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Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas' Eddy​

Nestled on the tranquil banks of the picturesque Snohomish River, the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas’ Eddy is an undiscovered treasure, providing a peaceful retreat from the demands of daily life. This remarkable park beckons with a wide range of outdoor pursuits, encompassing fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, and al fresco dining, all harmonized against the backdrop of awe-inspiring natural landscapes. Within the following sections, we will explore the park’s attributes, its rich historical significance, and the manifold adventures it extends to its guests.


A Nature Lover’s Paradise

The Bob Heirman Wildlife Park presents an unparalleled environment that calls out to both nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. It serves as a living testament to the unwavering vision and dedication of individuals such as Bob Heirman, who, in collaboration with the Tulalip Tribes, devoted relentless efforts to safeguard this unspoiled landscape from the perils of gravel mining and potential urbanization. Consequently, this park stands as an enduring tribute to their resolute commitment to preserving the pristine natural allure of Snohomish County.


Hiking Trails for All Ages

Among the prime draws of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park, the enchanting hiking trails take center stage. The park boasts a gentle, predominantly level three-mile hike, tailor-made for hikers of various proficiencies. This trail opens up a serene gateway to the heart of the natural world, offering awe-inspiring vistas of the meandering Snohomish River and the captivating panorama that envelops it.

The journey begins from the park’s parking lot, from where you descend to the river via an access road, which is closed to vehicle traffic, ensuring a tranquil and pedestrian-friendly experience. Once you reach the riverfront, you’ll walk along a protective dike that shields the undeveloped riverfront and the vital floodplain along the Snohomish River. As you explore the trail, you’ll witness the power of the river as it flows through tight hairpin turns, occasionally creating new channels and oxbow ponds. Keep an eye out for the waterfowl that call this area home, including ducks and swans.

Moreover, the hike offers mesmerizing views of marshy meadows and the imposing Lord Hill, which rises majestically above the river. To make the most of your outdoor adventure, don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch, plenty of water, and a camera to capture the park’s natural beauty. However, please remember that this park has a strict no-dog policy, so leave your furry friends at home. Browse around this site.


Access the River: Boating and Fishing

For those who are passionate about boating and fishing, the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park is an ideal destination. Boaters can access the park by navigating the river from various launch points, including the Snohomish launch, High Bridge, Lewis Street, or Langus Park. With three miles of publicly owned shoreline, the park provides ample opportunities for fishing, swimming, picnicking, and exploring upland trails.

It’s important to note that boat access to the park is only possible via the river, as there is no road access. Additionally, to ensure the preservation of Crab Bar, visitors are kindly requested to respect the adjacent private property.


A Rich History of Preservation

The story of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas’ Eddy is a testament to the power of community and environmental activism. The park’s origins trace back to the era when Dave Beck Jr., a former Teamsters Union president, operated a gravel mining operation along the river. The site transitioned from industrial use to becoming a vital part of the Snohomish community.

The Palzer family eventually purchased the property and transformed it into a hub for raising livestock and agriculture. However, when the property was slated for subdivision and potential housing development, it prompted action from the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Association, led by the determined Bob Heirman. This grassroots campaign was aimed at preserving public access to one of the most renowned steelhead fishing spots on the Snohomish River.

Working in collaboration with the Parks Department, the association successfully acquired the property, securing a space that would become the Bob Heirman Park at Thomas’ Eddy. The funding for this remarkable 429-acre park was made possible through the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), aligning with its primary goal of providing fishing and river boating recreational access while maintaining environmental sustainability.


A Sanctuary for Wildlife Enthusiasts

As its name suggests, the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park is a sanctuary for wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper connection with nature. The park’s lush landscapes, riverfront views, and abundant wildlife provide countless opportunities for observing the natural world in all its glory.

As you traverse the hiking trails, you may come across a diverse array of bird species, including graceful waterfowl like ducks and majestic swans. The tranquil ambiance provides an ideal birdwatching setting, allowing you to witness these magnificent creatures in their native habitat.


Planning Your Visit

For a delightful and memorable experience at the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas’ Eddy, it’s crucial to bear in mind a few important details. The park is accessible to the public year-round, extending a warm welcome to visitors. Nevertheless, please be aware that the park maintains a strict no-dog policy, so ensure your pets are well cared for before embarking on your adventure.

If you’re gearing up for a hike, contemplate donning comfortable hiking shoes, packing necessities like water and a picnic meal, and remember to have your camera handy to seize the stunning natural splendor of the park.

The Bob Heirman Wildlife Park stands as a living testament to the influence of community-driven action and the imperative of environmental conservation. Situated along the serene Snohomish River, this remarkable park extends a diverse menu of outdoor pursuits, encompassing everything from hiking and fishing to observing wildlife and enjoying peaceful picnics. Its historical narrative, intertwined with the fervent endeavors of remarkable individuals like Bob Heirman and the dedicated Snohomish Sportsmen’s Association, serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of preserving our natural treasures for the generations yet to come.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape into nature, an opportunity to observe wildlife, or a day of recreational activities, the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas’ Eddy is a hidden gem in Snohomish, Washington, that promises a memorable and enriching experience for all who visit.

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