Sunday walk

What: This is the first 1.5-mile section of the Centennial Trail, which starts in Snohomish and continues to Arlington on an old railroad grade. Eventually the trail, which also has side spurs, will reach to Skagit County.

Where: If you’re traveling from Everett, take Highway 2 east to the 88th Street exit. Turn right off the exit and right again at stoplight onto Pine Avenue. Where Pine intersects with Maple, look for free street parking and the trail on the right.

Why: It’s no wonder this trail is popular with locals, including runners, walkers and cyclists as well as people pushing strollers or on inline skates. That’s the freedom afforded by a flat, paved trail free of motorized vehicles.

This leg of the trail – started in 1989 in honor of the state centennial – features a mix of landscapes, starting out in residential Snohomish and gradually becoming more lovely and bucolic.

Mature trees, just beginning to leaf out, hug much of the trail along with a great deal of Himalayan blackberry. Wetter areas are home to more native plants such as hot-pink-flowering salmonberry as well as bright yellow skunk cabbage.

Just before the 1.5-mile marker, which is painted on the trail, cross under a set of high-voltage power lines and then over a bridge. Gaze down at the small creek below where robins love to bathe and play. Then take in the grazing horses nearby and the peek-a-boo views of the Pilchuck River for a decidedly classic, Snohomish scene.

Visit for a detailed map of the trail. (Tune in next week for the next section of the Centennial Trail.)

Sarah Jackson

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