Nestled between the coast and the mountains, Snohomish County is located on the Puget Sound, the third most populous county in the state, and while it’s not Washington’s largest county, sixty-eight percent of its area is beautiful forested land. This, combined with its varied topography of saltwater beaches, rolling hills, and lush rivers, as well as Glacier Peak (standing as one of the highest points in Washington State), make for a lovely and scenic visit any time of the year.
Thanks in part to its year-round moderate climate and privileged location, Snohomish offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, canoeing, fishing and general sightseeing all around, but here are some of the stops you really shouldn’t miss on your trip. Let’s look at the best parks in Snohomish County!
Parks in Everett
County seat and largest city in Snohomish County, Everett is located at the mouth of the Snohomish River, and is not only the birthplace of many Boeing airplanes, but also a lively coastal and metropolitan hub that houses many parks, shopping centers and dining opportunities, making it much cozier (and cleaner) than most commuter cities.
The parks of Everett also serve as venues to numerous free live concerts, sailing spots, hiking trails, and even water sports and whale watching excursions. Jetty Island, a man-made island accessible by ferry during the summer months, is also an excellent bird watching spot, being home to many herons, ducks, eagles, hawks and many more species.
Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy
The Heirman Wildlife Preserve is a unique location in Snohomish because of its beautiful natural resources encompassed within its boundaries, like wetlands, a river, vast open plains and not one but two pristine lakes. On top of that, its facilities are great for fishing, hiking, or enjoying a nice picnic with the family.
Hikers should expect a short-but-beautiful three-mile hike that crosses an undeveloped riverfront along the Snohomish River. It’s a mostly flat terrain with some tight hairpins that showcases the park’s waterfowl like ducks and swans. It’s important to note that dogs are prohibited inside the preserve, so if you’re traveling with your furry friend you’ll have to plan accordingly.
Tambark Creek Park
Tambark Park covers a 40-acre area that houses big open plains, dense woodland and life-filled wetlands, and was opened in 2013 as part of an effort to provide the local community with a facility that could provide a real park experience.
Some of the features included are an athletic field, a dog park, playgrounds, picnic areas and shelters, open fields and the wildlife native to Snohomish County.
Southwest County Olympic View Park
A 120-acre space in southwestern Snohomish County, Olympic View Park houses a series or forested ravines surrounding Perrinville Creek, which connects to the Puget Sound through Brown’s Bay in the eastern portion of the park. The park’s now-overgrown logging skid roads serve as hiker’s trails, a tell-tale sign of its original purpose before becoming a protected area in 1971.
The site’s two nature trails, the longer of which is located on the northern part of Olympic View Drive, while the shortest is on the south side. The trail is easy and flat enough, but the use of off-road vehicles are not allowed on them.
Paradise Valley Conservation Area
A whopping 793-acre conservation area, Paradise Valley is located in the Bear Creek watershed and is vital for the salmon’s stream life, while also housing several large wetland areas surrounded by dense, forested ones. Of equal note is the 13-mile trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and even horse riders, but not all of the trail is open to the latter two.
The land on which PVCA now sits was originally homesteaded by the Lloyd family, who negotiated that the property would forever retain its form as an open and historic space. They also prevent any use of the property that would impair its status as wildlife habitat and its historical value.
The extensive natural land and variety of parks mean that it’s easy to find everything, from dog-friendly parks to kid-friendly hikes, in Snohomish County. If you enjoy tranquil walks and being in contact with nature at every step, don’t think twice about visiting!