Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Osprey Park

Welcome to Osprey Park!

The park covers 85 acres with over two miles of trails to explore. Some of the notable features are described below but there are many more to be discovered!

(click for larger image)

First Time Visitors:

We suggest that you park along First Street and walk the northern loop in a counter-clockwise direction. After crossing the middle bridge, you have three options: 1) take an immediate left and follow the trail to the baseball and soccer fields, 2) continue straight and follow the trail to the basketball pavilion and playground area or 3) continue straight, then take a right along the chain-link fence onto the southern loop and travelling in a clockwise direction.

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Northern Loop

Counter-clockwise direction:

  • Wetland – this wetland is referred to as the “Winters Creek Wetland” because it is “fed” by year round flow from Winter’s Creek. The wetland is a perfect place to bird watch. Species you might observe include: mallards, wood ducks, bufflehead, red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons, tree swallows, marsh wrens, and song sparrows.
  • Side Channel, from vehicle bridge – this side channel to the Sultan River was naturally created. It receives water directly from the river and also from Winter’s Creek. The habitat here is very important to fish, especially salmon. The slow water and abundant cover (hiding places) provide juvenile salmon with a safe place to grow before their journey to the ocean.
  • Main River, newly created side channel, and engineered log jams at pedestrian bridge – from this bridge, you can see a prominent “riffle” in the river where adult salmon, including Chinook, coho, chum, and pink salmon, are frequently observed during the fall spawning season. Along the river, you can also see the massive man-made engineered log jams which are designed to provide and shape habitat by redirecting flow. You can also see the newly created side channel which provides additional water to an expanded network of channels downstream.
  • Mature riparian community – as the trail winds through the forested floodplain, note all the different types of plants and keep an eye out for wildlife. Black-tailed deer, beaver, raccoons, coyotes, and bear have been observed in the park.
  • Noxious weeds – several species of non-native plants have become established within Osprey Park. Most notable among these species are knotweed and blackberry. The PUD is using monies from a Habitat Enhancement Fund to remove and manage these noxious weeds, and restore the riparian community to one dominated by native plants,
  • Side channel at middle bridge – this is another spot to look for juvenile fish and also adults during the fall. Spawning adults often build “redds” (egg nests) in the gravel within the channel at this location. This also a good location to observe changes in the riparian community as noxious weeds are replaced by native plants. 

Southern Loop

Clockwise direction:

  • New side channel, from pedestrian bridge – this is a good spot to see the results of the recent construction project including new habitat for fish and wildlife. For fish, this channel was excavated to provide more important side channel habitat. You will see logs placed in the channel to add diversity to the fish habitat. The streambanks have also been planted with native plants which, over time, will grow into a mature riparian community providing benefits to fish, birds, and wildlife.
  • Engineered Log Jam – as you walk along the trail, you will notice another large log jam along the edge of the river. Over time, this area will change as high flows interact with this obstruction to create habitat
  • Views of river – during the fall, this is a great place to watch for and observe spawning salmon especially pink salmon during odd years (2011, 2013, 2015) when they return.

Note: as you head north along the edge of the river, you can:

  • Take a right at the fork and head back to the middle bridge, completing a giant figure 8 or
  • Continue north onto the northern loop travelling clockwise.