Summer at Lake Wilderness Arboretum

Those who live in South King County don’t have to travel the interstates to enjoy a summer stroll through gardens brimming over with the blooms and greenery of summer, hikes through the forest, or a bike ride on part of the county trail system. All can be found Lake Wilderness Arboretum (LWA), located just east of Witte Road in the city of Maple Valley.

A favorite spot for professional and amateur photographers alike, the arboretum highlights this time of year include everything from hummingbirds putting on aerial displays amongst the perennials and hardy fuchsias in the Perennial Border to the vibrant colors of hydrangeas and a wide variety of Japanese maples to the peanut butter scented leaves of the Harlequin Glorybower tree (Cleroendrum trichotomum) in the Legacy Garden.

The Arboretum’s forty-two acres feature over a dozen acres of display gardens and collections, a twenty-six acre second growth forest area with hiking trails, and easy access to the recreational facilities at Lake Wilderness Park. Maps fo the Arboretum’s pathways and trails are included in brochures located in kiosks located off of Lake Wilderness Lodge’s parking lot and near the parking and entrance off of 248th. Lake Wilderness Arboretum Foundation (LWAF) offers docent-lead tours of LWA’s gardens on the third Saturday of each month starting April 21st through October 20th. Our 3rd Saturday tours start at the gazebo on the grounds at 10am. Signs will be posted directing visitors to parking and to the Arboretum’s gazebo prior to the tour. Group tours can be arranged for other days and times by contacting the Arboretum.

In addition to our upcoming 3rd Saturday tours, make sure to pay a visit to LWA’s annual fall plant sale is coming up on Saturday, September 8th from 10am to 4pm in the Arboretum’s Nursery. Fall is the best time to plant so be sure to stop by to add year-round color and interest to your garden. Knowledgeable Arboretum volunteers will be available to help guide you as you make your selection.

LWA, located at 22520 SE 248th in Maple Valley, is open to the public at no charge from dawn to dusk daily. It is easily accessible by foot or bicycle via King County’s Cedar-to-Green River Trail and by car from Rte 18, Rte 169 (Maple Valley Highway, and Kent Kangley Rd (272nd). For information about the arboretum and activities that are scheduled, check out our website at To inquire about scheduling a free docent tour, call us at 425.413.2572 or email us at

Cindy Ostermann,

Docent Co-Chair

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