Living in Black Diamond, we have so many wonderful parklands, conservation areas, natural areas, acres of open space and miles of trails to explore. Enough to keep us biking, hiking and exploring somewhere new and different virtually every week. The 1,140 acre Green River Natural Area is perhaps the least known of them all. Many of these lands were once farmed but flooded frequently. To enhance salmon habitat and limit problems with flooding, King County has been able to acquire and turn back to nature much of the riparian habitat along Green Valley Road and in the process provide miles more of trail for us all to go exploring - with fishing holes aplenty.
As you can see from the above map, there are three main public access locations - O'Grady, Metzler and the recently opened Doreen Johnson Conservation Area. While taking a Drive Down Green Valley Road, I stopped by both Metzler and Doreen Johnson to stretch my legs and take some pictures. It doesn't get much greener than it is now. Starting at Metzler:
If you are looking to get to the riverbank, follow the trails always keeping to the left fork. You will need to cross a small stream along the way. This trail has a bridge.
Plenty of wildlife. While standing on the other side of this bridge, I was able to see an owl rob a nest and fly by with a youngster in its talons and a bird following squawking like crazy. The ways of mother nature. No time to photograph. I was surprised see the owl, likely a great horned owl, but it was early in the morning.
When you reach the river, it's wide. A popular spot for fishermen.
Above is the view looking upriver. The downriver view follows. Lots of peace and quiet here.
The Metzler access is well signed and has plenty of parking area with a portable toilet. Access to the Doreen Johnson area is limited to a small pullout at the access gate just off of Green Valley Road. This area appears to have been farmed more recently than the others.
Several old roads and paths to follow. With little time to spend, I found my way to the river. Another great spot for fishermen.
Plenty of peace and quite and natural beauty. Will be heading back soon.