King County Parks acquires more than 100 acres on Vashon

March 9, 2023 Update: Please join King County Parks at a virtual open house on March 22 at 6 p.m. to hear about this property. Register now.

We are elated to announce a 110-acre Vashon property, rich with community events and ecological habitat, has been purchased by King County Parks for stewardship as protected public open space. Temporarily called “Wax Orchard,” this property is home to 4 miles of trails and large open pasture and fields where the annual Vashon Sheepdog Classic has been held.

Trails are now open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. We ask that you please stay on the trails and please refrain from accessing the agricultural fields. Pups are welcome on the trails, make sure to clean up after them and always keep them on leash for the safety of all.  

Purchased for $4 million, this property provides a great mix of habitat protection, farmland preservation, and recreation. The site includes 63 acres of forest, with wetlands and ponds, along with roughly 47 acres of farmland pasture.

This property is the latest acquisition in the County’s ongoing effort to secure our region’s last best places – including important fish and wildlife habitat, irreplaceable farmland, and those small hidden gems that so richly enhance the neighborhoods and communities across King County.

The land was acquired using several funding sources: The King County 2020-2025 Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy; the Conservation Futures Tax; and Transfer of Development Rights funds.

We will be looking to the community to help us develop a long-term stewardship plan for managing this open space and its tremendous resources. If you would like to stay informed of when we will seek public input on the management of this property, please sign up to receive updates.

More Information

Q: Will the Vashon Sheepdog Classic take place on this property in the future?

A: We know how important this annual event has been to the community, and we’re looking forward to working together to continue this beloved tradition.

Q: What will be the official name of this property?

“Wax Orchard” is King County’s temporary name for the property as we develop a process to determine the permanent name of the property.

Q: How can members of the public receive updates about the park?

If you are interested in receiving updates about this property, please sign up for our newsletter.

Q: When will the public be allowed to use the property?

A: The existing trail network is open for the public to use. Trails are open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Motorized vehicles are not allowed. Please stay on the trails and refrain from accessing the large agricultural fields. Please keep dogs on leash at all times. 

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