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Hike of the Week for Friday, April 16, 2010

McCollum Pioneer Park

A pocket of nature in south Everett

Article and photo by Craig Romano

McCollum Pioneer Park
North Creek flows through
McCollum Pioneer Park.

Quick Facts

Location: South Everett - Mill Creek

Land Agency: Snohomish County Parks

Roundtrip: 1.5 miles

Elevation Gain: none

Access: From Exit 186 on I-5 head east on SR 96 (128th Street). Park entrance is on right. Trail begins by pool.

Notes: Dogs permitted on leash.

Contact: Snohomish County Parks; (425) 388-6600; www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Parks

Okay, this park isn’t exactly wild and you really won’t see anything of a pioneer nature either. But, what you will experience is a nice woodland walk along a small creek—a slice of nature surrounded by a sea of suburbia. The McCollum Pioneer Park consists of 78 acres of public property wedged between Mill Creek and south Everett. Gracing it is a perfect for taking the children and walking the dog path through a quiet woodland of maturing firs and cedars.

Cross North Creek on a bridge and pass by a pavilion and picnic tables. Then follow the gently flowing creek south. A side trail comes in from the left—an alternative starting point for this hike. Be sure to wander out on the bridge for nice up close viewing of North Creek. The main trail continues south and soon splits to form a loop. Head off in either direction on the fern-lined path. Another trail splits the loop offering a few extra minutes of walking.

The eastern half of the loop skirts wetlands ringing North Creek. Hike this section now witnessing woodland flowers and listening to crooning tree frogs reminding you that despite the recent cold weather, spring has arrived!

This small park now offers area residents, playfields and a quiet place to contemplate nature. But, 40 years ago the northern reaches of McCollum were a landfill. The surrounding region was once known as Emander. The name was derived from “M and R;” the initials of the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company, original landowner of the park property. A community group calling themselves the Pioneers of Emander pushed for creation of the park. It sure beats the old landfill!

For information on lodging and other attractions near McCollum Pioneer Park, visit www.snohomish.org

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