Lime Kiln Trail
Hike of the Week:
December 10, 2007
Location: Outside Granite Falls, Snohomish County
Distance: 6.5 miles roundtrip to river
Elevation: trailhead 700'; 160' gain on way in; 300' on way out
Maps: Green Trails Map Granite Falls No. 109
The Lime Kiln Trail is a lovely winter hike at low elevation, with lots of moss, fungus and railroad artifacts. The trail is carved out of the Everett & Monte Cristo railroad grade and features gurgling creeks, an historic lime kiln, twisted iron railroad railings, and a walk down to the banks of the thunderous Stillaguamish.
This is a great hike to take during the winter months; with the trailhead at just 700 feet and its level terrain, snow is a rarity. Even though it is a pretty easy hike, do beware of slippery bridges and blowdowns this time of year.
The Lime Kiln Trail was constructed a few years ago by Snohomish County with help from Volunteers for Outdoor Washington, and it is now part of Robe Canyon Historic Park. Take time to read about the area’s history at the trailhead – it will make your trip more all the more rewarding. The old railroad was built in 1892 and serviced the mines until 1920 and the logging industry until 1934. There are several artifacts of this era along the trail – keep your eye out for them, but please leave them behind for others to enjoy.
The trail meanders through second-growth forest, goes along a few logging roads, passes by little Hubbard Lake, and surfaces on a wide ledge with views of Robe Canyon and the roaring Stillaguamish (which runs at peak volume in late fall and early spring). The actual lime kiln is at 2.75 miles, and it’s in this area that you will find all sorts of things left behind by the men who mined the area.
The trail ends about a half mile further where you drop down to the river. The Stilly’s loud sand and gravel beach is a great place to eat lunch before your return.For more information:
- Snohomish County Parks (425) 388-3411
- Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades, by Joan Burton, Mountaineers Books
- Review our hiking guide and trip reports.
From I-5, take exit 194 (Hwy 2) eastbound 2.1 miles to the exit for Hwy 204/Lake Stevens. Go 2.6 miles and make a left onto Hwy 9 and go north for 1.7 miles. Turn right on SR 92 and drive 8.2 miles to Granite Falls.
In Granite Falls, take a right on North Alder Street, then a left on Menzel Lake Road and drive 1.2 miles to Waite Mill Road. Go a half mile to the bus turnaround and drive down the left branch until you reach the trailhead.