Hylebos boardwalk is ready for a facelift

The West Hylebos Wetlands Park will be closed until mid-November for construction on a new mile-long boardwalk replacement.

Construction must be completed during the dry months of summer to minimize impact on the sensitive wetlands, said Federal Way parks planner B. Sanders.

The boardwalk, which was 14 years old, had deteriorated over the years and suffered damage during last year’s winter storms. Trees blew down and broke off pieces of the boardwalk.

“It was quite damaged at this point,” Sanders said.

The deteriorating boardwalk was becoming dangerous.

The original boardwalk was constructed with standard lumber and creosote covered railroad ties — less than desirable materials, Sanders said.

“It’s just not a material that people use anymore. It’s not very environmentally friendly,” she said.

The new boardwalk will feature a more stable design and materials including concrete, recycled plastic, 7-foot long metal pins and recycled tires encased in styrofoam. It should last much longer, Sanders said. The project will also include new signs for the trail and adjacent cabins on South 348th Street.

The boardwalk construction will cost $1.24 million, funded by a grant from the state Legislature, a federal grant and the city of Federal Way.

“It’s been a very productive partnership between the city parks department and the Friends of the Hylebos to find that money,” said Chris Carrel, executive director of Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands. “It’s an important resource and the city’s really stepped up to the plate to help us keep it open.”

The West Hylebos Wetlands Park is one of the most visited parks in the region and is featured in numerous travel guidebooks. Seattle Weekly rated the park Seattle’s best urban nature walk and Seattle Metropolitan magazine mentioned visiting the park as one of 50 things every Seattleite must do. The park sees about 30,000 visitors each year.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

During construction, the Federal Way Parks Department recommends the following parks:

Dumas Bay Park, 30844 44th Ave. S.W.

Celebration Park, 1095 S. 324th Street

Dash Point State Park, 3045 S.W. Dash Point Road

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