About the Park:
Located in the Cascade foothills, Moss Lake Natural Area is 372 acres of high-quality wetland and forested upland habitat with three miles of multi-use trails. The extensive 150-acre wetland includes the 40-acre sphagnum bog surrounding Moss Lake, decades-old beaver dams, and a cattail and spirea-fringed lake.
Sphagnum moss bogs, the most sensitive and rarest habitat type, are unique plant communities composed of up to 25 feet of acidic peat deposits that build up over very long periods of time, locally at a rate of one inch per 40 years. Being unique, bogs like the one at Moss Lake Natural Area are home to similarly unusual and rare plants and creatures such as the Beller's ground beetles and the Round-leaved Sundew, a common but not abundant carnivorous plant is occasionally found growing on the moss at Moss Lake.
Moss Lake Natural Area is also an excellent place for bird watching such as bald eagle, Vaux’s swift, belted kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, red-tailed hawk, pileated woodpecker, and bandtailed pigeon just to name a few.
Park Activities: dog walking, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, nature observation, non-motorized boat ramp, volunteer
Location: Five miles southeast of Duvall, 3.5 miles northeast of Carnation, and one mile east of Lake Joy in the Cascade foothills.
Nearby Bus Stops: Moss Lake Natural Area is served by Snoqualmie Valley Transportationalong NE Big Rock Road.
Parking:There is a parking area at the park entrance at the end of NE Moss Lake Rd.
Trailheads: The main trailhead and a pit toilet is at the end of NE Moss Lake Rd.
Abridged from the 2007 Moss Lake Natural Area Site Management Guidelines: Moss Lake Natural Area has used for a variety of resource extraction activities extending back to when the Seattle area was settled in the late 1800s. The original forest was likely harvested in the early 1900s and subsequent second-growth harvest has left a patchwork of successional mixed coniferous and deciduous forest on the property.
Peat moss extraction and drying are also known to have occurred here. In the 1920s, a moss drying plant was constructed on the east end of the lake. The plant subsequently burned to the ground and was not replaced. Preparatory work for additional peat excavation occurred in 1953-54; however, the project was abandoned before work began. Anecdotal reports of peat extraction as late as the 1960s have been noted through conversations with long-time residents of the area.
Moss Lake Natural Area became public property in phases, beginning in 1990. In 2001, King County installed a parking area, outhouse, a short boardwalk over part of the wetland adjacent to the parking lot, the widening of the access road, and gates. In 2005, a local Eagle Scout candidate constructed five bat boxes on the site in an effort to provide bat habitat and increase the bat population.
- Figure 1: Moss Lake location map
- Figure 2: Moss Lake aerial photo map
- Figure 3: Moss Lake aerial parcel map
- Figure 4: Moss Lake topographic hillshade map
- Figure 5: Moss Lake soils map
- Figure 6: Moss Lake hydrography map
- Figure 7: Moss Lake survey map
- Figure 8: Moss Lake roads and trails map