Hike of the Week for Friday, March 15, 2013
ADA Trail to a pretty lake along the Centennial Trail
Article and photo by Craig Romano
A boardwalk provides access for hikers of all abilities to Lake Cassidy.
Land Agency: Snohomish County Parks
Roundtrip: 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 50 feet
Access: From Marysville (Exit 199 I-5) follow SR 528 for 3.0 miles east to SR 9. Head north on SR 9 for 1.0 mile to junction with 84th Street NE. Turn right (east) and continue for just shy of a 0.5 mile to Getchell Trailhead.
Contact: Snohomish County Parks; www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Parks
Located just a few miles east of bustling Marysville is 120-plus acre Lake Cassidy, a semi-wild gem on the suburban fringe. Surrounded by wetlands and hardwood forest, nearly 300 acres along the lake’s northern shores and around nearby Lake Martha are protected as Washington State Fish and Wildlife lands. The lake is accessible by a nice ADA trail too allowing disabled and physically challenged hikers an opportunity to cast a line in this trout-stocked lake. The ADA trail connects to the paved Centennial Trail allowing for a longer approach and nice family friendly hike.
Disabled hikers can access Lake Cassidy from a trailhead off of 105th Ave NE a quarter mile south of the lake. Permits are required for this trailhead and can be obtained by applying to the Snohomish County Parks Department. For the hike described here, begin at the Getchell Trailhead off of 84th Street NE. Beginning in the defunct railroad community of Getchell, head south on the Centennial Trail through one of the more rural and scenic sections of this popular trail. This former railroad line threads woodlots and remnant farmlands on the edge of suburbia between the city of Snohomish and the Skagit County border. This section to Lake Cassidy is among the wildest along the 23 mile trail. Smoothly paved and with little elevation change, this hike is an easy journey for all outdoors lovers including those in wheelchairs.
Within a half mile the trail brushes up against the nearly 300-acre Lake Martha and Lake Cassidy state wildlife lands. This tract protects little Lake Martha with its sphagnum bog as well as much of the eastern shoreline of 123-acre Lake Cassidy, harboring a wide variety of plants and animals including bears, ospreys, eagles, pileated woodpeckers, and a couple of threatened sedges.
After about 1.25 miles of pleasant wandering, reach the Lake Cassidy Interpretive Center, composing of an educational kiosk, picnic area and a sturdy boardwalk projecting into the reed and cattail ringed lake. The lake is large but fairly shallow. A handful of structures occupy the far shore, but much of this body of water remains in an undeveloped state. Sit for awhile and scan the reeds for birds. If you feel like stretching your legs out a little more, continue walking south on the Centennial Trail towards Lake Stevens.
For information on lodging and other attractions near Lake Cassidy visit www.snohomish.org.