An Easy Afternoon Hike – Meadowdale Beach Park

Sometimes we plan an outing in advance and get up early for it. Sometimes we decide, in the late afternoon, that we absolutely MUST go outdoors right now. When the latter happens, we do have a few favorite places, aside from our neighborhood trails, to explore. A big fav of mine in this past year has been Meadowdale Beach Park in Lynnwood, WA. It’s a short enough hike to complete on a whim, but steep enough to feel like a good workout (about 450 feet of elevation in 1 mile). It doesn’t hurt that it’s beautiful!

Meadowdale Beach Park

Meadowdale is a great little retreat from the city, while still being in the city. The trail starts in a dense old-growth forest and winds steeply downhill, following Lund’s Gulch Creek. Tiny tributaries cross over and under the trail on the way down until you reach sea-level where the forest becomes more riparian and then thins out to a grassy field, and finally, the beach! The creek flows into the Sound through a narrow tunnel under the train tracks. The tricky thing about visiting this beach is that silt from the creek quickly builds up in the tunnel and floods it over the little walkway, making the beach accessible only if you’re interesting in stomping through 2 feet of water. But (!) recently someone has stacked a few planks of wood inside the tunnel and across the creek, so today we were able to get through! There is nothing I enjoy more about living in the Pacific Northwest than going from a deep forest to a sandy beach in a matter of minutes.

Whidbey Island from Meadowdale Beach

Highlights of our trip today:

  • bleeding hearts and elderberries are flowering
  • light through the trees as the sun set
  • looking for suitable fairy homes
  • damming the creek with rocks before the tide came in and swallowed it up
  • cute puppies chasing a flock of Brandt geese

Definitely worth the last minute trek.

If you go: be aware that parking is limited. We don’t usually have problems getting a spot on a weekday, but today we had to walk down from a few streets over. Also be aware that while it’s not a long hike, it is a steep one. Everybody is huffing and puffing on the way back up… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Areas visited: Meadowdale Beach Park – Lynnwood, WA

Species observed: Yellow-spotted Millipede, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Brandt Goose, American Robin, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Fox Sparrow, and some big ole fat bumblebees.

 

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