Monday, October 13, 2014

A Visit to Three Forks Off Leash Dog Park - Snoqualmie, WA

Tim and Hank visit Three Forks Off-Leash Dog Area

It's been awhile since we shared one of our adventures.  It isn't because we haven't had any adventures - we've just been too busy to find the time to share them.  One of the places we've been is to Three Forks Off-Leash Dog area in Snoqualmie, WA.  If this isn't an area you're familiar with, here is a link to a map: Map to Three Forks Dog Park

Snoqualmie River on a misty autumn morning
The off-leash dog area is part of the larger Three Forks Natural area located on the flood plain of the Snoqualmie River.  This is the view from the parking lot n a misty autumn morning with cottonwood and maple trees lining Meadowbrook Slough, a side channel of the river.

Three Forks Dog Park Entrance Gate
No time to linger at the view - Tim and Hank are eager to check out the park and wait anxiously at the gate,

Inside the gate, trees, a meadow and new friends await.
Inside the gate we discover the dog park has a large, fully fenced 6 acre meadow, surrounded by a bark path and dotted with several picnic tables and trees.

Benches under the shade of a big maple tree
The meadow has a lovely shady area with benches and picnic tables under a large maple tree.

Three Forks Dog Park Trail
The trail along the fence is barked and extends around the entire perimeter of the park.

Border collies in the mist
The grassy center was great for sniffing around, running and playing chase games.

A fresh mole hill
Hank enjoyed checking out a fresh mole hill.

Poop Bag Dispensers
The park comes equipped with a poop bag dispenser and a garbage can on each side of the meadow.

Gate to the Trail

A gate on the opposite side of the dog park leads to a branch of the Snoqualmie River Trail system  which we'll be exploring on another day,

Monday, March 3, 2014

Exploring Fort Worden State Park

Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend, WA
Since we're border collies from the burbs of the Pacific Northwest, less than ideal weather conditions don't stop us from having a hiking adventure.  So we set out on a Saturday morning in February in rain mixed with snow to check out the trails at Fort Worden State Park.  Since Washington State law requires that dogs be on leash in the state parks, we had to stay on leash for this trip.

Map of Fort Worden State Park
First we stopped by the visitor center to check out the map of the park - there are over 12 miles of looping hiking trails within the 434 acre park.  For a close-up of the map with more details, here is the link to a Fort Worden State Park Map

Forest Trail in Fort Worden State Park
Along with a small group of human and canine buddies, we set out on one of the trails that loops through a forested area.

Chinese Gardens Area
Past the area called the Chinese Gardens because at one time a farm was located there that was owned by a Chinese family.

Fort Warden Gun Batteries
And on to an area of old bunkers and gun batteries.  If you've never been to Fort Worden, but it looks faintly familiar, perhaps you saw the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman" which was largely filmed at Fort Worden.

An interpretive sign that showed the original layout of the bunkers and batteries.

 The back of the bunkers and gun batteries.

Point Wilson Lighthouse

Fort Worden is also home to the Point Wilson Lighthouse which is rumored to be haunted.  If you are interested in more details about the paranormal stories, visit my page about the The Haunted Point Wilson Lighthouse

Alexander's Castle
Another structure at Fort Warden that has an interesting history is Alexander's Castle.  The story is that a Scotsman by the name of John Alexander came to Washington and in 1883 acquired 10 acres of land near Point Wilson. He built a home designed to look like a castle to please his bride-to-be who remained in Scotland until he was settled and then would return for her.  He made the trip back to Scotland to marry and retrieve his bride only to discover she had married someone else so he returned to his castle alone.

Fort Worden Officer's Quarters
Completing the loop around the park we passed the former officer's quarters which now can be rented out for overnight stays at the park.

The old barracks have been converted to a variety of uses including the park headquarters and the Coast Artillary Museum.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hitting the Trails at Lord Hill Regional Park

Hank and Tim take a winter hike at Lord Hill Regional Park
Always ready for a winter hike, even on a rainy January day, we decided to check out Lord Hill Regional Park in Snohomish County.  The park is at low-elevation and a short driving distance from our home in the burbs of South Snohomish County - both pluses for a great hike in the winter.

Lord Hill Regional Park Map

This 1463 acre nature preserve has over 11 miles of trails and was designed for use by both equestrians and hikers.  Dogs are to be kept on leash both to avoid bothering others and for their own safety because of the possible presence of horses on the trails.

The parking lot is right next to the trail head which has maps and information and a sani-can nearby.

Lord Hill Regional Park Trail

 The trail starts off in a forested area with evergreen trees festooned with moss.  Note there are some muddy spots after winter rains.

Boardwalks on the Lord Hill trails
There are several boardwalks crossing some of the wetter spots, but watch your footing - they can be slippery when wet.

Lord Hill Park benches and interpretive Sign

There are benches scatted along the trail to take a rest break.

Lord Hill Park Interpretive Sign
 And numerous interpretive signs with information about the nature and history of the park.

Pipeline Trail - Lord Hill Park
 There is a section of trail over a pipeline right of way that is more open where there is a branch to another trail loop.

Lord Hill Regional Park Beaver Pond 
Another highlight is the possible chance of seeing beavers at work in the beaver pond located in the park.

We just did the 3 mile loop since the weather wasn't the best and head back to the parking lot.

If you are interested in checking out Lord Hill Regional Park, here's the map of where it is located.

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