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The Best Rainy Day Hikes

We’re fortunate to have dozens of urban trails here in Seattle NorthCountry.

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When temperatures drop and cabin fever starts to set in, it’s nice to know where you can get out for a nature fix without driving miles away. And there’s no need to let wet weather stop you! Here are three trails that offer a nice slice of natural beauty, and stand up to our wet PNW conditions.

North Creek Trail

4.8 miles round trip [northern segment]

WTA trip report

This trail has two segments which will eventually connect; right now, you can use the street/sidewalk route to connect if you want to continue from one segment to the next.

The paved northern segment starts in McCollum Park. You’ll find the trailhead just south of the park and ride lot. This shady route winds through wetlands and crosses a creek, but also crosses a few streets and leads you past some Mill Creek restaurants and cafes, if you’d like a break.

The shorter southern segment is mostly boardwalk and could be slippery in heavy rain. This segment starts from Bothell’s North Creek Park, a wetland. Herons, hawks, and many other birds are often sighted.

McCollum Park Forest Loop

1.2 miles | No parking pass needed

WTA trip report

The very popular McCollum Park includes a short forest loop. Lush with ferns alongside, the wide dirt/gravel trail is easy to navigate. Although there’s an obvious main path, side trails pop up as well. You’ll parallel backyards along one section, but as you continue amongst mature trees and North Creek, you can also watch for a variety of birds and plenty of squirrels during the day. The creek is typically dry from late May into September; visit the Northwest Stream Center, located within the park, if you’d like to learn more about the ecosystem. Black bears, coyotes, otters, and other wildlife have been spotted by the NSC’s cameras!

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Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary

1.8 miles total | No parking pass needed (three hour time limit); restrooms at located at the parking lot.

WTA trip report

Right in the midst of Everett’s industrial area (directly across from Fluke), you’ll find this 48-acre sanctuary, perfect for a mid-day break. The trails are short but interesting; look for interpretive signs along the way. Frogs, birds, and beavers are here among the alders and cedars. The boardwalk trail is less than half a mile while the perimeter trail is about a mile and a half. Gravel/dirt surfaces were wet but not slippery on a recent visit, despite plenty of recent rain. The boardwalk sections could be slippery in freezing conditions.

Erika Olson
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