Nice, easy stroll through the woods. (about 2 miles round trip, although we can extend to some neighborhood streets if we want).
Dogs on leash, children in stroller please.
Terrace Creek Park trail
Location: Mountlake Terrace. Length: One mile each way. Level of difficulty: Flat-to-moderately sloped paved/packed-gravel trail.
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Location: Mountlake Terrace.
Length: One mile each way.
Level of difficulty: Flat-to-moderately sloped paved/packed-gravel trail.
Setting: This long, 60-acre park runs north and south through a lovely forested ravine flanked by residential neighborhoods. The area's first white settlers in the late 1800s worked in the logging industries, and the land was later platted into farms for mink, chinchillas and poultry. The residential community of Mountlake Terrace began after WWII, when spec houses were built for war veterans and their families.
Highlights: From the parking lot, the trail runs north past a large grassy lawn, then heads into a forest of deciduous trees and conifers. The wire baskets are for a game called disc golf, where Frisbee-like discs are thrown. (You may see or hear people up in the woods to the west playing the game.) The trail is flanked with tall salmonberry thickets now in bloom with their deep magenta flowers. As you continue north, the trail climbs gradually out of the ravine, the undergrowth vegetation changing to sword ferns and Oregon grape, which indicate drier conditions. Plentiful vine maples make this a glorious walk in the fall during foliage season.
The ravine's rich, dark mucky soil supports a wide variety of plants, including currently blooming bleeding hearts and skunk cabbage (which you actually can smell before you see). In a few large cedar stumps that now serve as nurseries for young plants, you can see the notches for springboards, which were set into the lower trunk by loggers who would stand on them to saw above the tree's broad base.
Facilities: Portable toilet, water and playground.
Restrictions: Leash and scoop laws in effect.
Directions: From Interstate 5 heading north from Seattle, take Exit 178. Turn right on 236th Street Southwest, and then left on 48th Avenue West. The parking lot for the park is on your left in three blocks. From southbound Interstate 5, take Exit 179, and turn left on 220th Street Southwest. Turn right on 56th Avenue West, left on 236th Street Southwest, and then proceed as above.