“If you’re looking for a taste of the Mountain Loop Highway area, but don’t have it in you for a longer, steeper journey, look no further than Lake 22. The trail starts out as flat and well-maintained, from the parking lot, before becoming a true mountain rainforest trail. Water and dampness are fairly ubiquitous on this trail, so be prepared with your footwear!
At 0.6 miles, you’ll be offered a break from the watery trail and cross the bridge over Lake 22 Creek. There are several waterfalls in this area, so stop and enjoy the view. At 1.5 miles, you’ll leave the old growth forest and start climbing a talus slope – on a clear day you’ll have great views of the surrounding mountains from this section of the trail. About another half mile onwards, and you’ll reenter the forest.
The final climb to Lake 22 is the wettest (and therefore lushest!), so again be prepared for getting those boots muddy or wet. You’ll pop out at the lake after just 2.7 miles, and have the expansive north face of Mt. Pilchuck towering over you.”
Lime Kiln Trail
“From WTA.org (Washington Trails Association): The Lime Kiln Trail not only takes you deep into a lush and remote canyon carved by the South Fork Stillaguamish River, but also leads you deep back into history. Developed almost entirely by volunteers, this delightful trail serves up a unique journey into the heart of Snohomish County’s 970-acre Robe Canyon Historical Park. The fairly new park protects over 7 miles of frontage along the South Fork Stillaguamish, as well as preserving an old townsite and a century-old limekiln. The kiln, located 2.6 miles up the trail, is a 20-foot tall stone structure once used to cook limestone. The powdered lime was then transported by the Everett and Monte Cristo Railway to smelters and mills in Everett. Built in 1892 and abandoned in 1934, a section of this rail line has been resurrected as part of the Lime Kiln Trail.”
“Hike the well-maintained Mount Pilchuck trail through old-growth forest and boulder fields. At the top, you’ll reach a lookout tower perched on Mount Pilchuck. Pilchuck sits on the western edge of the Cascades, which offers up amazing panoramic views once you reach the summit.
Pilchuck is is one of the most popular hikes in the area, so if you want it a little more on the empty side, be sure to get an early start on the trail. If you opt to hike in early summer, make sure you bring the proper gear and that you’re prepared for some snow on the ground or muddier conditions.”
Heather Lake Trail
“Heather Lake Trail is a great first hike for kids with flowers in the Spring and berries in the fall.
The trail takes you on a gradual climb up to Heather Lake with beautiful second growth to admire along the way. The trail can be very wet and muddy with many tree roots to catch your toes, so make sure to wear a sturdy pair of tennis shoes or hiking shoes.
When you reach the lake, the trail splits; take either direction, since both loop around the lake. About half of the loop is a nice flat boardwalk to admire everything.
Make sure to notice the huge rotting stumps with the springboard notches alongside the trail; springboards were boards placed in tree trunks for the loggers to stand on as they used a large crosscut saw to take down the tree.”