The 44-acre Cavanaugh Pond Natural Area is located just east of Renton on the Cedar River. Cavanaugh Pond is the only Class 1 wetland in the Cedar River Valley, meaning that it is of the highest quality of wetland ecosystems. There are stands of alder and cottonwoods on site, and current restoration projects are working to control invasive vegetation and establish native forest. Cavanaugh Pond supports spawning sockeye salmon in the fall and provides year-round habitat for other fish and wildlife species.
The natural area's location on the north side of the Cedar River Trail allows easy non-motorized access from the trail. Cavanaugh Pond is used primarily for walking and nature observation, which is best accessed on the1/3-mile gated gravel road leading from 174th along Cavanaugh Pond to the river.
Access: Pedestrian access from the Cedar River Trail or SR 169/Renton-Maple Valley Road at 174th Avenue SE (Riverbend Mobile Home Park entrance). The road extends along the top of the river revetment to the western edge of the pond at the Cedar River. Other informal trails may exist at the site, but there is little to no access to the western parts of the property due to dense vegetation and occasional wetlands.
A signed and gated entrance to Cavanaugh Pond Natural Area and a gravel parking lot for about 8 -10 cars is provided on the east edge of the natural area.
Acreage: 44 acres
Usage: walking, nature observation, bicycle (on 1/3 mile-long gravel road only)