Our Hiking Time: 2h
Total Ascent: 350ft
Highest Point: 600ft
Total Distance: 3.6 miles
Location: N 47° 50.8440, W 122° 2.9760
Required Permit: None
Recently, we found some time to visit Lord Hill Regional Park, a 1,300-acre park in Snohomish County. With over 11 miles of walking trails so close to the city, we took a little tour to see what the park had to offer.
Lord Hill Regional Park covers most of an 800-foot volcanic ridge overlooking the Snohomish River. The prominence was named for Mitchell Lord, a farmer and dairyman who came to the Washington Territory and bought up acreage on the hill in 1879. By 1884 Lord had expanded his holdings and was raising livestock and farming 100 acres on the hill. Logging interests cut down the last of the old growth on Lord Hill by the middle of the 1930s, and large portions of the hill passed into the control of Washington’s Department of Natural Resources. In the 1980s, sections of the hill were again logged before the state conveyed the land to Snohomish County years later. In October of 1995, after building and expanding a few miles of trails, the county officially opened Lord Hill Regional Park. Since that time Lord Hill’s trail network has continued to expand and today supports a variety of users including runners, hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
Lord Hill’s trails vary from wide roads that are occasionally used by park officials, to small, brush-lined paths to secluded lakeshores. Wander through a mixed forest of alder and maple interlaced with fir and hemlock as you explore trails leading to eight ponds and lakes as well as the riverside. The park provides decent views of both the Cascades and the Olympics on a good day, and shelters a variety of wildlife – everything from beavers to bobcats have been seen within the park’s boundaries. Routes within the park also loop together and make it easy to customize your wanderings, though not every junction is signed, making it is a good idea to bring along a map to minimize any confusion.
The park is a decent hiking destination during the winter. It’s close and easily accessible, but still large enough to feel like you’re getting out into nature. During warmer weather, this is a great place for youngsters to get out into the woods for the day, but be prepared to share the mixed use trails with mountain bikers and equestrians. All in all, it’s worth an afternoon to trek out to explore Snohomish County’s largest park.
To get there, take SR 522 north toward Monroe. Take the Monroe W Main Street exit and circle around the roundabout to head west on 164th Street. Follow this road for about three-and-a-half miles as it changes from 164th to the Old Snohomish-Monroe Highway to 127th Ave SE. Turn left and continue for a mile-and-a-half to 150th St SE. Take a right and find parking at the end of the road. –Nathan
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