Photos from recent trips I've led for Everett Parks and Recreation.  Photo captions are under each picture.  Navigate through the photos by clicking the arrows on the sides of the photo.  Clicking on photo will expand the size.  Enjoy! 

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Trumpeter swans take to the sky on a very foggy morning along the Snohomish River.

Dense fog on Shadow Lake where the swans were hanging out

Typical Lord Hill forest scenery

Trumpeter swans take to the sky on a very foggy morning along the Snohomish River.

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Walk 11/29  Bob Heirmann Wildlife Park & Lord Hill

 

This pair of parks outside Snohomish made for a nice 4 miles of walking on a foggy, cloudy November morning. A highlight was the hundreds of Trumpeter Swans at the Bob Heirmann Wildlife Park. Be sure to watch the video below (go full screen and turn up the sound) to witness these amazing birds in action.

A glimpse across the waters of Admiralty Inlet from South Whidbey.

Looking up the side of a giant Douglas Fir

A glimpse across the waters of Admiralty Inlet from South Whidbey.

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Hike 11/25  South Whidbey State Park

 

While the other state parks on Whidbey (Deception Pass, Fort Ebey) tend to get a lot more attention, this quieter park near Freeland is a wonderful place for some lovely old growth hiking and occasional views of the water. We efficiently covered most all of the trails in the park in a four-hour tour, enjoying giant firs, cedars, and sitka spruce, as well as a cool variety of mushrooms and mosses. At lunch, we could peek through the trees to spot several snow-topped peaks in the Olympics. Add in the nice scenic ferry ride to and from Mukilteo and you've got a fun little Sunday outing.

It was a very snowy hike to Peoh Point near Cle Elum

The hike followed gentle roads for about 2 miles

Brief sunbreak after we had finished the hike

It was a very snowy hike to Peoh Point near Cle Elum

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Hike 11/23  Peoh Point/Breakfast in North Bend

 

For hiking during this time of year, you never know whether the conditions will give you fall or winter. Today we most definitely were dealt a hearty dose of winter. A strong winter storm arrived, making travel over the pass quite challenging, and giving us a very snowy, but thankfully easy hike to Peoh Point south of Cle Elum. There was about 2" of snow on the route we hiked to the point, so snowshoes weren't necessary, and traction devices came in handy on the packed down track. No views from the point, but the quiet wintry setting was a nice consolation. On the way over in the morning, we had a nice breakfast at the North Bend Bar & Grill.

Stopping to notice the delicate little beauties along the Green Mountain Trail on Kitsap Peninsula.

Group poses with the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains

Typical trail sections

Stopping to notice the delicate little beauties along the Green Mountain Trail on Kitsap Peninsula.

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Hike 11/11  Green Mountain - Kitsap Peninsula

A beautiful blue sky Sunday on the Kitsap Peninsula brought scores of people out to enjoy this multi-use trail on DNR land west of Bremerton. Mountain bikers, runners, motorbikes, dog-walkers--they were all out in force today. Our hike up the Gold CreekTrail took us to the top of Green, the second highest point on the peninsula. Views from the top offered a great panorama eastward toward Puget Sound and the Cascades, while lower down the west slopes of the mountain, clear-cuts provided wide-open views toward Hood Canal and the Olympics.

Carefully crossing one of the very frosty boardwalks at Heather Lake.

View of Mt. Pilchuck taken from the Verlot Visitor Center before the hike

Nice mushrooms

Carefully crossing one of the very frosty boardwalks at Heather Lake.

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Hike 11/10  Heather Lake

This trail on the slopes of Mount Pilchuck features a rough trek over roots and rock, with plenty of gorgeous forest and babbling streams to keep you company. It climbs 1000 feet in just about 2 miles, reaching the lake set deep in an amphitheater under towering cliffs. Even on this sunny day, the lake area was in frosty shade all day, but the views were no less grand. The nice boardwalk trail that circles the lake makes this one a first-rate lake hike, even if it does make you work to get there.

Inside the brand spankin' new 59'er Diner near Lake Wenatchee

Cloudy day at Lake Wenatchee

The shiny new diner

Inside the brand spankin' new 59'er Diner near Lake Wenatchee

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Walk 11/9  Lake Wenatchee & Lunch at 59'er Diner

After about a 2 1/2 year abscence, the 59'er Diner at Coles Corner is a reality once again. To celebrate the occasion, we took a walk at nearby Lake Wenatchee State Park to work up an appetite, the headed to the Diner for lunch. Constructed in Georgia at shipped to the northwest on 5 large trucks, the new eatery has most of the same touches that made the old one special. The best thing is that the menu is exactly the same-- yummy burgers and other comfort foods, and plenty of great milkshake flavors to tempt young and old alike.

Taking an urban walk along the waterfront at Alki Beach

Unique viewing platform at Jack Block Park in Seattle

Walking a stretch of rocky beach

Taking an urban walk along the waterfront at Alki Beach

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Walk 11/7  Alki Beach & Lunch at Duke's

On a brisk day in West Seattle, we had a nice morning walk along the Alki Trail, beginning at Jack Block Park near the docks of Duwamish Waterway, and working our way westward. After about 3 quick miles into the chilly breeze, we stopped for lunch at Duke's Chowder House. Then we tacked on another mile walk out to the lighthouse on Alki Point. Nice views of the city and the mountain highlighted the day.

The Sauk River fills its banks and then some.

The Sauk River fills its banks and then some.

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Hike 11/4  Sauk River Trail

This trail just outside Darrington is nice and flat, very easy almost any time of year, and always beautiful. The November gray and showers were on hand as we walked through the drippy forests along the banks of this major drainage of the western Cascade slopes. Giant trees, the moss forest floor, scores of mushrooms, and frequent views of the river were the highlights of this 5-mile hike.

Water thunders over Alpine Falls, just a short walk from the shoulder of Highway 2 near Skykomish

Eagle Falls, really just a rapids in the Skykomish River near Index

Deception Creek waters surging under the Highway 2 bridge

Water thunders over Alpine Falls, just a short walk from the shoulder of Highway 2 near Skykomish

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Hike 11/3  Waterfall Hunting along Highway 2 Corridor

November isn't most people's idea of the perfect hiking month around these parts, but it sure is great for one particular sort of hike: waterfall hunting. What I do is pick an area and search out several little-known falls, and we go from place to place discovering sights that are often overlooked by most hikers. Throw in the fact that heavy rains had brought on near-flood conditions with roaring flows of water in the rivers and creeks, and it made for some exciting waterfalls. We made visits to Eagle, Alpine, Scenic, L, Monkey Cage, and Deception Falls, and also found time to stop in at Stevens Pass and at the old Skykomish train depot (now a museum).

A coyote peers at us through the thickets along the trails at Bridle Trails State Park

Horse riding grounds at Bridle Trail State Park

A coyote peers at us through the thickets along the trails at Bridle Trails State Park

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Walk 11/1  Bridle Trails State Park

Not far off I-405 in Kirkland, a 500-acre state park property offers great forested space for horse riders, runners, dog walkers, and for our humble group of midweek walkers. Much of the forest has been undisturbed for 80+ years, growing into a pleasant green space with room for plants and animals of all sorts. We were following a path called the Coyote Trail, paused for a brief break, and someone noticed a face in the brush looking at us. Yes, a coyote-- on the Coyote Trail, no less.