Redmond Watershed Park and Preserve Trails

Various • 4.6 mi • 500 ft

Well maintained in trails and facilities and yet well protected from encroaching development, the Redmond Watershed Preserve offers a worthwhile natural experience right on the city’s doorstep. A wide network of multiple-use trails explores the reaches of the preserve, providing good hiking opportunities in a surprisingly scenic environment. The city of Redmond purchased some land from the Weyerhaeuser Corporation in 1926, hoping to use it as a source of water. At the time, the property, in what was then essentially the wilderness, must have seemed a long way outside the city. Although the site never panned out as a suitable watershed (the water was not of sufficient quality), as the city spread eastward the value of the land became apparent in other ways. What was once a distant piece of backwoods has now become a great outdoor-recreation site right in Redmond’s backyard, and the watershed preserve has, in fact, turned into a forest and wetlands preserve instead. Nonetheless, the setting is not entirely pristine, as open corridors for overhead power lines and a buried gas pipeline stand as reminders that the area was born to serve the urban population. But even these pieces of civilization are well integrated into the trail system: the two corridors together form the park’s backbone and link the preserve to the extended Tolt Pipeline Trail, popular with mountain bikers who follow the path on long-distance rides.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Redmond
Length: 4.6 total miles
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy to moderate
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: Year round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,100 feet
Top Elevation: 1,600 feet
Local Maps: USGS Bellevue North
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