The Northern State Recreation Area Loop Will Lead You To The Haunted Northern State Hospital In Washington
Whether or not you get into the Halloween spirit, you must admit this is an eerie time of year — the weather is changing, the streets are often foggy in the morning, and the leaves are falling to the ground. And if you want to feel a little spooked while getting some exercise, just head to Sedro-Woolley and hike the Northern State Recreation Area Loop. The trail takes you to an abandoned mental hospital… and while you can’t go inside, it just might put you in a spooky state of mind.
The Northern State Recreation Area Loop is a 3.6 mile hike that's ranked as easy.
To reach the trail, just cruise up Highway 20 and turn north Helmick Road. Turn left into Northern State Recreation Area parking lot.
The path is nice and peaceful, showcasing some of the best scenery in the North Cascades.
You'll make your way between a pair of large fields before entering a brief forested area.
The Northern State Mental Hospital was originally built in 1909, opening officially in 1912.
The property was designed by he Olmstead Brothers, whose father famously designed Central Park.
By the 1950s, around 2,700 patients lived at Northern State.
It was at capacity, but the staff still faced pressure to accept more patients. And while they did help many people, unfortunately, there are also stories of mistreatment and abuse.
What's even scarier is that, back then, someone could be committed to an asylum for all kinds of reasons that would never be acceptable now.
At least man was committed for 'religious mania,' and a few men had their wives committed during menopause for being 'too excitable.' Quite a few inmates were committed for senile dementia, manic depression, and schizophrenia. According to some reports, patients died at the facility from all kinds of experimental treatments, including electroshock therapy and botched lobotomies.
Needless to say, this is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Washington.
Visitors have reported seeing ghostly apparitions inside the building, and some have even seen a nurse pushing a patient. And if you come at night, you might hear screams and voices in the distance.
Remember, going inside these buildings is strictly prohibited.
But if you want a spooky hike with a side of history, this trail is a must-see.
The Northern State Mental Hospital property is definitely eerie — but if you want to spot an actual ghost,
here’s where you should go.
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25625 Helmick Rd, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284, USA