On Sunday, Kate and I joined a guided tour of Big Finn Hill Park presented by Kathy Schuler of the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance and Jeanette Leach, a park expert with King County. The 2.1 mile walk was an eye opener. For 30 years I have known Big Finn Hill Park as a venue for organized recreation such as baseball, soccer and now lacrosse. This 1.5 hour trail walk through to woods, with kids and dogs in tow, visited the beaver swamp in the park between Thoreau Elementary and Finn Hill Middle School where a glimpses of pond waters was visible through the undergrowth now that some of the leaves are falling. After walking around the pond, continued the rest of the trail loop passing south of the lacrosse/soccer field, along Juanita up to the condos on Juanita, back down across the playground field and finally back to the parking lot.
During our walk, we enjoyed nature (including more mushrooms than I ever imagined), learned about the monsters (invasive plants as well as ancient piles of trash including an old Rainer Beer can which caught my eye) and discovered that all the trails connect but having a map in hand is a good idea. Click to view park map.
A great deal of work was done this summer by large volunteer groups pulling ivy and other invasive species. If you get inspired to contribute a helping hand, I am certain Jeanette will welcome your inquiry.
People are often intimidated walking alone or venturing into Big Finn Hill Park because of its sheer size and over 10 miles of trails. The FHNA has published an article called “A Walk in the Park” with additional information. http://finnhillalliance.org/2013/10/a-walk-in-the-park/
The next Park Walk is on November 17 at 1:30 pm and they’ll be exploring Big Finn Hill Park west of Juanita. Meet at the trail entrance on 138th place by the Kiosk and they'll do the main loop.
Thank you to Kathy Schuler and Jeanette Leach for a lovely outing at Big Finn Hill Park. We have a new-found appreciation of the park and we look forward to exploring further on November 17!