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Ghost-Town Hikes for Families in Western Washington

Into the wild and back in time on kid-friendly history hikes near Seattle

Maegen Blue
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Published on: July 02, 2020

Ghost-Town Hikes for Families in Western Washington

iron goat trail
Photo:
Iron Goat Trail. Credit: Tony Kent/Flickr CC

More history hikes

Lime Kiln Trail: Lots of old tools and a former lime kiln that will impress kids. Described in "Day Hiking North Cascades" by Craig Romano.

Iron Goat Trail: Follow an old railroad bed and peer into dark tunnels. 

Fairfax and Melmont: Two ghost towns near Carbonado in Pierce County. 

The Underground Tour in Seattle is a stroll and a tourist attraction, but kids who enjoy these hikes will love it.

Resources

Historylink.org: A free, online resource on Washington State History with excellent background on the history of coal mining and other early industry in the Puget Sound region.

MOHAI in Seattle and the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma both have artifacts and history exhibits.

Ghost Towns of Washington: Extensive lists, but no directions.

The sibling duo behind the excellent site Hiking With My Brother has a guide called "Hiking Through History." Only a few of the hikes are true ghost towns, but it’s a worthwhile addition to your guidebook shelf, with historical background on many popular hikes as well as some you may not have discovered.

Washington Trails Association: Lengthy descriptions of several of the outings described in this article, plus many hike suggestions and recent trip reports.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published several years ago and updated for 2020.

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