|Agency:||Cascade Land Conservancy|
|Location:||10 miles east of Seattle in Sammamish, Washington.|
|Distance:||2.6 miles (one way) - Trail Map|
|Total Ascent:||49 feet|
|High Point:||400 feet|
|Low Point:||448 feet|
The Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve is one of the most pristine wetland-based wildlife refuges in King County. The preserve's 116 acres include several wetland and forest habitats, which support a wide array of beautiful, sensitive plants and wildlife. These wetlands serve a vital role in helping regulate the flow of water through Beaver Lake, down Laughing Jacob's Creek, all the way to Lake Sammamish.
Osprey and bald eagles often roost in the large trees here. On the water, hooded mergansers, pied-billed grebes, and wood ducks are frequent visitors. Pileated woodpeckers, cedar waxwings, humming birds, and robins also sojourn or make their homes at the preserve. Squirrels, tree frogs, centipedes and salamanders scamper about on the forest floor.
Bicycles are not permitted, and horses only on west side trail.
The trail starts as a walking/equestrian path and passes behind some lovely homes in the Windsor Greens neighborhood. Keep a wary eye out for horse droppings. After about a half mile, first one small sign, then another more artistic, wooden one announces the entrance to the Wetlands proper. , here and there along the trail, this preserve is obviously well loved by its patrons. A few steps further along, the trail branches. The equestrian trail continues straight ahead. To the left begins a narrower path, identified by a sign as "Ann's Walking Path".
No idea who Ann is, but her path is a fine one. It leads through a heavily forested area with lovely ferns on either side, crosses a sturdy bridge build to last several lifetimes, then drops down to travel a gently undulating path along the Wetland's eastern shore. There was plenty of water during our March hike, and the wildlife included ducks and Canada geese. We also heard the pleasant chirping of frogs before the geese-speak got so loud as to drown them out.
After turning a corner, the trail crosses another bridge (check out the carved engravings in the rail timbers!), a bit of mud, and a section of boardwalk. At another fork in the trail, a left turn leads to a set of interpretive signs on a deck overlooking the pond. It's a lovely spot to reflect on the beauty of nature and observe the birds. Continuing on, Ann's Walking Path loops through the woods, past another interpretive station, then rejoins the horse trail.
A left takes you back to the trailhead. A right leads eventually to the Plateau Club golf course. You can cross a narrow portion of the course to reach East Main Street, then turn right to continue about 1/2 mile to the trailhead of Soaring Eagle Regional Park. There, a veritable spider's web of hiking/biking/equestrian trails awaits.
From I-90 Eastbound:
- Take Exit 15 (Lake Sammamish State Park) in Issaquah. Reset your trip counter at the off-ramp.
- From off-ramp, turn left onto 17th Ave. NW. Stay on the main street as it curves east and becomes NW Sammamish Rd.
- One mile from off-ramp, turn left onto E. Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE.
- At 2.3 miles from off-ramp, turn right onto SE 43rd Way.
- Drive uphill. At top of hill, the road veers left and becomes 228th Ave. SE.
- About 5.8 miles from off-ramp, turn right onto SE 8th St. (Skyline High School is on corner).
- Almost 7 miles from off-ramp, turn right at the Windsor Greens entrance onto SE Windsor Blvd.
- Continue past "Dead End" sign and park under the power lines. Please do not block the gate and park away from the residences.
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