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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lime Kiln Trail

On October 27th I took my boys out of school to hike the spooky Lime Kiln Trail in Granite Falls.  We decided on this hike because it was listed on WTA's list of Haunted Hikes.

The trail has great history.  It follows an old railroad that used to transport silver and gold ore.  The Lime Kiln was built in 1892 next to the railroad.  The Limestone was transported to the top of the kiln by small cablecars and was burned to make powdered lime. There are lots of questions surrounding what life was like and who the people were that worked and lived by the kiln.  Thinking about this is so intriguing.  This section of the railroad was abandoned in 1934.

The Lime Kiln Trail was built completely by volunteers and  opened in October of 2003.

The Lime Kiln Trail is 2.5 miles to the Kiln and 3.5 miles to the end point.  We went all the way to the end for a total of 7 miles round trip and it took about 2 1/2 hours to complete.  The trail was fairly flat and easy to traverse.  It is hikeable by all ages.

I was hoping to see the beautiful leaves in all the fall colors hanging from the trees, but I guess we came a bit too late.  The trail was covered in fallen leaves already downed from the trees.  The leaves made the trail a bit harder to hike since you couldn't see the roots and rocks underneath.  So, we were a bit more careful with each step.
 As you can see above there were many muddy spots and some water over the walkway.  There were also a few blowdowns to maneuver around.

The trail started out on a gravelly path that is shared by horses and bikes.  You then enter a forest that envelopes you.  The trees were covered in moss draping the branches like hair.  This lent to the spooky vibe and we loved it.

We even saw a couple of leaf faced forest dwellers on the way.
There were a couple of bridges to traverse that were wet and slippery.  Watch your step.

This trail has many signs pointing you in the right direction the entire way.

After hiking for about 2 1/2 miles, you reach the lime kiln which is so amazing!  The kiln towers above you at over 30 feet tall and is covered with beautiful ferns and moss.

When you near the kiln you will see historical artifacts such as old saw blades and other items that were used as far back as the 1800's.

We passed the kiln and continued the .8 miles to the river's edge.  I would recommend making this extra trek.  The river was amazing and we sat for a snack and to watch the roaring Stillaguamish River.

Overall a beautiful day for a spooky hike!

To get here drive Hwy 9 East to State Route 92 to Granite Falls.  Take a Right on Granite Ave. then left on Pioneer Street.  Pioneer street turns into Menzel Road. Continue .9 miles to Waite Mill Road and take a left.  In .6 miles pass a schoolbus turnaround  and bear left at the "Y" onto a gravel road.  After 500ft.  turn left into the trailhead parking area for the Robe Canyon Historical Park.

You do not need a forest pass and there are no restrooms available.  I hope you enjoy this hike as much as we did!

Happy Hiking!

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