Follow a network of nearly-level trails in this Edmonds park as you hike through vigorous second-growth mixed forest. Be alert for spring wildflowers or, seasonally, fall colors. Listen for many bird calls. Enjoy views across Goodhope Pond, a small lake that often hosts waterfowl.
Because there are no trail signs in Pine Ridge Park a map is essential, even to follow the hike description below. You can download one from www.edmondswa.gov. It does require a few clicks: In the header, click Services / Parks and Recreation. In the left column, click Visit a Park / Visit a Park (yes, it appears twice.) In the right column click Pine Ridge Park. Scroll down and click the link above the small map (not the link below the Google map.)
While the map may show some surrounding streets closer than they actually are, the trail layout is depicted accurately. As in any park, there are a few social trails not shown on the map. Please try to stay on the official trails.
If you prefer, you can set out with the map and explore on your own. Or, here is a suggested route that gets to the most interesting parts of the park.
From the east edge of the parking area, take the nearly-level Upper Trail and head south. In less than a quarter mile note a sitting bench on the right side of the trail. Immediately past the bench turn right, steeply downhill, on the Pond View Trail. It levels out after just a few feet, heads south toward Goodhope Pond, and ends at the water's edge. (Note some sources spell the name "Good Hope Pond.") The shoreline here is heavily overgrown so the view of the pond is somewhat restricted. With luck, you will be able to see a few ducks out on the water. (You will have a more expansive view of the pond from the western shore.)
Return to the Upper Trail and head back north the way you came. In about 500 feet note a trail on the left, shown on the map as the Nature Path. Take that trail as it drops a few feet, then levels out and approaches a small pond that is immediately upstream of Goodhope Pond. You may see more ducks here. Then continue on the Nature Path and, in just a few feet, reach the Main Trail. Turn left here and proceed south.
In about 700 feet you will come to a more open section of shoreline, next to a bench. This offers your best view of Goodhope Pond. Enjoy it for a few minutes. It's likely some waterfowl will appear for you including, in the spring, some young birds. And it's certain you will hear the calls of redwing blackbirds perched in nearby cattails.
Continue farther south on the Main Trail and, in about 200 feet, come to Cole's Cutoff where you'll turn right (Unless you are doing the optional hike extension to Yost Park, as suggested below. In that case, continue south on the Main Trail.) After your right turn, climb a minor hill and reach a trail junction. The left branch leads out to 85th Pl W. Take the right branch, it's the Serenity Trail.
In the spring of 2016, a number of small blowdowns were noted at this end of the Serenity Trail, evidence things are not always so serene here. The downed trees have been sawed up and moved off the trail. As you continue north on the Serenity Trail, be alert for the taps of woodpeckers and the calls of crows, jays and other birds. The trail drops gradually, eventually merging with the Main Trail within sight of the parking area.
As minor continuations of your hike, consult the map and check out the nearby Cedar Crest Trail and (at your own risk!) the Dead End Path. There also are short spur trails that lead out to neighborhood streets. For a more ambitious hike extension, see below.
Extending your hike
If Pine Ridge Park hasn't satisfied all your hiking ambitions, Yost Park is only a half-mile away. You can easily hike over to Yost Park, enjoy some trails there (see our Hiking Guide entry for Yost Park) then return here. To get to Yost Park from Pine Ridge Park, continue south along the Main Trail beyond Cole's Cutoff. The trail bends around west, approaches Main Street, then passes under Main Street via a tunnel/culvert. (As you approach the southern end of the tunnel the floor rises. Are you over six feet tall? If so, WATCH YOUR HEAD.)
Beyond the tunnel, a wide, paved trail continues on south about 400 feet where it meets the dead end of Pioneer Way. This is an area of suburban homes with a lot of green landscaping. It also has quiet streets with little traffic, so it's generally a pleasant walk. Continue along Pioneer Way to Shell Valley Rd and turn right. Continue straight ahead on Shell Valley Rd and enter Yost Park along a gated park service road. Follow the road until it passes the back of the swimming pool, and find the trailhead for the Sword Fern Trail on your right. Refer to our Hiking Guide, and a Yost Park map, for additional information.