Soaring Eagle Park

It was questionable if I was going to make it Wednesday morning, to meet my friend and hike around Soaring Eagle Park. Which I keep calling Soaring Oaks Park because where I grew up, there is a main drag named Soaring Oaks Way. Spoiler: I made it. Even though I went to bed the night before with a horrible headache. I’ve been getting migraine starts more often than not these days. Another one this morning. Ugh. Luckily, I recognize them and can usually nip them in the bud before they become full-on migraines. But still, super annoying.

Soaring Eagle Park is up on the Sammamish Plateau, surrounded by over-priced homes. Then again, that’s pretty much anywhere around here. And I suppose they’re not over-priced if people are willing to pay for them. I remember moving up here from California thinking, it’s so cheap up here! (It was.) Now, we could easily buy a home in Pismo Beach, overlooking the ocean, for cheaper than you can buy a tract home—where you can reach out the window and high five your neighbor—up here. I suppose the prices of homes up here take into account the absolutely beautiful area we live around. Like Soaring Eagle Park. It’s 600 acres, filled with 12 miles of trails. We explored about four miles of those trails Wednesday morning… 3.99 miles to be exact.

The plan was to meet at 8:15am and nose around for about 90 minutes. Which is exactly what we did, plus two minutes. That’s one of the many things I love about this hiking friend… she’s always on-time. Ever since my mom forgot to pick me up on my first day of kindergarten, I have been a freak about being on-time. Even with a hoard of kids. I remember dropping off Blaise and Laine at this park—always on-time, and by on-time, I mean 10 minutes early—back when they were in the same outdoor program Saige and Baby currently attend. Except I didn’t retain the park name. So when I pulled into the parking lot that Google Maps told me to, I remembered being there before. And I was excited to explore around their old stomping grounds.

There are four entrances to the park. We started at the main entry, off East Main Drive. How fitting. The trail signage is a bit sketchy. There are laminated maps with the trails labeled with numbers, nailed to posts. The trails have names but there are no signs at trailheads indicating which trail you’re on or which trail intersects. I like those wooden signs on all the other trails around here, with trail names and arrows. But it didn’t matter this time! I took a backseat to navigating. I was along for the hike, whichever way we went. It was more enjoyable than I would have imagined, being that I’m not one for surprises and not knowing things.

Our route and some trail pictures. No idea which one is which.

We started on Pipeline Trail. That’s all I know. We veered off to other trails several times, making quite the trek around Soaring Eagle Park. It’s a beautiful area in the midst of neighborhoods. It almost feels like you’re in the middle of a forest with nothing around for miles, once you get a bit inside the park. A few of the trails have views of backyard fences but they disappear pretty quickly. While beautiful, there’s nothing special to note about the park. It’s your standard Pacific Northwest landscape. There are a few bridges, but nothing spectacular. I did find a cool tree, that is probably the most exciting visual along the way. Make that two trees. There’s a tree down, and it looks like another tree is growing up from the downed sucker. It’s probably just a massive branch that grew upwards; I’m not a tree expert. I suppose there is a fence that caught my attention. Nothing fancy, only noticeable since it isn’t standard forest stuff.

A fun, funky tree. And a fence.

It was a quiet morning. We only passed one mountain biker, whose bike brakes made quite the sound that we wondered if it was a hurt animal noise. Hopefully he gets those checked out. We moved aside as he passed and then he was gone. Maive joined us, on my back, and she was super quiet… I almost forgot she was there. She likes to take in all the views. She’s the same way on our daily trail outings, in the stroller. Occasionally she’ll point at a bird but for the most part, silence. Maybe she pointed to a few? There were several birds in Soaring Eagle Park. No eagles though. And there was the cutest little baby shrew mole (I think?!) who started to scurry out from his hiding spot until he saw us, and then he turned around and scurried back into a leaf pile. His little lopsided scamper was so adorable!

As much as I don’t want to admit it, the sun came out a bit toward the end of our outing and it was… nice. We started in the gloom, my favorite. But after a week of gloom and rain, with a snowstorm, a smidgen of sun was a welcomed change.

Sunshine. I approved, this once.

And there was still a tiny amount of snow on the ground, from the snowstorm last weekend. I had expected to see more since our backyard is still covered in a few inches of snow.

Remnants of snow.

Until next time. Soon, I hope. Except the cold is getting to me these days. I find myself using it as an excuse to not head out… like this morning. I should be on the trail. Instead, I’m sitting here eating tortilla chips.

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