Friday, April 6, 2012

Redmond Watershed Preserve

Hike Route: Trillium Connector => Powerline Regional Trail => Siler's Mill Trail => Pipeline Connector #2 => Pipeline Trail => Trillium Trail => Trillium Connector

Trail Map of Redmond Watershed Preserve

This is a good gentle hike near Redmond (my knee is still on the mend, so I was looking for something with less elevation gain). The Preserve Area is located right off NE Novelty Hill Road - which can be easily accessed from 520/Avondale Road in Redmond.  This 4.6 mile hike is fairly easy and provides for almost all-share hike around the local wetlands.

There are probably about 40-50 parking spots in the loop parking lot. No one was there during the morning I arrived, but this can be a popular spot on weekends.

There is a full restroom and some picnic benches at the parking lot. Near the restrooms is the entrance to the very short Trout Loop Trail. Ignore this trail and look for the trailhead on the lower end of the parking lot to the North. There are printed maps available, or you can download the PDF map.

From the parking lot the hike starts on the Trillium Connector Trail - this is one of a couple multi-use trails. Expect hikers, bikers and horses on this trail.

This connector trail is fairly short and ends up at an opening under the powerlines and intersects with the Powerline Trail. Most trail books (including my favorite) suggest going straight toward the Trillium Trail and a clock-wise route around the Preserve. However, I would do a counter-clock route and turn right here and head toward the Pipeline Trail (by doing this you end with the best trail on your trip, rather than starting with it).

For a very short distance you follow the powerlines on the Powerline Trail to the East.

Soon, the trail heads down into the forest - where 99% of the remaining route is well shaded.

Most of the trails are 4 feet wide - a bit wider than most trails on Cougar or Tiger Mountain.

At a multiple route intersection, just stay to the left -- continuing on the Pipeline Trail.

After being on the popular Pipeline Trail for a while, look for the intersection with the Siler's Mill Trail.

There is a barrier on start of the Siler's Mill trail to prevent bikes or horses - this is a hiker only trail.

For some reason a recent review of the area in newspaper, didnt really highlight this trail. I found it one of the more serene routes in the Preserve. I think most folks stay on the Pipeline Trail, so the Siler's Mill Trail gets less traffic - plus no bikes.

There is a small wetland area which is right off the Siler's Mill Trail - a small side trail leads down to the water.

As you go past this wetland area, stay to the right at the next intersection with a Pipeline Connector Trail. Soon you will travel on a fairly straight route on the last part of the Siler's Mill Trail. After passing through another barrier, keep to the Left on a second Pipeline Connector Trail (seems like they could name it something more unique!).

The Pipeline Connector trail runs into the Pipeline trail - continue to the West toward the Trillium Trail. Its a bit confusing in this area, but just follow the well-made signs. After a short while, the Trillium Trail turns off to the left.

The Trillium Trail is a hiker/horse trail (no bikes). Its a fairly popular trail but probably the best one in the Park.

It can be more muddy than others, but there is a good variety of creek crossings, bends, short uphills, and downhills. In my opinion, finishing on the Trillium Trail is a nicer way to end this hike -- rather than start it.

Ignore the final Connector Trail and continue straight back toward the Parking Lot trailhead.

This is a fairly level hike, very little in elevation gains or drop - so its an easy hike for most anyone. It is 4.6 miles, but seems to go by fairly fast -- especially if you do it counter-clock wise. The Preserve is very well maintained and the trails are very wide. As local hiking books point out, it can be fairly popular so arrive early on weekends.

Redmond Watershed Preserve at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Seattle, Washington

Area - Redmond Watershed Preserve
Trails - Trillium Connector => Powerline Regional Trail => Siler's Mill Trail => Pipeline Connector #2 => Pipeline Trail => Trillium Trail => Trillium Connector (PDF Map)
Length - 4.6 miles loop - Easy Hike
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Trail - Dirt trails - can be muddy in spots
Bikes - Only on select trails
View - Of some ponds/wetlands
Getting There - From Seattle take 520 East, continue on Avondale for 1.25 miles. Turn Right on NE Novelty Hill Road, continue for 2.4 miles. The Watershed Preserve entrance is on the Left (across from 218th NE).
Fee- None, free parking
Weather - Almost all Shade
Other Info - No Dogs or Pets allowed