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The Joys of Lord Hill

There are many things to love about Lord Hill, but perhaps the greatest is this: this sprawling county park offers an easy jaunt for any season.

I do say “jaunt” because, while there are definitely hills at Lord Hill (as the name implies), there are also relatively flat routes through quiet forests and open fields. It’s a different feel than a hike proper. Less grueling, lower elevation, plenty of shady, sun-dappled deciduous forest opening onto ponds, streams, and cattails topped with red-winged blackbirds.  

Lord Hill feels pretty tamed and groomed, with boardwalks and well-maintained trails offer relatively easy access. 

A winding trail takes you, the delighted trekker, around 1,480 acres of countryside in the foothills of the Cascades. Equestrians and mountain bikers also share the trails, so please refer to proper trail etiquette while trekking. 

The park is made of mostly second-growth deciduous forest and stands of mossy cedar, so it doesn’t have the primeval gloom of say, the forests of the Olympic Peninsula. It all feels pretty tamed and groomed, with boardwalks and well-maintained trails offer relatively easy access. 

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A couple of pro tips: 

-Pack a camera. I enjoy the park year-round and have snapped photos of deer and blackbirds. There are also beaver ponds. If you’re a wildlife watcher keep your eyes peeled. 

-Use a GPS, or at least closely check the posted maps and check landmarks for wayfinding. The trail networks are labyrinthine. I’ve hiked them many times, but still occasionally get lost in the denser patches of forest where it’s hard to pinpoint the sun’s location. I’ve had good success with the free Strava fitness app – it has the main routes clearly marked for orientation. 

-Bring your kids (when applicable). I’ve been trekking at Lord Hill since my kids were old enough to walk. I’ve stuck to the flatter trails and even brought along a Radio Flyer wagon with pneumatic all-terrain tires so that I can pull them when their legs get tired. If you want to ease your children into outdoors experiences without traumatizing them (or yourself) in the mountains, start here. 

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One other thing before you hit the trail. Lord Hill lies equidistant between the cities of Monroe and Snohomish. Make a day, or even a weekend of it, by combining your countryside stroll with some small-city exploration. (Breweries and bakeries, anyone? See links below to city pages.) 


Find more park life trip inspo on social @seattlenorthcountry and @snocoparks

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Monroe is the gateway to the Cascades.

Go Monroe

It's gotta be Snohomish for bites, shopping, and antiquing. This small city has a lot to offer.

Go Snoho

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