Explore both history and ecology at Bellevue’s Lewis Creek Park with a stroll through this former early 20th century farm. While the park can be accessed via several connecting trails from the city’s extensive and well-marked trail system, begin at the main parking lot and Visitor’s Center, adjacent to baseball fields and playgrounds. Access the 0.5-mile Wetland Loop by heading to the left of the visitor’s center and turning left to pick up the wide gravel loop.
At the first junction turn left to head back up to the sidewalk trail that parallels Lakemont Boulevard to start a loop along the perimeter of the park or stay right to continue around the wetlands.
On the Wetland Loop, enjoy interpretative signs that detail both the agricultural and logging history as well as ecology of the area. This park is located in the headwaters of the Lewis Creek Watershed which flows into Lake Sammamish and those more natural areas can be accessed at several connecting trails off the loop. The loop’s namesake wetlands are along the southern section with boardwalks to help cross the area.
If you had opted to stay to the left at the beginning to traverse more of the perimeter of the park, take the first right at about 0.4mi into the picnic area and find the trail again to the left of the first picnic shelter. You’ll shortly enter a not-to-be missed “tunnel” of moss-covered branches, with some strategically placed supports to keep the area clear for passing through.
Continuing along the fern-dotted trail, descend into a short ravine before turning right on the paved Lakemont Trail to start a gentle uphill climb on the east boundary of the park. Emerge from the forest after about 1mi to meadow views back towards the visitor’s center. From here, keep to the right at the next two junctions to head back downhill, passing the farm’s former pasture and rejoining the Wetland Loop.
Continue along the loop back to the parking lot or complete the perimeter by heading towards the ballfields and turning right at the final corner to head back to the Visitor’s Center.