Wetland 79 Natural Area
Wetland 79 Natural Area consists of a single parcel nearly 7 acres in size, acquired in 1998. The property is located at approximately River Mile 18 on the left bank of the Cedar River. The parcel is 1/10 mile east of the Maple Valley incorporated area and the urban growth boundary. The Cedar River Trail runs along the elevated railroad embankment on the eastern boundary of the site. Wetland 79 is a former channel of the Cedar River, isolated from the river by construction of the Burlington Northern railroad embankment in the 1930s. This site may be the last remaining oxbow wetland still connected to the Cedar River.
The canopy at Wetland 79 is dominated by red alder, big-leaf maple, and western red cedar. The shrub layer is primarily salmonberry, Indian plum, snowberry, ninebark, red elderberry, and vine maple, with a component of non-native Himalayan blackberry throughout portions of the site. Spawning sockeye, and juvenile coho salmon, and cutthroat trout have been observed at the site in monitoring visits; steelhead trout may also be present. Several capital projects have been performed at the site to improve the wetland outlet under the Cedar River Trail, improve salmonid spawning habitat, and plant wetland and upland areas.
The site is used for walking and nature observation, primarily by local residents and users of the Cedar River Trail. A gate at SE 248th St prevents vehicle passage into the site. There is no formal parking area. The entrance is a narrow driveway off of SE 248th St paralleling the Cedar River Trail. This driveway and former roadway within the site represents the main area of use. A few informal trails leading to other parts of the site receive a limited amount of use, and dense vegetation restricts access to many areas along the water.
The Wetland 79 Natural Area Site Management Guidelines are available in Adobe Acrobat format. For help using Acrobat files, please visit our Acrobat help page.