Bike and Hike the Stillaguamish this Weekend!

(and join us Saturday morning at the Fortson Mill Trailhead to celebrate the partnerships, progress and potential of the Whitehorse Trail)

With next weekend’s temperatures forecast for the upper 70s and low 80s, the Pacific Northwest’s September Summer continues. And we have ideas for your weekend trip – visit Snohomish County’s Stillaguamish Valley for a Bike and Hike adventure. We’re excited to partner with our friends at Washington Trails Association and Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition for their suggestions on where to hike in this fabulous gateway valley to the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Additionally, be sure to join us 10:30 am Saturday morning at the Whitehorse Trail’s Fortson Mill Trailhead for a special event to join community leaders in celebrating the progress, partnerships, and potential of the Whitehorse Trail following the SR 530 landslide.

Darrington Gravel Grinding

Get up to Darrington and Gravel Grind

Nestled between impressive Cascade peaks at the northern tip of the Stillaguamish Valley, the town of Darrington is a hotbed of gravel adventure riding opportunities. Over 100 years of mining and logging industry have left a large network of gravel roads snaking their way through the forests around town.

The routes listed range from 5-23 miles. Because they all loop back to town, they can easily be combined for longer days in the saddle. Check out the Washington Bikes rundown on gravel grinding the Stilly.

Gravel Grinding - Bridge to Nowhere

Bridge to Nowhere. Photo by George Winters.

When you’ve had your fill of gravel adventure consider swinging by Mountain Loop Books and Coffee to refuel. The owner Tony bike toured across Ireland and loves to chat with his customers. Or quench your thirst at the newly opened Whiskey Ridge microbrewery located in the old City Hall building.

Gateway to the Stilly: Centennial Trail from Arlington to Nakashima Barn

With 12 trailheads across its 30-mile span, the Centennial Trail can be broken into a nearly endless number of rides for beginners to experts alike. One of the most scenic is the short stretch from downtown Arlington to the northern terminus of the trail at the old Nakashima Farm site. And at just 15.5 miles roundtrip on a flat, car-free multi-use path, the ride is truly accessible for anyone, families with children included.
Whitehorse Trail

Whitehorse Trail spur off of the Centennial Trail. Photo by Debora Nelson

Immediately north of Arlington, the Centennial Trail intersects with the Whitehorse Trail, a 27-mile rail corridor owned by Snohomish County Parks. The western segment that abuts the Centennial Trail is best suited for hikers, horses, and really fat mountain bike tires (note: seven miles of the Whitehorse Trail’s eastern section is very bikeable in Darrington). In response to the SR 530 tragedy in Oso, Washington Bikes is working with partners including Snohomish County Parks and leaders in Arlington and Darrington to coordinate and acquire funding to develop the entire 27-mile corridor to spur bike travel and tourism and connect the Stillaguamish Valley to a growing trail network across the Puget Sound.

The Centennial Trail ends 7.8 miles from Arlington at the site of the historical Nakashima Farm. The Nakashima Family bought the dairy farm in 1937 having worked on it for nearly 30 years prior. It was the first and, to-date, only dairy farm in Snohomish County owned by Asian Americans.

From there it’s just a matter of turning around and heading back the way you came to Arlington. Where you can enjoy the fantastic downtown with shops and restaurants, as well as Legion Park, which has a great Farmer’s Market from 10am to 3pm on Saturday.

A Multi Day Adventure: USBR 10 or Mountain Loop Highway

Great mountain views, even when cloudy! Photo courtesy of Josh Cohen

Great mountain views, even when cloudy! Photo courtesy of Josh Cohen

Looking for an overnight ride this weekend? Start in Arlington and bike up the Stilly on SR 530 (remember to stay aware and not stop through the SR 530 landslide, especially as it will be one-way through September 20) and continue along through Darrington (stop by and enjoy the town!) SR 530 north to SR 20 (aka Washington’s first US Bicycle Route) and then loop back to Arlington. Bike Overnights provides a nice writeup of a recent adventure along this route.

Another option is to head south from Darrington along the Mountain Loop Highway and then around to Granite Falls. Spectacular scenery abounds. Rough Stuff Cycling Northwest took this loop the opposite way and provides great photos and some descriptions on their trip.

Join us Saturday, September 13 to Celebrate the Partnerships, Progress and Potential of the Whitehorse Trail!

Completing the 27-mile Whitehorse Trail will connect Arlington and Darrington through the stunning Stillaguamish Valley and will tie into the Snohomish County Centennial Trail system. Activity to complete the Whitehorse Trail has gained traction in response to the SR 530 slide near Oso. As the residents of the Stillaguamish Valley seek to recover from the tragedy, completing the Whitehorse Trail serves as one economic redevelopment strategy to attract bike travel and tourism to the area.

Join us at the Fortson Mill Trailhead at 10:30 am on Saturday, September 13 to celebrate the partnerships, progress, and potential of the Whitehorse Trail for helping to redevelop the Stillaguamish Valley’s economy. We’ll be joined by elected officials and staff, as well as leaders from Darrington and Arlington to recognize the great work already accomplished and the task ahead.

Bike and Hike this Weekend to Support the Stilly Valley

September’s a great time to get up to the Stillaguamish to support the communities hit hardest by the SR 530 landslide. At Washington Bikes, we’re proud to support Arlington, Darrington and the communities across the Stillaguamish Valley impacted by this natural disaster. Luckily with all of the great opportunities up and down the Stilly, it’s easy to enjoy the natural scenery and great attractions on your bike. Enjoy!

Sign Up to Receive Updates on Biking in Snohomish County



This article was posted in Adventure, Arlington, Darrington, Events, Family biking, Federal, Funding/Policy, Infrastructure, Issues & Advocacy, Legislature, Oso, People, Politics, Rides, Snohomish County, Tourism, Trails, Transportation, WSDOT. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are closed.


  1. Posted December 25, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hi!, can i ask, photos yours or purchased at some photo stocks?
    I am sorry for my poor english, neverthless i hope that you will know what is important in my question.

    • Barb Chamberlain
      Posted December 26, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Photos on the blog are by the post authors or from our own stock of images of bicycling in Washington. We’re lucky to live in a state with lots of beautiful and interesting places to ride.

One Trackback

  1. […] Bike and Hike the Stillaguamish this Weekend! […]