With the Fourth of July landing on a Thursday this year, this weekend promises to be a long one for many. Throw in the fact that the weather is going to be perfect — low 70s and scattered clouds — for getting outside and you have all the ingredients for a good ride, hike or paddle.
Beer and the outdoors go hand in hand. Nothing beats a cold lager after a steep hike or lengthy kayak paddle. I guess it’s easy to tell where my mind is right now.
Here’s some ideas on what to do this weekend, where to grab a cold, refreshing pint and some suggestions on what to order:
Hike + beer
■ Head east on the Mountain Loop Highway and hit the most classic hike in Snohomish County: Mount Pilchuck. It’s busy this time of year, so get there early. On the way back down, stop at BrewBakers Brewery, just off 84th Street, and order the Hawaiian IPA.
■ Outside of Index, Lake Serene trail is the quintessential Northwest hike, with a lake, waterfall and soaring peaks all wrapped in one. After the hike, head back west on U.S. 2, stop at Dreadnought Brewing and grab a pint of Old Man Pre-Prohibition Pilsner.
■ Further south, Highway 90 has plenty of hikes to offer, although many will be packed with crowds this weekend. Don’t mind that? Try Rattlesnake Ledge and then stop at one of the most buzzworthy breweries in Washington: No Boat Brewing in Snoqualmie. Order the Bia Hoi Vietnamese Lager.
■ If you want to head north, travel the Mount Baker Highway to Artist Point, where you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of Mount Baker and Shuksan. Afterward, have a Son of Frog at The North Fork Brewery.
■ Closer to home, Japanese Gulch is a fairly easy stroll in the urban woods near Mukilteo. Enjoy Diamond Knot’s recent bronze-medal winning Northwest Blonde.
Bike + beer
■ Running 30 miles from Snohomish to near the county line with Skagit, the Centennial Trail is a family-friendly ride with few drastic ups or downs. Finish in Snohomish and grab a beer at SnoTown Brewing or Spada Farmhouse Brewery; or end in Arlington and get refreshed at Skookum Brewery.
■ The Interurban Trail runs from Everett to Edmonds. Start in the south and end at the South Everett Beermuda Triangle. Make sure to try one of Shawn Loring’s new IPA creations at Lazy Boy.
■ Can’t make Crucible Brewing in Everett? Travel the Burke-Gilman Trail from Seattle to Woodinville and grab a drink at Crucible in Woodinville. Get the Pink Drink Raspberry Sour.
■ In Snohomish, Lord Hill Park has more than 6 miles of trails for mountain bikers. After a day of riding, take your muddy self to Sound to Summit Brewing for their Cascade Haze Hazy IPA.
■ The Cascade Trail connects Sedro-Woolley with Concrete. One of the state’s most enjoyable breweries, Birdsview Brewing, is smack dab in the middle of the ride. Order the Witless, a Belgian Wit brewed with orange peel and coriander.
Paddle + beer
■ One of the most underused bodies of water in Snohomish County is the Spada Lake Reservoir. Only non-motorized boats can use the lake, so it’s quiet and perfect for a day in the kayak. Afterward, visit Timber Monster Brewing back in town in Sultan and order the new Skunk Ape Hazy IPA.
■ In Marysville, Visit Ebey Waterfront Park and cruise around the placid waters of Ebey Slough. Once you get that kayak back up on the car, walk over to 5 Rights Brewing on Third Street in Marysville. On tap is a fresh batch of Boom City FAB IPA.
■ If a lake paddle is more your speed, put in at the Lake Stevens public boat launch and tool around the lake. Afterward, walk over to Lake Stevens Brewing and order a Sandy Beach cream ale.
■ For south-end paddlers, the Kenmore Boat Launch is a great place to explore the northern end of Lake Washington. Once you dry off, it’s a short drive to Kenmore’s Cairn Brewing and Nine Yards Brewing.