|Droopy in the sea;|
Cavorting, gnawing on sticks,
Stinky as can be.
Description: Howarth Park ("how" pronounced like "now") is a beautiful beach that easily rivals the Edmonds Marina. Droopy's nose was so busy sniffing every rock, that he was completely indifferent to a gathering of crows on the beach. The start of the off-leash area is a bit rocky, but there was enough sand along the waterfront for a man and his dog to play fetch in the water while we were there (actually there is a lot more sandy beach to the left but you shouldn't stray on that side too far from the off-leash sign). Follow the train tracks past the off-leash area sign and the beach begins to dwindle, but you can follow the retaining wall for a nice 20-30 minute walk along the beach, tide permitting. As you near the end of beach, it suddenly widens out again to plenty of sand and seaweed turf, where herons and gulls make themselves at home. Your path dead-ends at a reservoir pipe outlet. Of course, going at different tides will give different experiences. But they will all be good ones.
Downsides: Do not go here if your dog is not under voice control. Right at the beginning of the off-leash area your dog can get onto the train tracks. Bring your own fresh water. Shells and rocks may be rough on dog paws, although Explorer Dog doesn't seem to mind.
Directions: From I-5N heading towards Everett, take exit 192 (Broadway) on the left side of I-5. Very soon after the exit, take the second exit ramp to your right (41st Street/Mukilteo). The ramp takes you to 41st Street -- follow the ramp to the right, to 41st St. After a couple lights, you pass a Safeway on the left and 41st St. becomes Mukilteo Blvd. It goes up a hill.
Option 1: When you reach Olympic Blvd. (traffic light, 76 gas station on the right corner), you can turn right on Olympic and follow it towards the water until the road literally ends at Howarth Park.
Option 2: Or, you can continue straight through the light past Olympic. After a few blocks, turn right on Seahurst Ave. That is the upper entrance to Howarth Park. There is a small sign "Howarth Park" with an arrow to direct you down this road. Seahurst quickly hooks up with Olympic Blvd. First you will come to a parking lot near the children's play area. Go past this lot, and next you will see a very tiny parking lot. If you park here, you can walk on a path to the right, which leads downstairs to the beach. Otherwise, continue on to the next main parking lot. From this lower parking lot, follow a boardwalk and it will lead upstairs to the beach.
A walkway leads over the train tracks to a spiral staircase structure. At the bottom, the off-leash area is marked by a sign to the right.