There’s a nice little trail I like to take my girls on. Last summer I took Cassidy and this January Isabella finally got to check it out too. It’s the Lime Kiln Trail located in Granite Falls, WA. At 7 miles (11.3 km) round trip, it’s big enough to be challenging for the kiddos and small enough to not wear everyone out. It’s a fairly popular trail that invites people from all around Snohomish county to hike. There are no parking passes required and no fees to pay (which is kind of a rarity around here). One word of caution though, if you do decide to check this trail out make sure you don’t leave any valuables in your vehicle. Every time we go there we see freshly broken glass on the ground. On this trip I saw a newer hatchback that had to of just been broken into because I asked people how long the car had been there and they were all shocked to see it but had all just arrived around the same time as me. It sucks, I know but just don’t bring anything any prowling eyes might want to get their hands on.

Lime Kiln Trail shown by the yellow line.

Anyway, Izzy and I were ready to hit the trail. At 18 months old she’s better off riding in the carrier her mom got me for a gift last year. I tested it out by taking Izzy on a “hike” in our neighborhood and she seemed to love sitting high to see the views but this was the real deal. Could she handle sitting in there for 7 miles? Could I? We were about to find out.

Izzy in her carrier at the trailhead.

We set out to conquer this hike. Izzy was in high spirits and liked the change of scenery from our neighborhood. Like I did with Cassidy when she was Izzy’s age, I have silly conversations with her all the time. She’s a talkative little girl and it seemed to help Cassidy learn how to talk with clear pronunciation sooner so I’m repeating that with Izzy. We talked about the trees, the moss, the colors present and what animals live in the forest. Basically, I give her the play by play of our hike and she responds the best way that she can.

Moss covered trees

Not only is this a beautiful trail, it serves as a great bonding experience as well. Normally momma would have accompanied us but she had other business she needed to tend to allowing Izzy and I to have a daddy/daughter date. Here are a few more pictures of our excursion.

About a mile in. Doing A-O.K.
Narrow path into the trees.
Old wooden steps adding character and grip.

One of many artifacts on the trail.

A sign of the old days.
Washington is called the Evergreen state for good reason.

Waiting for us at the 2 mile mark was a big limestone kiln which the trail was named after, built sometime in the 1890’s and used into the 1930’s to convert the local limestone into calcium oxide. The final product was then used to to promote melting of ores in smelters in the Everett area.

Did I mention this trail is supposedly one of Washington’s most haunted trails? I guess if you believe that sort of thing you might wonder what spooky stories exist here. For the record, Izzy and I shared a hike full of smiles and adventure without any eerie sprits there to steal our thunder.

The main attraction: The Historic Lime Kiln
Another angle of a modern ruin
Mossy stones showing their age
I wonder when the last fire burned here? 1934?
Sweaty dad, smiley baby
Am I current on my tetanus shot? Hmmm.

At about this time Izzy let me know that she was ready to get out of her carrier to do a little hiking and site seeing of her own. We found a great spot overlooking the beautiful Stillaguamish River to have a quick snack and drink. Being that she’s so curious and at times a little too brave I made sure to keep her within arms reach but I couldn’t help taking some great pictures of her first hike.

My newest hiking buddy!
So curious. Too curious. Get back here missy.
Taking a snack and drink break.
The beautiful winter Stillaguamish River

She made it about 10 yards (9 meters) before she decided that was enough uneven surface for her. After falling a few times she reached up for me to carry her in my arms. With about 400′ (122 meters) left before we reached the trails end (halfway point), I carried her the remainder of the way.

Almost at the end of the trail.
If she had it her way, I’d be her carrier.
Perfect way to bond with my princess

Alas, we made it to the end. Nothing too crazy but here it is.

The end of the Lime Kiln trail.

We made it to the end which was the halfway point because now we had to hike out the same way we came in. We met lots of friendly hikers. How were we feeling at about the 3.5 mile (5.6 km) marker? Well, my bone spur started to act up but I was still working through it okay. Izzy on the other hand was out like a light. In all honesty, it was her nap time hour. You can’t argue with your biological clock- even out in the beautiful forest.

My sleepy little companion.

One of my favorite challenges on the trail was having to crouch down to get past the three or four fallen trees so that I didn’t bump Izzy’s head.

Watch your head. Fallen trees along trail.
Don’t forget to duck when carrying little ones.

With about a mile (1.6 km) left to go Izzy finally woke up and immediately began talking, presumably about the surrounding nature. She was clearly loving this type of outdoor adventure which made me very happy because I’ll be able to groom her into the outdoorsy type in no time at all. It was also the perfect bonding experience for us. Instead of staying indoors on this January Pacific Northwest afternoon we chose to put on some warm clothes and see what the outdoors had to offer. This region of Washington is ideal for winter hiking because as you can see from the pictures you can find trails that can be visited year-round.

How did Izzy do in her carrier on this 7 mile trek? We started our hike at noon and got back to the trailhead at 3pm. I think three hours is about the time she was ready to be out of her carrier for good for the rest of the day. That gives me all the information I need for planning our next adventure. All in all she did fantastic. I’m so excited that my daughters enjoy hiking the great outdoors. How did I fare carrying about 35 lbs (15.8 kg) on my back for three hours? Take a look:

I did okay. 🙂

Catch you on our next adventure!