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The Centennial Trail Guide: Ride the Rails

It's a treat to find a bike path that's independent of roads. It's even better when it’s a well-maintained road with amenities, and is immersed in nature and art.

Luckily, the Centennial Trail built upon the old Burlington-North rail line, winds its way from Snohomish north thirty miles to the Nakshima Heritage Barn and checks those boxes, offering cyclists an unrivaled experience

Here are three ideas of how to make the most out of the trail:

Nakashima Barn to Downtown Arlington - 20 mile round trip taking about 3 hours


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This short ride from the Nakashima Barn North Trailhead to downtown Arlington is perfect for an autumn morning and is all about nature and art. The trail leading south from the barn transitions from farmland to frequent public art installations.

You can lock your bike at the Arlington Visitors Center for fresh water and clean restrooms to explore downtown but we recommend continuing further south to Nutty’s Junkyard Grill, a favorite stop for cyclists serving burgers and milkshakes located on the bike path. This is a great spot to eat, use the restroom, and refill water before returning to the barn. This is a great option if you’re getting a late start or have something planned for the evening.

Snohomish to the Nakashima Barn (or vice versa) - 30 mile trip taking about 4 hours


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If you want to experience the full trail, start at the north or south trailhead and plan for a thirty mile ride with three stops. This option requires a vehicle to pick you up. Taking your first break at the Machias Trailhead Picnic Shelter six miles up the trail will allow you to refill your water and use the bathroom before the next six miles to the toilets at Lake Cassidy. We recommend the Lake Cassidy stop over other trailheads because the toilets are less used and better maintained than other trailheads. Take in the lake and breathe before the next push to the Arlington Visitors Center ten miles north where you can refill your water and use the toilets before ending your ride at the barn.

Round Trip - 60 miles taking about 8 hours

            If you’re looking for an all-day outing, start in the morning and park at either the north or south trailhead and plan to break at the places in the previous section, except add lunch in either downtown Snohomish or downtown Arlington!

However you decide to ride the Centennial Trail, we hope you enjoy the history, views, and the cadence of the natural world intersecting with artistic urban environments. Enjoy.

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Experience a weekend in Everett!

Let's go

Downtown Snohomish is for cozy dining and boutique shopping by the river.

So cute!
Ryan Anderson

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