Walk in the Park
Where: Meadowdale Beach County Park
Location: 6026 156th St. S.W., Edmonds
Park size: 108 acres with 1.4 miles of trails
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Trail difficulty: Moderate with stairs on the hilly stretch of the trail. The wide trail is mostly dirt and gravel and uneven, not wheelchair accessible.
Facilities: Picnic tables, shelter, restrooms and campground near the beach. At the half-mile mark, some exercise bars. The clubhouse has been converted to a ranger station.
Setting: One of the few public saltwater beaches in Snohomish County. There’s one nature trail and though it branches off, those secondary trails don’t take you far. Parallel to the trail is Lunds Gulch Creek, which flows into Puget Sound.
Seals and sea lions have been spotted in the saltwater. Also lots of gulls and waterfowl. Salmon run here during the fall.
The tunnel leading to the beach has been flooded and closed numerous times over the years. Park officials say a pedestrian overpass is the best long-term solution, though the multimillion dollar price tag is too costly to pursue.
Highlights: A favorite park of many. On a recent stroll, walkers came from as far as Marysville and Rainier Beach in Seattle. Meadowdale feels like two separate parks. The walk from the trailhead is lush with tall madronas and big leaf maples overhead, rimmed below by sword ferns. It’s a nature walk filled with sounds of birds rustling in the forest and water rushing down the stream.
The landscape opens up once you have reached the ranger station. The open field leads to a tunnel, where views of the Olympic Mountains and blue water await on the other side. Lots of dogs playing fetch and kids playing on the driftwood in the beach area. You can also camp overnight and kayak.
Restrictions: Open 7 a.m. until one hour before dusk. Leash laws in effect.
Directions: From Interstate 5, exit to 164th Street Southwest (Exit 183). Follow 164th west across Highway 99 and turn right onto 52nd Avenue West; turn left onto 160th Street; turn right onto 56th Avenue West; turn left onto 156th Street Southwest. Park entrance is at the end of the road.
A gated access road is available for the disabled. To apply for access, submit an application at website below under “Meadowdale Beach Park” page.
More info: 425-388-6600 or www1.co.snohomish.wa.us. To reserve a campsite, call 425-745-5111
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle