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Originally published Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:00 PM

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Pitch a horseshoe at Forest Park in Everett

The 197-acre Forest Park, Everett's largest and oldest park, has an animal farm during the summer that converts into a haunted farm for Halloween. It also has one of the area's largest horseshoe courts.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Walk in

the park |

Where: Forest Park

Location: 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd., Everett

Length: About 1.5 miles of trails in a 197-acre park.

Level of difficulty: From flat to steep. Trails are not wheelchair-accessible.

Facilities: A playground, tennis court and a multipurpose court that could be used for inline hockey. Also includes one of the area's largest horseshoe courts. Picnic shelters and restrooms. Ample parking. There's an indoor swimming pool and during the summer an animal farm and spray pool. Also serves as headquarters for the city's park department.

Setting: It's the largest and oldest park in Everett and until 1962 housed a zoo with lions and an elephant. The zoo has since been retooled into an animal farm with pigs and goats and pony rides for children. Most trails are situated in the north and west end, where the area is lush with Douglas fir, western hemlock and big-leaf maple. Mountain beavers and blacktail deer have been spotted.

Highlights: The animal farm is closed after summer and converted into a haunted farm from Oct. 26-30 (6 to 10 p.m., $8 admission).

The city park is so big that it's advisable to download or pick up a map at the park office. Most trails aren't marked and you can't see the trails from the parking lot and play area.

A good overview is to follow the fitness-test course, consisting of 12 hill climbs and many of the park trails. You can download a "Hill Climb Challenge" course map.

The most popular trail is located north of the tennis court by the kiosk. The trails are about 4 feet wide, flat and most are about a quarter-mile or less.

Steeper climbs are located near the park's west entrance, by the pool center. Note the narrow dirt trails are slippery. Take the trail all the way down and cross East Mukilteo Boulevard to Pigeon Creek, which has a service road to extend your hike.

Restrictions: Leash law in effect. Park opens daily 6 a.m.-10 p.m. from April-Oct. 31 and 6 a.m.-8 p.m. from Nov.1-March 1.

Directions: From Interstate 5, take exit 192. Turn right onto 41st Street Southeast and continue through three traffic lights. Street turns into Mukilteo Boulevard. Park sign on the left.

For more information: Call 425-257-8300 or go to www.everettwa.org/parks

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

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