Find Posts By Topic

The Cedar River Watershed

Ever wonder where your drinking water comes from?

Seattle’s water is captured as rain and snowmelt in two protected mountain watersheds east of Seattle: the Cedar River Watershed and the Tolt River Watershed. The Cedar River Watershed supplies about 65% of Seattle’s water, but that’s not all it offers. The 91,000-acre watershed is rich in history, biodiversity, and natural beauty. The And the best part? You can experience the Watershed firsthand by taking advantages of the tours and programs offered by the Cedar River Watershed Education Center (CRWEC). The CRWEC offers many opportunities for those of all ages and abilities to learn about the history of the watershed and how water, habitats, and humans intersect in this environment nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains.

Summer is a perfect time to take advantage of the exciting tours led by our fun and knowledgeable Watershed staff. Here are a few of our favorites:

Signature Watershed Tour

Saturdays and Sundays; June 8 through September 3

This tour combines history and the natural world. Your guide will take you on a 2.5-hour drive and walk through the historic town of Cedar Falls, Masonry Dam, Chester Morse Lake, and the Cedar Falls waterfall. Along the way, you’ll hear stories and see historical photos to deepen your understanding and appreciation of this magnificent area.

Family Watershed Tour

Saturdays and Sundays; June 8 through September 3

This is a shorter, 1-hour version of the original watershed tour for all ages, geared toward curious minds with short attention spans. This tour is the perfect family outing for anyone with energetic and inquisitive kids!


Among Ancients: Old Growth forests

August 5 or August 19

Clean drinking water is just one of the features of the watershed. Another is the carefully protected, 14,000 acres of old growth forests. This is a captivating tour for anyone who is passionate about ecological preservation or simply wants to experience the beauty of nature in some of the best lowland old growth forests in Washington.


Twilight Town Tour: Taylor & Cedar Falls

Taylor Falls – September 23 or October 14

Cedar Falls – October 8 or October 22

One-hundred years ago, the people that inhabited the area realized the important connection between quality of life and protecting the water and land. Learn more about the rich history of two towns and the people that lived there in two separate tours this fall. Visit Taylor, a town once famous for its clay products, or Cedar Falls, a once-vibrant city-owned town where original homes and streetlights remain.

Junior Naturalists

July 26 or August 23

The Cedar River Watershed Education Center is a fun, family-friendly place for exploration. Inspire your children to fall in love with the outdoors at an early age by taking them on a three-hour Junior Naturalists adventure! Watch their eyes light up as they discover signs of animals on land and in water.

When it comes to exploring the Cedar River Watershed, the options are endless! Explore other programs to find the perfect one for you.  Bonus: Our 2016 Drinking Water Quality Report includes a coupon for a Cedar River Watershed tour!







Remember to snap photos during your tour and share them with us on Twitter or Facebook—we’d love to see them!