Walking the trails at Brightwater. Credit: Jennifer Johnson
Brightwater Center, Woodinville
You might think a wastewater treatment plant in Woodinvlle 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 areas, 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.
Indoor options: At the Brightwater campus, kids and adults can learn all about our water system – where our water comes from, how we use and waste it, and how our wastewater is treated. There are interactive exhibits suitable for all ages.
Extras: You’ll see lots of interesting and engaging art on the Brightwater campus, such as glass microbes and industrial pipes in the shapes of tree branches. You can also participate in educational events and walks throughout the year. Kids ages 9 and older and adults can take a tour of the treatment plant. Bainbridge Island's Islandwood offers popular family programs and summer camps at Brightwater.
Logistics: The grounds and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily. The center is open from Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. It's also open one Saturday a month for tours and other events. Get driving directions and print out trail maps on the Brightwater website.