Shinglemill Creek Preserve
About the Park:
The 190-acre Shinglemill Creek Preserve in northwest Vashon Island encompasses the length of Shinglemill Creek as it flows north from Fisher Pond to Puget Sound at Fern Cove. The Preserve is co-managed with the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust. The Vashon Park District manages a historic lighthouse at Fern Cover.
At the south-end of the park, the Shinglemill Creek Trail is a 2.5 mile walk through the forest along the ridge of a lush forest ravine descending 400 feet to become a path along Shinglemill Creek until it empties into the estuary at Fern Cove, a favorite spot for viewing shorebirds and catching a glimpse of coho salmon returning to spawn, typically in November and December after heavy rains. At the half-way point, Shinglemill Creek Trail meets Bill's Trail, creating a steep trail loop that climbs up the side of the valley.
The ravine terrain is steep and sandy and not appropriate or safe for horses or bicycles. Dogs are allowed on leash, with leashes provided for loan at each trailhead. The trail crosses private property at the invitation of the landowners. Please respect their property rights by adhering closely to the trail rules.
Park Activities: beach walking, dog walking, hikers, nature observation, volunteer. No horses or mountain bikes.
Location: A quarter-mile west of Vashon Hwy SW off SW 156 St
Nearby Bus Stops: 118, 119 on Vashon Hwy SW
Parking: From Vashon Hwy SW, turn west on SW 156 St. After approximately .25 mile, turn right onto the gravel driveway at the Shinglemill Creek Trail sign. Follow the driveway to the parking lot.
A small parking area is also available on Cedarhurst Rd at the north end of the trail at 115 Ave SW. At the bottom of the hill, just south of the entrance sign to Fern Cove, pull over to the east side of Cedarhurst Road and park in front of the metal gate. There is room for about three vehicles. From there it is an easy walk into Fern Cove on the west side of the road, or to the Shinglemill Creek Trail on the east side of the road.
Efforts to preserve habitat in the Shinglemill Watershed began in 1994 with the purchase of the historic and iconic Fern Cove, the largest stream delta on Vashon where Shinglemill Creek empties into Colvos Passage on the island’s west shoreline.
The Shinglemill Preserve was acquired with the support of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, private donations, and King County’s Conservation Futures Program.