Not far from the northern tip of Lake Washington, this pocket forest provides local residents and those in the Puget Sound area with a crucial link to the outdoors. The Shelton View Forest is more than 60 acres in size, plus two half-mile approach trails through additional acreage and varied habitat.
Forks in the trail are frequent, and without signage it can be easy to get turned around. Use this helpful map from the Shelton View Forest Stewardship Association to navigate, or take a photo of the trail map posted at most entrances.
Numbers on the map correspond to numbered posts, installed thanks to an Eagle Scout project. If you're looking for less elevation gain or loss, head for the trails on the west end of the ravine, where you may also find three old, rusting cars. 200 yards east of the cars is “the largest sand dune in Bothell,” loved by hikers for hard-core conditioning.
From a hilltop of tall trees to a refreshing low-land stream, look for salal, ferns, Oregon grape, berries, flowers, mosses, lichen and fungi. Life abounds here, on the ground and in there air; fifty species of birds have been documented here. Trade the bustle of traffic for the quiet distractions here—terrain and understory quickly hide the sound of traffic as you head into the park.
Find one of 10 benches and sit awhile. Breathe in crisp air. Listen for children on recess at nearby Shelton View Elementary, or exploring the forest. For more information, visit sheltonviewforest.org.
Note: Five miles of trail connect city (Bothell), county (Snohomish), state (Department of Natural Resources) and federal (FEMA) parcels, as well as green space trails, most of them 50 years old, on privately owned properties.