King County's O'Grady Park is at the center of the Green River Natural Area and it provides a unique place, only a few miles east of the heavily populated Green River valley around Auburn, to get a sense of the river that is wilder, with little noticeable human impact. The site is used mainly by locals, some hikers and Enumclaw Backcountry Horseman. The trail system starts from the parking area for O’Grady and travels down the steep slopes to the Green River. The main trails are about two miles in length. These are in need of rehab and reroutes. In the future, there is a request to construct 1.2 miles of new trail as well.
Green River Natural Area The 922-acre Green River Natural Area extends slightly north from the edge of the Enumclaw Plateau. It is about seven miles east of Auburn along State Route 164 and roughly six miles northwest of Enumclaw. The natural area is comprised of the former Metzler, O’Grady and Green River Waterway Parks all adjacent to the Green River. The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) acquired the parcels between 1973 and 2003 with funds from a variety of sources. Steep valley walls and a broad valley floor combine to create rich mosaics of plant communities that characterize the natural area. Mixed forest and deciduous upland forests cover much of the valley wall, with several forested and scrub-shrub wetlands nestled in the benches. Gallery cottonwood forests, deciduous forests, meadows (old pasture/agricultural fields), and forested, scrub-shrub, and emergent wetlands are common on the valley bottom. Native plant installation and invasive plant control enhancement efforts have occurred along with stream bed restoration projects focused on improving salmon habitat. Several of these wetlands form the headwaters of short tributaries to the Green River. The lower reaches of the wall-based streams in this area are utilized for spawning by coho and chum, and rearing by chinook, coho, chum and winter steelhead. Cutthroat trout have also been reported. Visitors to Green River Natural Area engage in activities such as hiking, bicycling, nature observation and horseback riding, as well as fishing and river running activities such as rafting, tubing and kayaking.
GPS coordinates are only approximate, please always use the written driving directions when trying to find a trail head