Walking the trails at Brightwater. Credit: Jennifer Johnson
Brightwater Center, Woodinville
You might think a wastewater treatment plant wouldn’t be a pleasant place to hike, but King County designed the space surrounding Brightwater Center for recreation, wildlife and education. There are open meadows, ponds, streams and forest to attract wildlife and humans.
Favorite trails: Three miles of hiking trails wind through this 70-acre site. You can choose from a couple of short loops on varied terrain and with good surfaces. Make sure to stop and visit one of the ponds while you are there. The grounds and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily and are free to the public to access.
Indoor options: At the Brightwater campus, kids and adults can learn all about our water system — where our water comes from, how we use it and waste it, and how our wastewater is treated — from interactive exhibits inside the learning center. Current building hours are Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Extras: Check the events calendar and your family can participate in educational events and guided walks at Brightwater. (Pro tip: The annual not-to-be-missed Festival of Frogs is coming up at the end of this month!) Kids ages 9 and older and adults can take a tour of the treatment plant.
Next stop: circle Snake Lake