This is a wonderful wild park right in the backyard of those who live in the Everett area. Covering 1,463 acres of forest, ponds and meadows, the river valley is a confluence of the Issaquah, Tulalip, Stillaguamish, and Snoqualmie Tribal treaty areas. The park itself is is named for homesteader Mitchell Lord who farmed the area in the late 1880s. Hikers can roam all day on the network of trails leading through the forest, down to the Snohomish River and up to views of the Cascades and Snohomish valley. Explore, and keep an eye out for the wildlife that live in these woods.
There are hundreds of possible adventures at Lord Hill. Try the loop described below for a full day of exploration. If that's too much, try the short Beaver Lake Loop which follows Beaver Lake to the Pipeline Trail, then to the Main trail and back to the parking lot. A longer option is the trail that borders the Snohomish River. Whatever you choose, be sure to have a map with you as you plan your route.
The many wanderings to be had here start off as you leave the parking lot on the boardwalk trail. Head either left or right, either way is good. The Main trail will lead to the junction with the West View trail. Follow that, and it will lead to a nice loop and a viewpoint on Devils Butte, with nice views looking north across the valley to the mountains. The Beaver Lake trail heads down to hit the Pipeline trail, the most direct north-south route. This description will follow the Pipeline, taking you by several ponds, old quarry sites, and eventually to the Snohomish River.
Once you reach the intersection with the Beaver Lake and Pipeline trails, take the side trail down to Beaver Lake. Here the lake is filling in with grass and becoming more like a marsh. You can continue along a trail around Beaver Lake, but as of this writing, this trail is not on any maps. If you don’t feel comfortable just poking around without direction, stay on the Pipeline trail, which meets up with the Temple Pond loop trail. Are you in an exploring mood? Take the route around the east side of the lake, skirting the park boundary above the lake in a wooded area.
Keep following the trail through the woods, cross a little outlet stream and head up. You will see signs marking this the Red Barn trail, but again, it does not appear on a map. This area was logged at least twice, once of its old-growth trees, then again of the second-growth. You can still see some big stumps with springboard notches, now serving as nurse stumps for red huckleberry. Because the trees here are third-growth forest, enough light comes through for sword fern and salal to thrive.
Eventually this trail comes to a 'T' junction with the Temple Pond loop. Take the left fork and head to Temple Pond, the biggest pond in the park. Reach the shores of Temple Pond after a nice stroll through the forest. The remains of old stumps, clumps of cattails and reflections of the surrounding trees are certainly photo-worthy. Try to capture a picture of a few of the resident ducks. With a little luck, you may see a beaver. Once done, finish the loop and end up back on the Pipeline trail.
Once back on the Pipeline, follow it downhill, zigzag past a tiny pond where there is an intersection. If you're looking for a shorter hike, you can loop back to the trailhead here. To lengthen your hike, keep going downhill toward the Snohomish River. Here is another intersection with the Pipeline loop, which makes a loop through the woods here. Go straight down a steep little hill and hit the Quarry trail heading to the west, an unsigned intersection at this writing. This interesting trail takes you past a big grassy bowl that used to be an old quarry, past a large pond, then up and around a ledge above the pond where a nice bench awaits you and your trail snack. Keep following the trail north and it eventually hits the Main trail. The Main trail goes west, then south to the Snohomish River. Eat lunch by the river and watch for eagles above.
Following the Pipeline trail to the end will bring you to the southern trailhead off of Tester Road. Follow the River View Quarry trail along an old road. Look for some old rusted equipment along this stretch of the trail. The grass is too high for good river views, but you can make your way down to the river bank from the old road. Loop back and hit the Quarry trail, then proceed to wander at will, eventually ending back at the main trailhead.
WTA Pro Tip: You will find it very helpful to download and print the map from the Snohomish County website.