ABOUT THE PARK
Thanks to several key acquisitions, the park, which originally was created by a considerable outpouring of public support, has evolved over time to its current size of 3,100 acres. The park is connected to Squak Mountain State Park by the Cougar-Squak Corridor, which together create a protected area of public land of approximately 5,000 acres.
The park generally lies between 1,000 and 1,595 feet above sea level and features many diverse habitats, such as mature second growth forests, streams and wetlands, and cliffs, talus, and caves. There are sweeping views of the region, including vistas of Lake Sammamish, the Cascades, and Bellevue, Seattle and beyond; other, more densely vegetated areas of the park whisk you away from the sights and sounds of nearby urban development. Hosts of birds are regularly seen at Cougar, along with wildlife such as black bear and bobcats.
Over the years, Cougar Mountain has been home to Native Americans, miners, loggers, and even the US Army! For thousands of years, Native Americans traversed Cougar Mountain to gather wild roots, plants and berries, as well as to hunt game and other animals. Then, when the region began to be settled, miners worked the hills of Cougar Mountain for close to a century, up until the middle of the twentieth century. Logging operations took place during the 1920s, and there was even some small-scale farming, which helped supply miners, loggers, and their families with fresh produce.
In the 1950s and early 60s, two active Nike missile sites were located within the park’s current boundaries, in order to protect the Puget Sound region from potential air attacks. Eventually, these sites were decommissioned, and in the late 1960s, King County took over ownership of the land that would later become Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.