Barclay Lake: An easy hike for all ages

I’m having a hard time focusing lately, because all I want to do is hike. Hike, hike, hike.

On Tuesday, my friend Katie and I found some time to hit the trail. We couldn’t decide where we wanted to go, so we asked my daughter, 3, to decide for us. She said she wanted to see a lake, so we headed up to Barclay Lake.

Barclay Lake is an easy hike. It’s only 4 miles round trip, and the elevation gain is minimal. It’s a great hike for all ages. My daughter was the youngest on the trail that day. We also passed a group of older hikers out for the day. I was pleased to see them; I hope I’m still hiking when I’m their age.

We reached the lake quickly. Even with a toddler on my back, 2 miles goes fast. We wandered down the lake until we found a toddler-friendly beach and then settled down for a snack. My daughter spent her time throwing rocks in the water, catching pretend fish and getting her feet wet and sandy.

On the day we hiked, it rained on and off, but it never got too heavy and the trees kept us mostly dry.

The lake is still pretty high; it was amusing to look out and see a fire ring under about 3 feet of water. There is still enough beach to have a nice little break. There are several camping spots near the lake and this would make a great first backpack trip. If something went wrong, even in the middle of the night, it wouldn’t be hard to hike out the 2 miles to your car.

Part of the reason for this trip was to check out my backpack. I have a three-day trip planned soon, and I wanted to make sure my backpack still works for my daughter and I. I’m glad I did. She is too tall for it. It’s OK if she’s awake, but if she naps, her head rests against mine, and it’s horribly uncomfortable.

A bit of advice if you want to hike with your young child: get out a lot so they are comfortable sleeping on your back. (I wrote about different options for carriers here.) You could even just put them on your back at home around naptime. Or strap them in and go for a walk around the neighborhood. It makes things so much easier. It’s really, really hard to get a kid to nap outdoors otherwise. Things are too exciting. Why would you nap when there are bugs, plants and dirt to explore?

Anyways, I learned that I need a new backpack. I bought one the next day.

If you’d like to head up to Barclay Lake, it is off of U.S. 2, about milepost 41. You can find directions here.

More in Life

Using a rod to assist in running wiring through an attic space, Don Thomas, of R&D Handyman Service, works on installing a ceiling fan at a home in SE Everett on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
                                Don Thomas of R&D Handyman Service installs a ceiling fan at a home in southeast Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
When fall chores loom, just hand them to the handyman

Here are three local businesses that can help you prepare your home for the rainy season.

And this year’s winners of Everett’s Monte Cristo Awards are…

The awards recognize local homeowners and businesses that take special care of their properties.

‘Happy Death Day’ applies ‘Groundhog Day’ premise on horror genre

Smart writing and Jessica Rothe’s performance make this worth seeing.

Adventurer 1st to finish Race to Alaska on stand-up paddleboard

Karl Kruger will speak about his trip at the Everett Mountaineers Banquet on Nov. 4 in Lynnwood.

Therapy helped ease debilitating pain after injury

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley shares her experiences with complex regional pain syndrome.

How to prune a hydrangea: An exception to the pruning rule

It helps to think of a growing blackberry vine when you’re about to cut back this blooming shrub.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Most Read