Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lime Kiln Trail, April 25, 2009

This was a Mountaineer hike to the Lime Kiln Trail in Snohomish County, near Granite Falls. I've hiked this trail in the past and will hike there again - it's that kind of trail. One visit isn't enough. It's a four-season trail.

Spring has finally arrived. We saw trilliums, flowering red currant, bleeding hearts, skunk cabbage, yellow violets and false lily-of-the-valley. On my last visit the trail was bordered with hoar frost - on this visit the trail was lined with salmonberry with bright pink blossoms.

We stopped to ponder artifacts along the way - from bygone railroad and logging days. The trail follows the line of an abandoned railroad grade and ends where a railroad trestle once spanned the Stillaguamish River. The trestle is long gone but the supporting structures on both sides of the river remain. The lime kiln is fascinating and looks more like a Mayan ruin than anything you'd find in the northwest.

The hike is about 6 miles round trip with about 450 feet of elevation gain (including ups and downs).

Getting to the trailhead: From Granite Falls turn right on South Granite Avenue, drive 3 blocks then turn left onto Pioneer Street (it becomes Menzel Lake Road). Turn left on Waite Mill Road and drive about 1/2 mile to a school bus turnaround, continue on left branch of the road where it splits (just past the school bus turnaround). Go another 0.2 miles to the well-signed trailhead and parking, no facilities as of this writing. A Northwest Forest Pass is not required.

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