Just off of I-5 between Arlington and Stanwood, Silvana is home to wonderful country roads begging for cyclists: flat farm country, and interlocking roads that allow you to navigate far and wide across a scenic valley.
So grab your helmet, lube up your chain and get pedaling. Silvana awaits.
We use the term “downtown” loosely for Silvana. It’s seriously a tiny place, but you can park in front of the Silvana Viking Hall (1331 Pioneer Hwy, Stanwood, WA 98292, (360) 631-9050) to start your 12 mile journey.
Starting in the morning? Be sure to get breakfast at Willow and Jim’s Country Cafe (1421 Pioneer Hwy, Silvana, WA 98287, 360-652-0372). A staple in Silvana for 17 years, Willow and Jim’s serves classic American breakfasts with pancakes the size of your head, crispy bacon and fluffy eggs. There for lunch? Don’t skip out on their milkshakes, especially when it’s strawberry season.
You’ll need a snack for the adventure, too. Stop into Silvana Meats (1229 Pioneer Hwy, Stanwood, WA 98292, 360-652-7188) to make sure you’re getting your mid-ride protein fix. Stock up on their peppered beef jerky or a pepperoni stick or two.
You’ve parked and you have a belly full of breakfast. It’s time to ride. Heading north on Pioneer Highway out of downtown Silvana and make your way to the Little White Church on the Hill (1717 Ole Larson Rd, Silvana, WA 98287). The church has been standing since 1898 and the grounds are full of history. Wander through the graveyard and, if the doors are open, take a peek inside to be transported back in time.
Turning off Pioneer Highway and on to Norman Road, your farmland tour starts. Norman Road hugs the Stillaguamish River and the views of the valley are spectacular. Say hi to a cow or two or wave at a freight train and it rumbles through the Pioneer Valley on its way to British Columbia.
You’ve rode for 12 miles, the bikes are packed and you’re ready to relax. Heading out of Silvana, pull off Pioneer Highway next to the blueberry stand, just before the bridge, for a well-known river dip spot. Be careful, though. The riverbank isn’t monitored, so swim at your own risk.
If you like to bike but are tired of the well-worn valleys near Seattle, why not head north? Silvana is a dreamland best experienced on two wheels.