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Originally published March 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM | Page modified March 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM

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Beavers, bobcats, wildlife galore in Redmond Watershed Preserve

In Redmond's Watershed Preserve, take a walk in one of the Eastside's biggest parks, with trails, ponds, woods and wildlife.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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They allow horses and bikes, but no dogs. Guess I won't be going here - the dogs love... MORE

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Walk in

the park |

Where: Watershed Preserve

Location: 21760 Novelty Hill Road, Redmond

Length: 800 acres with seven interconnecting trails

Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate, with some steep slopes. Mostly gravel and dirt trails, which tend to get muddy and can be slippery when it rains.

Facilities: There are seven entrances to this large park, with ample parking at the main entrance via 218th Avenue Northeast. Restrooms and trail maps with coordinate markers throughout the trail system. Includes equestrian and bike trails.

Setting: This is one of the largest city parks on the Eastside, filled with ponds, wetlands and a lush forest of second-growth Douglas fir and Western hemlocks. There are beavers along Siler's Mill Trail, Old Pond Trail and Treefrog Loop Trail. Black bears, bobcats, cougars and deer have been seen.

Pipeline Regional Trail and the Collin Creek Trail are the major designated areas for trail runners, hikers, bikers and horse riders. These two multiuse trails connect on the north end and are about 3 miles total.

Highlights: The handicapped-accessible Treefrog Loop Trail (.3-mile) by the main entrance is the park's most beautiful walk and has interpretive signs. The smooth, paved trail is sandwiched by lush ferns and firs.

The Pipeline Regional Trail (2.25 miles) is the longest trail, but the least interesting. This gravel trail sits in an open field and doubles as a service road with power lines running east and west. But it connects to other trails so you get access to nice, short hikes by the creek, ponds and forested areas.

Here is a good, easy two-hour hike (around 4.5 miles): Park in the main entrance and hike the Trillium Trail by Seidel Creek. Cross over a few wooden bridges to the Old Pond Trail. The area is so rich with wildlife that on a muddy day you can see tracks of deer, bobcats and smaller creatures. A lot of horse riders and trail runners like this route. Head back by connecting to the Pipeline Regional Trail. About a mile in, you can cross over to the Trillium Connector to return to the parking lot. Or you can stay on the Pipeline Trail, where it gets steeper. Plenty of markers and maps along the way to guide you.

Restrictions: Pets are not allowed. Horses and bikes in designated areas only. Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Directions: From Highway 520 east, take the highway to the end where it turns into Avondale Road. Turn right onto Northeast Novelty Hill Road. Turn left at 218th Avenue Northeast to enter the park.

For more information: 425-556-2300 or www.redmond.gov/ParksRecreation/Parks/

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.

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