Type: King County Dept of Natural Resources & Parks Ownership
Years Acquired: 2002 to 2005 & 2011
The Land Trust led the community effort, and raised $4.7 million, to preserve this mid-isle forest formerly known as “the State Lands”. The preserve offers one of the Island’s best trail systems, which is enjoyed cooperatively by walkers, equestrians and mountain bikers, contains the headwaters of Judd Creek, and is an important recharge area for Vashon’s drinking water aquifer. The two main wetlands, Mukai Pond and Meadowlake, provide core habitat for more than 80 species of birds.
Island Center Forest is publicly accessible for walking, horse-back riding, mountain biking, and bird watching. Currently, hunting is not allowed in any part of the forest. No motorized vehicles, no camping, no fires, no fireworks. To protect the birds, dogs are not allowed at the two ponds, but they are welcome in the rest of the preserve either leashed or under strict sight and voice control.
There are 4 entrances to Island Center Forest.
On the north side, take 115th Ave south from Bank Rd and follow the dirt road to the end in a large open parking area. Mukai Pond is a short walk from the parking. On the east side, from Vashon Hwy turn west on 188th Street and follow to the end turning right into a large, well-groomed parking lot with room for horse trailer turn-around. On the south side, off of Cemetery Rd turn north directly across from the cemetery onto dirt 115th Ave and go to the parking lot at the end. On the west side, entry is on a marked path just north of the transfer station with parking along the east side shoulder of Westside Hwy.