The Eagle Trail is a grassy urban course on the Stillaguamish River dike from Haller Park to the Dike Road in the City of Arlington. Opened in 2011, it provides an opportunity for nature and wildlife viewing while wandering green space within the city limits and a designated area for dogs to romp and play
Starting from the west side of the Haller Park parking lot, the gravel trail crosses under a blue archway and an overpass of Highway 9 to run along the Stillaguamish River shortly after the two forks of the river have joined. Look for a wooden trail sign on a tree and keep left. In about a tenth of a mile, the trail opens up and splits. Keep right at the old Boy Scout orienteering kiosk.
Once a popular fishing area for the Stillaguamish people, over time the land has housed a cedar shake mill and dairy farm. A camera-ready red barn remained until 2019 when it was unfortunately consumed by fire. Now you will find a fenced dog agility course, a cement pad pole building and open fields identified for pet liberty.
Well-maintained and wide, the trail runs right atop the dike and you may find yourself at a snail's pace gazing up at swaying cottonwoods along the way hoping to spy eagles scanning the watershed for dinner. The river offers viewing of one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the lower 48 states due to the salmon that still run here.
The trail leaves the wide path and enters the trees to the right at about .4 miles in. Frequently muddy, the path takes you down to the river’s edge. Depending on the level of the water, you can walk out onto the gravel beds and watch for a variety of wildlife or toss cobblestones into the quickly moving current.
If you have more energy once completing the Eagle Trail itself, from here you can continue on adjacent trails that loop around the four cells of the 21 acre Stormwater Wetland Park. It was designed to filter stormwater runoff before draining into the Stillaguamish River. Dragonflies flit in the cattails and goldfinches weave through Douglas fir, alder, snowberry and wild roses.
You will pass over sturdy bridges that offer glimpses into the stormwater cells and past informational kiosks, covered picnic tables and benches for about a mile of wandering. Along the way, look up for osprey nesting high on a Boy Scout project perch in the center of the park or turkey vultures circling on the wind.
The Eagle Trail and Stormwater Wetland Park make a convenient jaunt before work or a relaxing stroll after dinner in town all year round. You can also include it as part of your adventure after spending time on the Centennial Trail which travels nearby. Dogs are allowed on leash in the wetlands and off leash in the pet liberty area next to the agility course.