Monday, June 25, 2012

Paradise Valley Conservation Area - June 21, 2012

A wooden foot bridge along the Lloyd Trail.

One of several small Cairns that I saw along the Lloyd Trail.

This was our second trip to Paradise Valley Conservation Area in Woodinville. The last time we went was in December and it was much warmer this time, thankfully!

There were several cars parked in the parking area when we arrived at around 11:30 am on a Thursday. I'm pretty sure the parking area fills up quickly on the weekends. There is a portable toilet in the parking area.

I would recommend printing a map from the link above. You can plan your route as you go.

We left the parking area and walked the Whispering Firs and Cascara trails. Then we headed a short way down the Mainline Trail to The Clearing for lunch. This is a nice open area with benches and makes a great place to have lunch.

Having lunch in The Clearing

After we ate we headed down the Mainline Trail until we hit the Lloyd Trail and took that until it reaches the Southern Traverse Trail. From there we followed the Forest Ridge Trail back to the Mainline Trail. We walked out to the parking lot after we finished and went for ice cream at The Snoqualmie Ice Cream Cafe when we were done. It's just a few minutes from the trailhead and has delicious ice cream!

We encountered several bikes along the trails that we hiked as well as some muddy spots (I would recommend hiking boots, or at the very least sturdy tennis shoes).

There are about 13 miles of trails in this park and is a great place to explore with kids. Plenty of easy walking trails for even the youngest of hikers!

I found my first ripe huckleberries of the season. There were quite a few Red Huckleberries around!

The bleeding hearts were still in bloom:

 I thought the Oregon Grapes were a really pretty green color:

Here are my fungus pictures:

I found this pine cone carefully balancing on this Huckleberry branch.

Happy Trails!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lime Kiln Trail - June 14, 2012

**Update as of 7/29/2014 - According to many trip reports on, the trail is not closed 2 miles in, despite signs (and the Snohomish County Parks website) saying otherwise. Many reviewers hiked the trail with children and had no problem with the trail conditions. Keep in mind that there are steep, narrow parts along the trail, so make sure to supervise your kids to avoid accidents. :-)

**Update as of 4/4/14 - Trail is closed 2 miles in due to slides and unstable condition. See my post for more info.

Even thought I've hiked Lime Kiln Trail several time, it's one of my favorites. It's close to home (about 35 minutes from North Everett) and not a difficult trail to hike.

There is a gravel parking area at the trail head and there were 2 vehicles there when we arrived with friends. We hiked on a Thursday, but I'm sure the parking area is busier on the weekends. I did read on the website that there have been several car break-ins/prowls over the last couple of months. ALWAYS remove valuables from your vehicle when leaving it at a trail head (car prowls are common at trail heads because there are usually long periods of time where vehicles are left unattended). You can't always avoid the risk of someone breaking into your vehicle, but if there isn't anything visible, I'm sure it lessens the chance. If there isn't anything to steal, it's that much less of a headache for you if someone does break in.

**Update - I forgot to include this when I originally published this post. It's about the washouts along the trail. There has been one main washout along the trail for the past couple of years which has been easily passable. It's still passable, but has washed out a little bit more. There is a new, big slide area, which is easily passable as well. We had a 3 year old and a 6 year old that did fine with parental help. Just wanted to make a note, so that you would  know what to expect on the trail. :)**

Lots of Salmon Berries along the trail! This is my favorite spot for Salmon Berries and I hit them at their prime!

We hiked the whole trail to the riverbank at the end (7 miles round trip). We had lunch on the riverbank. Lots of big rocks to sit on there.

Before you get to the river you will see the old lime kiln and some artifacts. Please leave all artifacts where they are. Here is a link with more history about Robe Canyon Historic Park and the lime kiln.

Here is the old lime kiln

Pretty scenery along the way:

Not a whole lot of flowers in bloom, but I spotted a few:


Red Columbine - the only one I saw, growing down by the river.

Baldhip Rose

A little green frog we spotted
Fungus pictures:
Slug finishing a snack

Oyster Mushrooms, I think.

Pretty sure these are Eyelash Cup fungus. See the eyelashes around the edges?

I think these are Yellow Tuning Fork mushrooms is a big happy trails to you from a tree monster along the trail!

Brightwater Center Hike - May 25, 2012

I had this hike on my bucket list and decided it would be a nice short hike that wouldn't be too far from home. Brightwater Center is a water treatment facility that opened to the public in September 2011. It has 3 miles of trails and 40 acres of natural habit to explore. There is an exhibit hall/education center to explore (make sure to check the hours if you plan to do this as well as the hike), and artwork to see.

Some of the trails have a little elevation gain, but most are fairly level and easy to walk. If you have younger children, or have trouble walking too far, this is the perfect hike for you! You can download a trail map from the website if you like, but the trails are well signed and have signboard maps along the way.

There is quite a variety of wildlife that you may see along the trails. We saw some birds and native plants.

I spotted one ripe Salmon Berry along the trail. First one I saw this year.

Lots of large, beautiful Thimble Berry Blossoms too.
This is a picture of Duck Pond.

My son taking advantage of one of many benches along the trail to tie his shoe.

We packed a lunch and ate on the benches at the top of Meadow Hill.

I have plans to come back to Brightwater Center for another hike, maybe this fall.

Happy trails!