South Shore's Outing to Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

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Team:
South Shore K-8
Date:
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Trip Types:
Canoeing, Hiking
Photos:
Plan:
For South Shore school's first ICO trip of the 2013-14 school year we're going to take a group of 4th graders to explore Bellevue's Mercer Slough by land and by water. Mercer Slough is a 320-acre wetland park located at the junction of I-90 and I-405. Though only a few miles south of downtown Bellevue it is a tranquil and biologically rich nature preserve. In the morning we will go for a short hike along Mercer Slough's many trails. In the afternoon we will rent canoes at the nearby Enatai Beach Park and paddle up the water channel that runs through the heart of Mercer Slough and gives the park its name.

http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/Mercer-Slough/slough

http://www.bellevuewa.gov/mseec.htm
Report:
We had a great trip to Mercer Slough. The weather forecast was terrible, rain and wind, but we got lucky and instead it was warm and sunny. In the morning we hiked the Mercer Slough park trails starting from the Environmental Education Center. We got really lucky and saw a Hoot Owl (Barred Owl) in the woods. We hiked as far as the bridge across the Slough which was a good turn around point. It's also a good destination for the hike because later in the day we will paddle under the bridge in canoes and it's a good landmark for the kids to connect with their hike.

After the hike we drove to nearby Enatai Beach Park where we had lunch. The Enatai Beach boathouse is operated by Cascade Canoe & Kayak and that's where we rented the canoes. From Enatai it's moderate paddle to the entrance of Mercer Slough. Along the way we passed under I-90. We saw many turtles sunning themselves on logs. We paddled up the Slough to the bridge and then turned around. Back at Enatai Beach we had some time left before we had to return to the school and it was warm out so all the kids jumped in the water and played on the beach. All the kids were having a great time and no one seemed to mind that they were swimming in their jeans and t-shirts. It made for a soggy and sandy drive home, but it was a fun day all around.

=== Timeline ===
8:30am ICO volunteers and South Shore teachers meet for coffee to discuss the plan for the day

9:30am Meet the kids at the school

10:00am Leave South Shore for Mercer Slough

10:45am Start Hike from Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center

12:30pm End hike and drive over to Enatai Beach Park for lunch and to rent canoes

1:15pm Start canoeing from Enatai to Mercer Slough

3:15pm Return to Enatai Beach Park

4:00pm Leave Enatai

4:30pm Return to South Shore School

Photos

We started our hike through Mercer Slough from the Environmental Education Center.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Group photo of South Shore students, teachers, and ICO volunteers on a stairway at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

The students have fun exploring one of the creeks that feeds into Mercer Slough

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Hiking the Mercer Slough trails.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

The kids explore an old stump that was hollowed out by a lightning strike.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Everyone, kids and adults, get excited when we spot a Hoot Owl (Barred Owl) in the trees above the trail.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

The students gather on the waters edge looking for the toads they heard croaking.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

South Shore group photo on the bridge over the Mercer Slough

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Everyone gets excited when the see a garter snake.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Lunch at Enatai Beach Park.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing to Mercer Slough.  The entrance to the Slough passes under I-90.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Floating group photo at the Mercer Slough dock by the bridge.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Canoeing Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Heading down the Mercer Slough back to Enatai Beach Park.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

"Look,turtles!"

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

Two painted turtles were sunning themselves on a log near the entrance to the Mercer Slough.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue

It was a warm day so everyone wanted to go for a swim when we got back to Enatai Beach.

Sat., Sep. 21, 2013

[South Shore] Canoeing Mercer Slough in Bellevue