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Shinglemill Creek Preserve

Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area
47.4670, -122.4652 Map & Directions
3.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
300 feet
Highest Point
400 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Explore 168 acres of natural beauty at the Shinglemill Creek Preserve on Vashon Island. Photo by Marsha Ess. Full-size image
  • Old growth
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Shinglemill Creek Preserve is located in the northwest part of Vashon Island and encompasses 168 acres along the lower mainstem of Shinglemill Creek – Vashon’s second-largest creek. Continue reading

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Hiking Shinglemill Creek Preserve

Shinglemill Creek Preserve is located in the northwest part of Vashon Island and encompasses 168 acres along the lower mainstem of Shinglemill Creek – Vashon’s second-largest creek.

Efforts to preserve habitat in the Shinglemill Watershed began in 1994 with the purchase of the historic and iconic Fern Cove, the largest stream delta on Vashon where Shinglemill Creek empties into Colvos Passage on the island’s west shoreline. The lower portion of the Shinglemill Creek trail offers opportunities to watch for coho salmon returning to spawn, typically in November and December after heavy rains. The delta at Fern Cove offers Vashon’s best spot for viewing shorebirds.

The Shinglemill Creek Trail gains elevation from sea level to 400 feet, making it a great round trip “workout” trail. To enjoy the spectacular views across the canyon and into the creek without the steep climb, dropping o a car at the trailhead on Cedarhurst Road allows walkers to make a one-way trek downhill starting from the trailhead to SW 156th Street.

The terrain is steep and sandy and, as such, is not appropriate or safe for horses or bicycles. Dogs are allowed on leash, with leashes provided for loan at each trailhead. The trail crosses private property. Hikers enjoy this trail at the invitation of those landowners, and so please respect their property rights by adhering closely to the trail rules.

The Preserve was acquired with the support of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, private donations, and King County’s Conservation Futures Program. The Preserve is a partnership of King County, the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, and the Vashon Park District.

WTA worked here in 2016!

Hike Description Written by
King County Parks, WTA Community

Shinglemill Creek Preserve

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.4670, -122.4652 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Vashon Highway, turn west on SW 156th Street. After approximately .25 mile turn right onto the gravel driveway at the Shinglemill Creek Trail sign. Follow the driveway to the parking lot. Limited parking is also available on Cedarhurst Road at the other end of the trail and for Fern Cove. At the bottom of the hill, just south of the entrance sign to Fern Cove, pull o to the east side of Cedarhurst Road and park in front of the metal gate. There is room for about three vehicles. From there it is an easy walk into Fern Cove on the west side of the road, or the Shinglemill Creek Trail on the east side of the road.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO.

More Hike Details


Puget Sound and Islands > Seattle-Tacoma Area

King County Parks

Guidebooks & Maps

King County Parks PDF Map:

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Shinglemill Creek Preserve

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