Enjoy a family hike at one of the new trail systems near Maple Valley and Covington. This new park is located between the two communities. Approximately 120 acres, this natural area is a mature forest of eighty to one-hundred-year-old cedars, bigleaf maple, Douglas fir and western hemlock. WTA has done work around the park, cleaning up after storms and brushing trails.
The main property has approximately 1.5 miles of old road bed that serves as a connection between Covington and Maple Valley and will become a regional trail connector in the future.
Springs and seeps flow down slope to a lower section of park where two branches of Jenkins Creek and an open water pond await visitors. An old homestead houses more than 300 species of rhododendrons and azaleas beneath a slope of near old-growth cedar. The forest serves as healthy habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including deer, mountain beaver, flying squirrels, raccoons, coyote and occasionally elk and black bear. Additionally, the wetlands are visited by heron, red-tailed hawk, eagles and osprey.
The main park site consists of 85 acres of mature forest that was originally owned by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and was part of the school trust lands. The property was last logged in the 1930s. Mature forest is unusual in Southeast King County since most lands were tree farms and have been logged numerous times. A multi-storied canopy and trees that were as much as 70 years old mark this unique area.
Friends of Cedar Creek Park started developing sustainable trails here in 2013. Future plans for the park include building a soft surface trail connecting the two cities through the park, establishing formal trailheads, ensuring access from both communities and creating additional nature trails throughout the connected forest and natural areas. Find out more about the park here.