Pilchuck Park─A wetland reborn!

Observation decks over wetland pools offer good wildlife observing at Pilchuck Park

Observation decks over wetland pools offer good wildlife observing at Pilchuck Park

Quick Facts

Location: Northern Snohomish County, near Stanwood

Land Agency: Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians

Roundtrip: 1.0 mile

Elevation Gain: 50 feet

Contact: www.stillaguamish.nsn.us

Notes: Dogs must be leashed.

Access: From Everett, head north on I-5 to Exit 210. Turn left heading west on 236th Street NW. Within a .25 mile turn right onto Old Highway 99 and proceed north for .4 mile. After crossing the Pilchuck Creek find the trailhead on your left. Park on wide road shoulder—trailhead parking has not yet been developed.

Over a year in the making, and still several months from its official opening, I’m too excited about this new trail to not let you in on it! While it has not yet been formally opened, and the interpretive signs and plaques have yet to go up, the public is allowed to wander the new Pilchuck Park.

Nowhere near the mountain of same name, and not to be confused with the ball field park of same name in the city of Snohomish; this new park sits on the confluence of Pilchuck Creek and the Stillaguamish River. Ecologically rich and important habitat for birds and fish, this 40 acre parcel has come full circle.

Traditional fishing grounds for the Stillaguamish Peoples, the tribe purchased the land four years ago. It was in a sorry state after serving for years as pasture and a dirt bike tract. With funding from the Department of Transportation for wetland mitigation and a work crew from a minimum security jail, the tribe set out restoring this wetland.

They built log jams and created wetland pools and planted over 60,000 native shrubs and plants. Slowly the degraded land is returning to a quality state that will help rear chinook, coho, chum, steelhead and bull trout. Amphibians, birds and mammals such as beaver will benefit too.

For hikers nearly a mile of interpretive trail, boardwalk and observation decks have been built. The area is small and the distance short, but this is the type of place that is meant to be enjoyed slowly. Saunter, sit and observe. Currently trails, planking and decks are in, but no signage is yet in place. Feel free to hike the property now but be mindful of any work being done.

Be sure to return next summer for the official opening and to enjoy this park in its fullest. Come back often. The site of one of the oldest native villages in the state, Pilchuck Park is once again under the stewardship of the Stillaguamish people—and they have invited you to come explore this sacred place.

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

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