Visit Meadowlark Natural Area

Serviceberry and Gardner
The Natural Area provides stunning views of Mt. Gardner, the Chelan Sawtooths, and the Pasayten.

About the Natural Area

The Meadowlark Natural Area is a 139-acre property on the east side of the Town of Winthrop, next to the Sullivan Cemetery. Thanks to a very generous donation from Tina and Eliot Scull, we were able to purchase and protect this land for its natural habitat, undeveloped scenic backdrop to the Town of Winthrop, and for the sake of sustainable public access and enjoyment.

The property contains healthy diverse shrub-steppe habitat, as well as pockets of wetter areas that support trees with a diverse shrub understory. The Natural Area provides critical mule deer winter range, and important habitat for songbirds, small mammals and raptors.

For a checklist of the plants and animals you might see on a walk at the Natural Area, click here.

Meadowlark 4 20 medium
The trails are open for hiking, running, bird watching, and dogs on leash. Photo by Heide Andersen.

The Trails

From the Parking Area (see map), there are 2.5 miles of trails that cross the hillside and offer outstanding landscape views. It is a spectacular place to go during the wildflower season, with each week introducing a new combination of species. With its location and aspect, the Meadowlark trails are some of the first to hike in the spring and the last available in late fall or early winter. The trails were built by and in collaboration with the Methow chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (although these trails are not open for biking).

The trail system is open to hiking, running, wildlife viewing and dog walking. Dogs are allowed on leash only for the protection of the wildlife inhabitants and for the safety of the dogs during periods when the deer can be aggressive.

For directions to the Trailhead, click here. For a map of the 2.5 mile trail system, click here. Please respect the neighborhood near the Trailhead and drive slowly!

IMG 5358 med
The trail system provides stunning views across the Valley. Photo by Jason Paulsen.

A Brief History

The Meadowlark Natural Area was once known as the Heckendorn property, as it was purchased and owned by the Heckendorn family for 120 years. It was once part of the Town of Heckendorn, which had a general store, a lodge hall, roller rink, and a movie house. Without a school or bank, it was incorporated into the Town of Winthrop in 1924.

Today the Methow Conservancy owns and cares for the Natural Area and we work to manage it both for wildlife habitat and public recreation free of charge.

Join us and choose a future for the Methow Valley that includes healthy wildlife habitat, thriving agriculture, and a connected community.

Donate Now