Big Gulch Trail is greenbelt of wildness in Mukilteo
Big Gulch Trail is a prized ravine through busy Snohomish County city.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Walk in the Park
Where: Big Gulch Trail
Location: 9600 62nd Place W., Mukilteo
Park Size: 181 acres
Trail difficulty: Easy to moderate, though trails are rocky and uneven, not wheelchair accessible, mostly gravel and dirt. Bridges and interpretive signs dot the network of trails, about two miles. The steep stretch off the 92nd Street Park trailhead has stairs that can be slippery when wet. Many dog walkers and joggers and a few bikers here.
Facilities: Restrooms, benches, picnic tables and playground located at the 92nd Street Park entrance.
Setting: In 1991, Mukilteo annexed Harbour Point, got this prized ravine and started building a network of trails to connect all parts of the city. The Big Gulch runs east to west through the center of town, buffered by a hotel, library, a thoroughfare and other residential and commercial developments. The city recently completed a trail segment that allows residents in the north and south end access to this greenbelt.
Highlights: There are multiple entry points to the Big Gulch: the Mukilteo Public Library, the Staybridge Suites Hotel, 92nd Street Park and south of 92nd Street on Highway 525.
Regardless of which entry point you use, walk 100 feet into the woods and it looks as if you’re in the middle of a wilderness, with giant firs, lush valley and a creek. The city calls it a “forested oasis.”
The North Fork trail is about 90 steps down to the ravine. With the moisture, the dirt trail gets soggy once you’ve reached the bottom. The South Fork trail is a narrow trail with boardwalks, parallel to a creek. It can get muddy during rainy season. The West Fork Trail is a wide, gravel trail with plenty of open space.
Wildlife sightings include owls, pileated woodpeckers, coyotes and deer. Come midday and you’ll likely run into retired couple Richard and Joyce Peck, who have walked or jogged these trails every day for more than 10 years.
“You never get bored here,” said Joyce. “During the fall, you hear the rustling of the falling leaves. If it’s frosty you hear the crunch underneath your shoes. And in spring, nature is blooming and the birds are singing more and the stream starts to flow faster and louder. During the summer, it can get warm, but if you get deep into the forest, under the canopy of trees, it’s cool and fresh.”
Restrictions: Leash laws in effect. Closed dusk to 6:30 a.m.
Directions: With restrooms and ample parking, the 92nd Street Park is the most convenient access point to Big Gulch Trail. From Interstate 5, take Exit 182 to Highway 525 to Mukilteo. Turn left on 92nd Street Southwest, to the park.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle