Centennial Trail: Haller Park to Lake Bryant–river, wetlands, and rural charm

Enjoy nice river views from this section of the Centennial Trail.

Enjoy nice river views from this section of the Centennial Trail.

Quick Facts:

Location: Arlington

Land Agency: Snohomish County Parks

Roundtrip: 6.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 100 feet

Contact: Snohomish County Parks

Notes: Paved trail is also open to bicycles and is wheelchair accessible; dogs must be leashed.

Access: Southern Access is from Haller Park in Arlington near the junction of SR 9 and SR 530, four miles east of Exit 208. Northern Access is in Bryant at the corner of SR 9 and the Stanwood-Bryant Road, four miles east of Exit 212.

Good To Know: kid-friendly, dog-friendly, historic, snow-free winter hike

Any section of the 29-plus mile long Snohomish County Parks and Recreation’s Centennial Trail makes for a good run, walk, or hike. The northern stretch from Arlington to the Skagit County line is exceptionally scenic and rural. The stretch between Haller Park and Lake Bryant includes Stillaguamish River views, and the bird rich meadows surrounding Lake Bryant.

Start your explorations in Haller Park, near old town Arlington. Immediately cross the Stillaguamish River on an attractive trestle. From the bridge you stand just downriver from the confluence of the churning river’s South and North Forks. Admire large cottonwoods at Twin Rivers Park across the way and emerald ridges in the distance to the north.

Trail spanning the Stillaguamish River

Once across the river reach a junction with the Whitehorse Trail. This unpaved trail branches right following the river all the way to Darrington and makes for a great adventure via foot, hoof or fat tire. The paved Centennial Trail continues north crossing a high bridge and skirting a quarry as it slowly climbs above the fertile Stillaguamish floodplain. At about one mile, a couple of picnic tables in a grove of mature timber entice you to take a break. Otherwise continue onward through mostly woodlands.

The way eventually reaches Bryant Lake, a ringed with ferns and spirea wetland popular with local anglers. Getting close to the small lake requires some good waterproof boots. Enjoy it from a distance and watch for resident birds. Look out beyond it too and take in good views of Three Fingers and Mount Pilchuck.

At just more than 3.0 miles, reach the small community of Bryant. Consider a stop at the nearby country store for a drink and a snack before returning back to Arlington. If you want a much longer hike or run, continue on the trail all the way to the Nakashima Farm on the Skagit County line.

                               For information on lodging and other attractions near Arlington and the Centennial Trail, visit Seattle NorthCountryFor more detailed information on the Centennial Trail and other great trails throughout western Snohomish County, pick up a copy of my NEW Urban Trails Everett!

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