Nature November 12, 2017
These 7 Washington Hiking Trails Lead To Some Incredible Pieces Of History
Washingtonians are natural outdoors enthusiasts — living in a state this beautiful has that effect on people. And if you’re both a history buff and an avid hiker, you can enjoy two hobbies in one on these beautiful trails. These are some of our finest historic hikes.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. The Point Wilson Trail, Fort Worden State Park
The 2.8 mile trail that treks through Port Townsend's Fort Worden State Park offers beautiful views and up-close-and-personal glimpses of the historic sites, especially the Point Wilson Lighthouse, which dates back to 1913. Fort Worden was home to about 1,000 troops and officers training 100 years ago who were there to defend the Puget Sound from potential invaders. Today it's one of our most picturesque state parks.
2. Franklin Ghost Town, South Cascades
This 2.5 mile hike takes you to the old railroad grade into the coal-mining ghost town of Franklin, located along the Green River near Black Diamond. The highlight here is the old cemetery, but you'll also see some structures from our coal mining days.
3. Northern State Trail, North Cascades
The Northern State Mental Hospital compound is so large, it's considered a ghost town. Once the largest mental health hospital in the state, you can now access the grounds (although going inside the buildings requires permission) via a 5 mile hike.
4. Sacajawea Historical State Park, Pasco
The PNW is full of Lewis and Clark history, and this Pasco park was once a Lewis and Clark campsite. And for thousands of years before that it was a fishing and trading area for Native Americans. You'll find several short trails throughout the park that allow you to see it at its finest.
5. Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco
In 1788, an English Captain named John Meares found this cape... but since he was hoping to find the Columbia River, it got stuck with this name. Rest assured, this beautiful 5 mile hike is anything but disappointing.
6. Iron Goat Trail, Stevens Pass
This portion of the Great Northern Railroad was an engineering marvel in the late 19th century since it helped get the transcontinental railroads all the way across the country. Not only is it full of railroad history, it was part of the worst avalanche in our state history, which happened in 1910 and killed 96 people.
7. Robe Canyon Trail, Granite Falls
This area was once home to thriving mining operations and the railroad tracks needed to move the goods, signs of which you'll still see as you navigate the stunning 2.7 mile hike.
These trails are all beautiful, but some of them can get a little lengthy. When you don’t have all day, check out one of these
hikes for mere mortals.