With seven interconnected trails through classic Pacific Northwest forests, the Redmond Watershed Preserve is a great spot to get in a fun workout. The park’s ease of access, smoothly maintained paths, and relatively flat terrain also makes it a perfect place for trail running newbs to learn the joys of trading in pounding pavement for dirt.
What Makes It Great
The city of Redmond bought the previously logged area that now makes up the preserve in 1926, intending to turn Seidel Creek, which runs through it, into a water supply for its citizens. But the water quality never met the state’s standards. Still, the city staved off development proposals, which ran the gamut from airport to golf course, allowing the 800 acres of lush forests filled with ferns, firs, and mosses to regrow. This also provides habitat for beavers, bobcats, and deer. Today, running along the creek and through Douglas firs and Western hemlocks you’ll almost feel as if you’re somewhere wild – right in the middle of the Redmond ‘burbs (so long as you can ignore the evidence of the gas line that runs north-south along the preserve’s Pipeline Regional Trail, or the overhead power lines that traverse east to west along the Powerline Regional Trail). The best run is the 4.5-mile loop around the park, which will take you past forests, wetlands, and ponds. From the north end of the parking lot, take the “Trillium Connector” to the Powerline Regional Trail then head east (by turning right) to the Pipeline Regional Trail, which continues north. Then, head east on the Siler’s Mill Trail, a not-to-be-missed hikers-only trail (the other ones are shared with bikes and horses). You’ll encounter a wooden fence at the Siler Mill trail entrance, but that’s just to keep horses out: you’ll still be able to get through on the side. Continue along this trail to the “Colin Creek Trail,” then head west (turn left) toward the Trillium Trail. The final leg is the highlight of the run: a gentle uphill along the Seidel Creek. There are also good options for shorter runs, like the 1.7 or 2.9-mile loops along the Pipeline Regional and Trillium Trails. For a longer run, you can add on little out-and-back jaunts outside the park along the Powerline Regional Trail, Collin Creek Trail, or Old Pond Trail. Check out the map here. There are also many easy-to-read trail signs and maps the whole way.
Who is Going to Love It
Trail runners looking for a moderate workout through pretty scenery.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Enter the park from Novelty Hill Road and park in the lot (which also has bathrooms and picnic tables next to it). Find the trailhead at the north end of the parking lot (there’s also a 0.6 mile loop on the west side of the lot, and a 0.3-mile loop on the east).