Lake Padden Park — Monday, Feb. 20, 2012
Puget Sound and Islands
I'm on the trails around Lake Padden almost everyday. Today I was serenaded by three Barred Owls. Eagles perch on a snag high above the lake almost daily. Wildflowers, mushrooms, birds, streams, and a living gem of a lake make this a wonderful year round destination. On the trails you are no more than a mile from the lake and restrooms. Yet, you can take a 6 mile path that makes you feel like you are in the mountains for over 4 miles of the hike. The trails are wide and often graveled with bridges over the streams. In the winter there are muddy sections that can be slippery. With caution, the trails are passable year round. In a few places you can hear I5 below you. I imagine it to be a river in the distance. In most places the ridges and trees block the noise and I'm left with a feeling of solitude. I often see only 3 or 4 people on the trails away from the lake. Be aware that on weekends there can be mountain bike races, triathlons, and others that might make for a crowded trail. Dogs have trails on the southeast side of the park where they can run off-leash. There are signs showing where to leash dogs. A fenced dog park is at the trail head. Be aware that you will probably meet some dogs on the trail. You may also encounter bikers, horses, runners, bird watchers, fishermen, and a host of other interesting people and animals on the trails. I've seen deer, coyotes, and otters on rare occasions. The second growth forest has been left alone as much as possible. There are great log tunnels over trails, moss covered glens and huge stumps with the remains of spring-board notches. Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, and Cedar, often with trunks 10 to 15 feet around are surrounded by a host of other trees and plants. To plot out a path you can go to the website http://dynlp.net . You'll find a map where you can draw lines along trails that give mileages or switch between satellite and topographic views. There is also information about what to see in the park. People for Lake Padden is a group concerned about preserving this beautiful lake. Go to the website http://p4lp.org to see all the work they've done. There is environmental data, explanations, and great pictures of this area. People for Lake Padden also post events about Lake Padden on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/People-for-Lake-Padden/169624546485058.