Puget Sound and Islands
Type of HikeDay hike
Trail ConditionsObstacles on trail:
Muddy or wet trail.
SnowSnowfields to cross - could be difficult
Explored Washington State DNR maps on their web site and found this lovely trail system that is just 30 minutes away from home and have over FIFTY miles of groomed trails at low altitude with lovely views. It is in Harry Osborne State Forest. This is a (horse) trail / hiker only system maintained by the Back Country Horsemen of Skagit and Whatcom counties. We did not encounter or see a single horse on our hike -- we did see lots of wild animal tracks in mud on the trail. To get there: Go on Highway 20 (North Cascade) until Cabin Creek Rd in Hamilton (15 miles off I5), turn left(North), .2 miles to Hamilton Cemetery Rd, Right (East) to Medford Road, Left for 1.1 miles until you hit a beautiful trail head with toilets, covered picnic areas, etc. Not 1 ft of gravel road to travel on... We checked the map at the trail head and decided to just turn on the GPS and wander on the very well marked trail (usual DNR trail markers PLUS signs along trails at rider hieght). We did a short 7 mile circuit that was very pleasant with good views. After we got back, we re-examined the map and decide that next time we will target Mt. Josephine and Lake Josephine (See http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=578181 for someone that has done it before).