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Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas' Eddy

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Map of Park

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  1. Fishing
  2. Hiking Trails
  3. Parking
  4. Picnic Tables
  5. Portable Toilet
  6. River Access
  7. Wildlife Watching


BE ADVISED: Dogs are not permitted at this park

With its unique setting and outstanding natural resources, the Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas' Eddy offers the perfect location for viewing wildlife, walking, picnicking, fishing, and discovering the beauty and wonders of nature. The park is named after Bob Heirman, who, with the Tulalip Tribes’ help, fought to stop gravel mining at the eddy and to save it from development.


The hike is an easy, mostly flat, three-mile hike. From the parking lot, you descend to the river by way of an access road (closed to vehicle traffic) and then along a dike that protects the undeveloped riverfront and important floodplain along the Snohomish River at Thomas' Eddy. Here the powerful river ripples and churns through a pair of tight hairpin turns, occasionally jumping its banks to create new channels and oxbow ponds. As you are hiking, watch for waterfowl, such as ducks and swans. Take in views of the marshy meadows and Lord Hill rising above the river. Pack a picnic lunch, water, and a camera, but leave the dogs at home as they are prohibited in the preserve.


Boaters can visit the park by accessing the river from the Snohomish launch, High Bridge, Lewis Street or Langus Park. Take advantage of the park's 3 miles of publicly owned shoreline for fishing, swimming, picnicking, and upland trail exploration. Please note, boat access is by river only (no road access). In order to preserve access to Crab Bar, please respect the adjacent private property.


See our Snohomish County land acknowledgment here. Dave Beck Jr., a former Teamsters Union president, operated a gravel mining operation along the river. The site was purchased by the Palzer family and used for raising livestock and agriculture. When the site was to be subdivided and sold for housing, the Snohomish Sportsmen's Association, led by Bob Heirman, led a campaign to preserve public access to one of the most popular steelhead fishing spots on the river. The Parks Department worked with the association to acquire the property. Funding for the Bob Heirman Park at Thomas’ Eddy was provided by the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). The primary intent of the 429-acre grant-funded park is to provide fishing and river boating recreational access in an environmentally responsible manner.