Swamp Monster Trail. Credit: Tiffany Doerr Guerzon
Swamp Monster Trail at Tiger Mountain
Find it: Begin this hike at Tiger Mountain's High Point Way trailhead; to reach it, take exit 20 off I-90, turn south onto 270th Ave. S.E., then turn right onto S.E. 79th St. A Discover Pass is required to park in the lot (see parking notes below).
The Swamp Monster Trail is a great, flat storybook trail with signs relaying a story called "Zoe and the Swamp Monster." The tale details a girl's encounters with trail monsters, but don’t worry, you won’t see any monsters or swamps on this tot-friendly hike!
Near the parking lot at the High Point Way trailhead, there is a detailed map on a kiosk. It’s not a bad idea to take a picture of the map with your phone if you don’t have a paper map with you. From the kiosk, follow the trail straight ahead to a clearing that has a restroom and several trail signs. Follow the “Swamp Trail” sign pointing right. To get to the Swamp Trail, cross a road and come to a wooden horse barrier fence (low sections of wooden fence placed in a zig-zag pattern), and you will soon find the first part of the Zoe and the Swamp Monster story on a large red board. Read the first piece of the story here, then continue on as you read all seven boards. The path is mostly flat and easy to navigate with small children. The Swamp Monster Trail is about a half-mile each way. When you come to the next horse barrier, you are at the end. Turn around here and head back for a one-mile round trip, or continue on to the Big Tree Trail (see next page).
Parking notes: The road to the trailhead ends at a gate. This gate is closed at dusk, so if you plan on being out past that time, be sure to park outside of the gate. There is a small roadside lot and street parking which can be used if you don’t have a Discover Pass (or if the main lot is full). If you park there, take the small trail starting at the roadside parking up the hill for a half-mile to the trailhead. But if you have a Discover Pass and don't plan to stay past dusk, drive through the gate and uphill to the bigger lot.