The North Creek trail offers a quiet urban oasis that links the cities of Mill Creek, Bothell, and Everett. It's a wide, shaded path that leads from McCollum Park in Everett to the city center.
Initially, the North Creek Trail follows the eastern boundary of McCollum Park. You may find it an interesting walk, and it's very different from your hike along the rustic Forest Loop Trail.
North Creek Trail, for much of its length, is ten feet wide and paved, so there's ample room for walkers, runners, baby carriages and bicyclists to share the space. You are likely to encounter a variety of users as you continue farther south along the trail.
The western edge of the trail follows the fenced boundary of the North Creek watershed, and the vegetation is thick enough that views of the creek are infrequent.
In sharp contrast, much of the eastern edge of North Creek Trail is bordered by apartment complexes, and some buildings are just a few feet from the trail. (If you catch the eye of a local resident, offer a wave or other friendly greeting.)
The ongoing trail reaches a large shopping mall where it flirts briefly with mall side streets. (There are options for a coffee break or a snack. And, if you are in doubt about the ongoing route, just head toward the fence that borders the watershed.)
The trail passes several ponds, home to a number of itinerant ducks. Beyond the largest duck pond the trail bends sharply east and reaches Mill Creek Blvd, about 2.25 miles from the McCollum Park trailhead.
WTA Pro Tip: There is an ongoing option. You can follow Mill Creek Blvd, and then 9th Ave SE, farther south and in another 0.7 miles pick up the trail again at Snohomish County's North Creek Park Boardwalk, where parts of the trail are on -- you guessed it -- boardwalks. The trail currently ends at the park's southern boundary at 183rd St. SE., though there are plans to extend the trail beyond North Creek Park, as far south as SR 524 (208th St SE.) So this optional hike extension, already fairly long, could become longer.