Whitehorse Trail -Arlington to Trafton
Dec 19, 2011
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Whitehorse Trail - Arlington to Trafton
- Region: North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
- Be Aware Of
After parking near downtown Arlington, we followed the northward extension of the Centennial Trail, which soon crossed the Stillaguamish River on a old railroad bridge that was recently improved with paving and guardrails. The two main forks of the Stilly merge near the bridge, and it was interesting watching the differently-colored waters of the two streams mix together. Just beyond the bridge, the Whitehorse and Centennial Trails split at a junction, well-marked by an artistic arch We followed the much more rustic Whitehorse Trail from this point.
Surfaced with soft gravel, this trail made a beeline for a mile across a floodplain, then entered a winding canyon carved by the Stilly River. The walk along the forested canyon was quite lovely and offered frequent views of the rushing river. At about the 3 mile point, the trail passed a gated road offering access to the Pilchuck Tree Farm (walkers are welcome), then crossed the river on another old railroad bridge. Beyond the bridge, the trail passed by an expansive, grassy pasture before arriving at the Trafton Trailhead Park, run by Snohomish County. Here we found a picnic table and a collection of old farm buildings. It is possible to park here if you want to access the trail from this end.
Beyond this point, the trail was overgrown and not in hiking condition, so we turned around here.
All in all, we hiked about 7 miles. This part of The Whitehorse Trail is a great winter walk, and is bound to get more popular as it gets discovered.