Evans Creek Preserve features a WTA-built trail system in an ecologically diverse enclave. Wetlands, meadows, and hillside forest can be found in this 179-acre farmstead-turned-suburban nature preserve that will thrill both the hiker and the birdwatcher. Not only that, this gem has ADA-accessible trails and is reachable by public transportation.
Calvin and Minnie Galley established a farmstead east of Lake Sammamish at the turn of the twentieth century. The property remained with the Galley family until 2000, when it was sold to the City of Sammamish. The city developed the farmstead into a suburban nature preserve, and WTA built the initial trails in 2010 and 2011, leading to an October 2011 opening. Due to continued efforts of WTA volunteers over the ensuing years, the trail system has continued to grow and connects the lower and upper trailheads on 224th Ave NE and Sahalee Way NE, respectively.
Take a look at a short video tour describing WTA's work at Evans Creek, and the benefits that the preserve provides residents of or visitors to Sammamish: http://media.sammamish.us/EvansCreekPreserve.mp4
If you park at the lower trailhead, enter the Preserve on the crushed gravel, ADA-accessible path that crosses Evans Creek over a steel truss pedestrian bridge. There is a privy at the first intersection. At the intersections, mounted maps indicate the location of the hiker in the trail system. At this point, you are in the meadow, and you can stroll through meadow, stop at one of the four birdwatching platforms, or enter the wetland.
When you move south into the wetland area, marvel at the puncheon bridges over the wetland and creeks. Although the longest bridge was built by a contractor, most of the structures are WTA-built. Take in the odor of salmonberry and skunk cabbage in spring, while forest canopy towers over you. The terrain quickly transitions to hillside foreset as you walk south, but feel free to make random turns, because beauty lies in every direction.
As you climb the hill, note the Douglas-fir, western hemlock, red cedar, alder, and maple that form the canopy. Vine maple, low Oregon grape, Indian plum, and salmonberry form the understory, and a rich supply of ferns and mosses testify to this locale’s ample rainfall. Woodpeckers, brown creepers, and squirrels frolic in the trees. Trillium, bleeding heart, fringecup, and miner’s lettuce bloom in the spring.
At the top of the ridge, cruise over the WTA’s hand built bridges and turnpikes that keep your boots dry as you wend your way towards the Sahalee trailhead. You will likely encounter massive stumps and rusting artifacts that testify to the area’s logging history. At the upper trailhead, glimpse through the trees at the expanse of Evans Creek Preserve lying below you, and try to choose which route will take you back down.
Words of caution: This area is frequented by wildlife, including black bears. Make noise and consider bringing pepper spray. Informational signs are posted at the trailhead kiosks; also visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/bears.html#encounters. The land manager also asks that you not conduct gnome scavenger hunts, since the off-trail activity harms the wildlife and vegetation. Dogs must be on leash.
Evans Creek Preserve
- 4.2 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 325 feet
- Highest Point
- 480 feet
Hiking Evans Creek Preserve
Evans Creek Preserve
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.6423, -122.0375 Open in Google Maps