Spring in the Pacific Northwest can bring about a preponderance of emotions. The days get longer and warmer. The sun makes appearances, and then suddenly we get three days of cold rain. One guaranteed pick-me-up during this roller coaster is the beautiful flowers at all stages of their blossoming. If you’re feeling down and need a burst of energy and beauty, try one of these walks in Skagit County to see some plants emerging from their winter slumber.
5550 Old Hwy 99, Burlington
Pamona Grange Park offers a short interpretive trail as well as amenities for a picnic. The trail is under a mile and well maintained, so it’s a very accessible option. Placards identify native species growing within, such as salmonberry and various trees. A beautiful creek runs through the park, and you’ll likely find salmon spawning in fall months. There are several grills as well as a covered area with tables. Take the family out for a simple day trip just outside of town.
600 Behrens Millett Rd, Mount Vernon
The beauty of this walk is that you can spend 20 minutes or half a day on it. Starting in Edgewater Park, on the west side of the Mount Vernon Bridge, the park borders the Skagit River and is peppered with trees and flowers that come to life in glorious color. From there you can walk along the dike in either direction for miles and get wonderful views of the valley, farm land, and the mighty river. There is also good fishing on the North side (across Memorial Highway) and you’ll often find anglers along the river bank.
Northern State Recreation Area Trail
25625 Helmick Rd, Sedro-Woolley
Northern State Hospital has been shut down since 1973, but the land around it is still very much alive. You’ll find miles of trails, including a disc golf course, and plenty of flora and fauna. Spring flowers abound, as do all types of wildlife. It’s a dazzling wilderness area only minutes from the center of Sedro Woolley. Enjoy wildflowers blooming throughout the year, as well as salmon streams and views of the foothills on a clear day.
Port of Skagit Nature Trails
Higgins Airport Way & Ovenell Rd, Burlington
This trail system highlights two key ecosystems in Skagit. You’ll see wetlands in the process of being restored and cared for as well as forested areas that are key to keeping the County healthy. In addition to the native plants that you’ll see blooming, you’ll hear a constant symphony of birds as they flutter about. When you’re done walking, you can pick from one of three places to get a locally brewed beer;Chuckanut Brewing’s new location, Flyers Restaurant & Brewery, and Garden Path Fermentation are all within about a mile.
Pioneer Park Trails
1200 S 4th St, La Conner
This network of trails is part of the 12-acre park that was donated to the town of La Conner by founder Louisa Ann Conner. While the park is mostly forested, you’ll get views of nearby crops setting their buds as well as glimpses of the iconic rainbow bridge and the Swinomish Channel. It’s also a stone’s throw from town, where you can grab a bite to eat or a beverage to complete the experience.
Highway 20 Trail
800 Cascade Hwy, Burlington
A flat saunter along the highway provides ample opportunities to gaze upon blossoming trees. It’s a great place for a regular dog walk sinceit’s conveniently located. It is also a a nice place to stretch your legs if you’re heading over highway 20 to the east side and want to get some movement in before the long car ride. You’ll be greeted with rhododendrons at Lions Club Park where you begin the trek, and a variety of blossoming trees along the way.