With at least 2 miles of trail, this 110-acre urban wildlife habitat in Kirkland is popular with nature lovers and bird watchers.
From any section of the park’s extensive boardwalk system, trails, or any three of the park’s observation platforms, you’ll likely see waterfowls, great blue herons, osprey, and amphibians such as salamanders and turtles perched amongst the willow trees or floating logs.
The park houses at least four major plant communities – wet meadow, marsh, open water and wetland.
Here you can see evidence of beaver-chewing and dam-building activities.
Beavers build dams from branches, rocks, vegetation etc. when a stream is too shallow and narrow for them to hide from their predators. The dams provide them a protective moat for their lodges, and a safe travel lane to and from their feeding ground to the shore. These infrastructure in turn creates wetlands used by many other species.
The Market Street Trail has a nice boardwalk that gives a great view of Lake Washington. In 1875, steamers were the only way to cross Lake Washington. They were used to transport passengers, freight, towing barges and log rafts. They served the Juanita community until Lake Washington was lowered 8.8 feet in 1916 with the opening of the ship canal, and steamers could no longer navigate the shallow bay. Today, it is a popular watersports venue, especially in the summer months.
One section of the park was originally a golf course. Although it was close in 1975, remnants remain, especially the large weeping willow tree and poplars.
Note: The Eastside Audubon Club hosts free birding walks at the park year-round on the third Tuesday of every month. From October through March the walks start at 9 a.m., and from April through September they start at 8 a.m.