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Evans Creek Preserve Loop

Our Hiking Time: 1h
Total Ascent: 100ft
Highest Point: 200ft
Total Distance: 1.8 miles
Location: N 47° 38.5200, W 122° 2.6760
Required Permit: None
Difficulty: Easy

Nathan's Photo
During the off-season, when mountaintops and forest roads are still covered in snow, we will often go looking for some low-elevation alternatives. There are quite a few “hidden” parks, reserves, and recreation areas tucked into the Cascade foothills. Some have extensive trail systems that provide real hiking opportunities, others are smaller and their trails are ideal for shorter walks. A few weeks ago, we visited Evans Creek Preserve, one of those areas on the smaller end of the scale, and found more variety than we were expecting on this former farmstead.

Around 1900, Calvin and Minnie Galley settled on the land we now know as the Evans Creek Preserve, built a house, and started a farm. As the years passed the farm become home to their son, Newton Galley, and his wife Kathryn, who lived there until they passed away in the mid-1990s. After owning property for nearly 100 years, the Galley family willed it to their alma mater, the University of Washington, as well as Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Home Society, the Masonic Home, Redmond United Methodist Church and Whitman College. These organizations agreed to sell the farmstead to the City of Sammamish for $1.5 million in November of 2000. That sale began an 11-year effort that eventually resulted in the Evans Creek Preserve.

The city originally intended the 179-acre Preserve to have ball fields and other play spaces. But by 2002, the decision was made to protect and preserve the wetlands and forests contained within the property. The effort to convert the property from farmstead to preserve involved over 400 workers and volunteers, thousands of hours of work and at least one deployment of 50 goats to clear vegetation. The Washington Trails Association contributed 250 volunteers who put in over 7000 hours building the two and a half mile trail system. The buildings from the farmstead had to be torn down and removed, including the house built by Calvin Galley in 1900. By 2011, the work was complete and the Evans Creek Preserve opened to the public on October 22 of that year.

From the parking lot, the trail heads over a creek and branches off through meadows and into wetlands and mixed forest. The interconnected trail system is a series of loops complete with small bridges, viewing platforms, and an extensive boardwalk. Take a slow stroll through the varied landscape, enjoy the occasional view and, if you’re lucky, spot some wildlife. Although Evans Creek Preserve isn’t the rugged outdoors, it is a decent alternative for those looking for something different. The new trails are perfect for trail running, walking the dog, or just spending a little time outside. The ADA-accessible sections of the trail will also support strollers as well, making this perfect choice for introducing a little one to the great outdoors.

To get there, take SR 520 to the Redmond Way exit (SR 202). Veer right and merge onto SR 202 (also known as the Redmond-Fall City Road). Follow SR 202 for about three and a half miles to 224th Ave NE. Turn right and find a small parking area a short way down the road. Note that there is also a sign at the intersection of SR 202 and 224th indicating that NE 34th, a private road, begins at the end of 224th. -Nathan

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Evans Creek Preserve


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