An unused railroad corridor running from Sedro Woolley to Concrete, the 22.5 mile Cascade Trail is one of the many rail-trails supported by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Today’s hike began in Sedro Woolley and followed the trail for approximately five miles – then back.
For the first mile and a half, the trail parallels a very heavily travelled portion of Highway 20 as it leads east out of Sedro Woolley, and the sound of traffic dominates. Once past that, the trail turns away from the highway and continues through beautifully scenic Skagit County farmlands.
With rolling hills in the distance, local farm animals appeared friendly, often greeting me as I passed by.
Wooden bridges along the trail invited me over the creeks.
Just west of the town of Lyman, high waters from nearby streams leading to the Skagit River have washed out a section of the trail. Covered with boulders, river silt, sand and standing water, I decided that made a good turn-around point so began my trek back.
Benches along the trail made a wonderful place to stop and enjoy the beauty of this part of the Skagit Valley.
To follow this portion of the Cascade Trail, take Interstate 5 to Exit 230 at Burlington, and head east on Highway 20. Follow the highway through Sedro Woolley and about a half mile past the Highway 9 intersection at the Fruitdale Road, parking is available in a lot on the south side of the highway. Go here – TrailLink.com – to view a map of the entire Cascade Trail.
Do I want to return to hike other portions of the Cascade Trail? Yes, definitely!