Snoqualmie River: McCormick Park. Credit: Anna Katz and Shane Robinson
1. Snoqualmie River: McCormick Park
This is a swimming hole for you loving parents and your lovely offspring. McCormick Park is a well-kept family spot, with easy access to all the amenities that make for a low-hassle day away that’s lots of fun. It’s definitely not somewhere you go to get away from it all, but it’s the perfect place for a picnic and a swim. In short, this spot is excellent for a day trip with a swim as the central activity — or a supplement to the range of goings-on in the region.
Kids love the park’s soft, sandy beach — there’s a healthy 30-degree slope to it, great for rolling downhill or running around, without caretakers having to worry about little ones tripping over a boulder or taking a spill on some treacherous rocks. And it’s wide open, too, providing a low-key view and ample sun all day long and then into the summertime evening. The water runs slow and cool; during the summer, the current is lazy, just right for relaxing on an inner tube under the big blue sky.
About 0.25 mile up from the main spot is Taylor Landing, which has a boat launch. This park isn’t quite as pretty, but it is a little more private and slightly less civilized. When the water is low enough, you can walk from one park to the other.
We’ve included McCormick Park not only because it’s a nice place to swim, but also because it’s close to the quaint, epitomously Pacific Northwesty logging town of Duvall and other outdoorsy activities. Close at hand, you’ll also find a dog park, a skate park and many kid-friendly restaurants. Nearby farms are dedicated to organic and sustainable agriculture, and Sno-Valley Tilth provides farm tours throughout the summer and early fall. The Snoqualmie Valley Regional Trail runs through McCormick Park, winding 31.5 miles past the Snoqualmie Valley’s lush farmlands from Carnation, Fall City and Snoqualmie to North Bend. All kinds of folks use this trail: horseback riders, hikers, mountain bikers, birders and good ol’ regular walkers — before or after a swim.
From Redmond, east of I-405 via State Route 520, take Avondale Road Northeast to Northeast Novelty Hill Road and turn right onto it. After 0.7 mile, at a roundabout, take the second exit. After 4 miles, turn left onto West Snoqualmie Valley Road Northeast. After 0.3 mile, turn right onto Northeast 124th Street. After 1 mile, at a roundabout, take the third exit, onto SR 203/Carnation-Duvall Road Northeast. After 2.2 miles, turn left at unpaved Northeast Stephens Street and park in the lot.
- Type: Lowland river, lazy current in summer, beach
- Location: Roadside in city park in Duvall east of Redmond via SR 520 and SR 203
- Water: Cool to warm, clearish, cleanish, blue-green
- Season: June through September
- Who's here: Kid-friendly, dog-friendly; families barbecuing, kids playing, people visiting local farms, cyclists
- Amenities: Parking, restrooms, outdoor beach shower, picnic tables, grills; food nearby
- Local's tip: For six weeks during the summer, McCormick Park hosts a free Wednesday concert series; come for the swim, stay for the music
- GPS Coordinates: 47.7406 N, –121.9891 W