeens sold the property in the late 1960‟s. In 1977
Snohomish County purchased 9.25 acres of the former resort
property for use as a county park. The site was developed in 1992.
Martha Lake Park, a popular 6-acre park offers a precious natural setting within
the heart of a fast-growing urban area. The park includes a fishing dock,
boardwalks through wetlands, swim area, and three picnic shelters. Two
playgrounds serve both young and older children.
Before Martha Lake Park was developed, it was known as “Martha Lake Resort,”
which offered the only beach access to the lake. The previous owners of the
property hoped to develop condominiums or a business park on the property.
Community groups organized and requested that the property be developed into
a regional park. After the owner‟s development plans proved to be infeasible by
the county, the wishes of the community groups were realized and the parks and
recreation department began the process for park acquisition and development.
The project was strongly supported by the Martha Lake Community Club and
local lake residents.
McCollum Pioneer Park is a 78 acre family-oriented park, providing ball fields,
jogging / walking trails, a junior Olympic-sized, heated outdoor swimming pool,
shaded and open space lawn areas with picnic tables and shelters, and a BMX
bicycle racing track. Adopt-A-Stream‟s Northwest Stream Center, a stream and
wetland ecology learning facility, is also located here near 20 acres of forested
wetlands next to North Creek.
In the early 1940‟s, the site served as the primary dumping facility for south
Snohomish County. In the mid 60s, local residents and an association of county
clubs known as the “South End Federated Clubs,” in conjunction with the newly
established Parks Department, began procedures to formally close the landfill
and convert the property to park use.
In 1968, the county passed a bond issue that in part funded the first phase
improvements of McCollum Park, including closing of the landfill and construction
of the existing pool. In 1980, the park department headquarters were built on
the site. Then in 1984, the Washington State University Extension Services
moved in to the former park department building, and continue to occupy two
large buildings for administrative headquarters and classroom buildings.
The area surrounding McCollum Park was at one time known as Emander. A
group of individuals called the Pioneers of Emander were involved in the early
improvements of the park; most notably the design, funding, and construction of
the large picnic shelter.
With 150 acres of large open meadows and forests along the banks of the
Stillaguamish River, River Meadows offers a variety of outdoor activities. Fishing
along the mile-long riverbank, camping in the open meadows, hiking on the
meandering trails and observing nature‟s beauty are but a few of the activities
awaiting visitors. During the month of August, the park hosts the “Festival of the
River” event celebrating the many ways a clean, free-flowing river system
contributes to the benefit of our community and to our entire natural
The River Meadows site has been occupied for generations. Native Americans
used the property as a trading and settlement destination. Ancient Olcott
artifacts have been found on the site.
Two homesteads were located on the property. The Tveit and Hovde families
homesteaded the site. On Homestead Terrace, there exists traces of early
farmhouse, along with surviving ornamental plants typical of a farmhouse yard
(flowering quince, kerria, rose and daffodils) and old apple trees. A barn built
around 1929 existed at the park until the early 90s, when it was torn down. Park
development began in 1977.
At a quarter of an acre Sunset Park, a small pocket park, serves both as a small
neighborhood park and as a regional viewpoint and waterfront access to Lake
Stevens. It includes picnic tables a lawn area, and a fishing dock.
Twin Rivers County Park is a large park located at the point where the North and
South Forks of the Stillaguamish Rivers converge.
The park provides practice and competition soccer fields and little league
baseball fields. Large open fields are available for walking pets or
jogging.Originally a farm, the property was purchased with money from the
county‟s first park bond issue. The Parks Department has an agreement with the
City of Arlington to maintain the park and schedule activities.
Sites for Future development
Purchased in 1996, Lake Goodwin Community Park, a 12-acre former tavern and
resort site is located on Lakewood Road at the north end of Lake Goodwin.
Recently master planned in 2000, this water-oriented park site will provide much
needed public swimming beach and picnicking facilities, as well as a fishing pier
and wetland interpretive areas. County Parks was successful with its recent
application the State Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation for
matching development funds to be available the summer of 2002. Snohomish
County Parks recently received a grant from the Interagency Committee for
Outdoor Recreation to assist in development of this water-oriented site. It will
provide community park facilities, as well as a much-needed public swimming
beach and picnic facilities, as well as fishing pier and wetland interpretive areas.
The Norgaard Property is just 2 miles north of the City of Stanwood, this 78-acre
site was dedicated in 1972 for park uses and the protection of the wetland and
forest environment for educational purposes. Open portions of the site could
accommodate community park facilities.
Southwest County Park is a 115-acre, open space park. The park lies within the
City of Edmonds limits, in southwester Snohomish County. The site encompasses
a series of forested ravines and Perrinville Creek, which flow through the eastern
portion of the Park to Brown‟s Bay on Puget Sound. Olympic View Drive winds
through the site on its way from Lynnwood to Edmonds. The site has two nature
trails, one on the east side of Olympic View Drive and one on the east side.
During the mid 1900‟s the area was logged and used as farmland and residential
home sites. The area along Perrinville Creek, a 115-acre parcel of land composed
of forested ravines and wetlands, remained relatively untouched. Pope and
Talbot, early owners of the local forests, eventually transferred ownership of the
115-acre parcel to the University of Washington. Then in 1971, Snohomish
County obtained the site from the University of Washington through a State of
Washington, interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC), grant. The
deed transfer from the University contained conditions on the future
development of the parcel, insuring that the parcel is forever managed as a
passive woodland open space.
Since 1971, the 115-acre parcel has been known as Southwest County Park. The
Park has the distinction of being the largest single parcel of open space within
the Edmonds city limits. The site‟s past history lies indelibly on the land as
evidenced by the buckboard notches in the site‟s old growth stumps. Overgrown
logging skid roads are now hiker‟s footpaths. There are clearings within the park
that could potentially feature community park facilities.
Trafton Farm is a 112-acre parcel served for many years as a dairy farm and
more recently as Cloverdale Golf Course. The County purchased the property in
1998 with Conservation Future Funds. Located on the North Fork of the
Stillaguamish River and adjacent to the County‟s White Horse Trail, this park will
serve both the region and the local community when formally developed as a
Willis D.Tucker Community Park is located near the residential community of
Snohomish Cascade, and the designated roadway extension of 132nd St. SE to
SR-9. This 83-acre property was formerly an unused, surplus part of the
County‟s Cathcart Landfill. In the latter part of 2000, the site was formally
named Willis D. Tucker Regional Park, in honor of the County‟s first Executive
Officer. A master plan will be completed in 2001 to guide the park‟s
development. It is anticipated that a major athletic field complex will be
designed, with additional community-related facilities provided for the
Whitehorse Community Ballfields are located in the northern portion of the City
of Darrington‟s Urban Growth Area near Highway 530. This 82-acre property is
being master planned to provide a much needed baseball and soccer complex to
support youth athletics in the northeast county area. In addition, other
community needs will be met with the development of walking and interpretive
trails, picnic facilities, and children‟s play areas. The provision of other site
amenities such as tent and RV camping will be explored.
Community Park Lands
Located adjacent to Edmonds Elementary School, Esparence Park provides two
practice size soccer fields and a little league baseball diamond. The park also
includes two volleyball courts and a playground. A mature second growth forest
with nature trails covers the northwest portion of the park.
Forsgren Community Park provides two practice soccer fields and two little
league baseball diamonds. A small playground at the north end of the park is
scheduled for development. The property was formerly a county owned gravel
pit. It was reclaimed in the early 80‟s and offered to the parks department. The
first development of the site was funded by a HUD grant. The grant provided for
grading and seeding of the soccer fields. The North Shore Soccer Youth
Association funded all weather soccer fields and baseball fields. The Association
continues to maintain the fields and schedule games.
Logan Park, a five-acre park purchased in 1951, is located at the corner of Logan
Road and Locust way, north of the City of Brier in the area generally known as
Alderwood. It includes a ballfield and a play area with equipment for children. A
paved walking / jogging path surrounds the park. The park was originally a sand
and gravel pit and was developed during the 1970‟s with a parking lot, baseball
field and play structures. The site was renovated in the mid 90‟s with support
from the immediate neighborhood.
Approximately a mile south of Mill Creek is Silver Creek Park. At nine and one-
half acres in size, this neighborhood park site contains a significant amount of
riparian plants and wetlands, re-established after previous housing development
land-clearing activity. The park provides a trail and children‟s play activity areas,
the greater portion of the site‟s landscape has quickly evolved into a good quality
small bird and mammal habitat with rehabilitated wetland marsh features.
Sites for Future Development
During the past few years, Snohomish County Parks has been working with
community groups in urban growth areas, as well as with cities and towns, to
secure properties suitable for the development of community-scale recreation
facilities and ballfields. This effort has been very successful, with the acquisition
of several sites in various regions of the county.
At just over five acres, Fobes Hill Park an undeveloped site offers territorial views
and potential for a small community park.
Lake Stevens Community Park, a 40-acre property, is located immediately east of
the City of Lake Stevens, just off the intersection of 16th St. NE and Machias
Road. This former timber harvest site has been master planned through an
extensive community participation process, and will soon provide four soccer
fields, three little-league baseball fields, basketball courts, children‟s play area,
picnicking, and walking trails.
A 12-acre property just ½ mile to the south of Lake Stevens Community Park
was master planned at the same time, and will provide an additional soccer and
baseball facility. Machias Community Park is currently undeveloped. The site is a
reclaimed gravel pit and is anticipated for use as a potential community park site.
At 28-acres, the Martha Lake Air Field Park site in southwest county, near I-5
and 164th St. SE, was formerly a privately owned, small airplane facility.
Purchased by Snohomish County Parks in 2000, and scheduled for a master plan
process in 2001, the property will be designed to meet a wide range of local
community recreation demands, as well as accommodate a significant number of
soccer and baseball fields.
In the North Marysville Urban Growth Area, on 100th St NE, is an old, 34-acre
second-growth forest site popularly known as Mother Nature‟s Window. Dense
stands of cedar and fir predominate, with equally thick forest edge areas of vine
maple and blackberries. Throughout this woodland preserve wind primitive trails
connecting small clearings and interpretive areas created by the former resident
owner and caretaker of the site. Neighborhood involvement and pressure on
and government officials helped Snohomish County Parks secure this site for
passive, community use. Planned site improvements will formalize the trail
system and provide a more adequate public access and parking area.
Interpretive signage will be improved to assist educational programs involving
site history and plant and animal identification.
The Pelz Property is an undeveloped park land located near the northern
boundary of the Tulalip Tribes Reservation west of Marysville; this 80-acre farm
site was dedicated to the County in 1970 for the protection of the property‟s
Across the 6th St bridge from the City of Snohomish, and adjacent to the Pilchuck
River, is the 24-acre Pilchuck Community
Park property. Formerly in agricultural use, the site features rich soils, capable
of supporting several grass-turf soccer and baseball facilities. All site ballfield
development will be situated a significant distance from the river zone to avoid
erosion damage from extreme flood water levels.
Southeast of the City of Mill Creek, on 35th Avenue SE is Tambark Creek
Community Park. This 40-acre property contains extensive wetlands, forested
habitat areas, and several grass meadows. The site is bisected by Tambark
Creek, a major feature of the parkland and important tributary of North Creek.
The site master plan includes trails, picnic areas, interpretive elements and a
parking area as anticipated park developments.
A Neighborhood Park is generally small, pedestrian-oriented, and situated to
serve residents of an immediate area. Snohomish County Parks recognizes that
provision of neighborhood parks, both within cities and within Urban Growth
Areas, will ultimately be the responsibility of local cities. Most of the County‟s
neighborhood park parcels are small and undeveloped, ranging from .22 acres to
7.83 acres with the majority averaging less than two acres.
In 2001 Snohomish County offered a Neighborhood Improvement Program
(NIP). This program is seen as a vehicle to assist citizens within Urban Growth
Areas, on a one-time basis, to obtain much needed local park land. This
program is likely to add more neighborhood park land to the County‟s inventory.
It is anticipated that both new and existing neighborhood park land will be
transferred to the appropriate city through the annexation process.
The one developed neighborhood park in the County inventory is Silvercrest
Park located in a Bothell neighborhood. At just over half an acre this park
includes open play areas, a tennis court, and playground equipment. The
remaining neighborhood parcels are undeveloped. These sites support some
passive recreation uses but serve primarily as open space to the adjacent
neighborhood. The neighborhood park parcels are listed on the following page: