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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

Published on: July 10, 2023

Ghost-Town Hikes for Families in Western Washington

Ghost town hikes near Seattle include the Iron Goat Trail where the entrance to an abandoned mine shaft can be seen along the trail
An abandoned mine shaft along the Iron Goat Trail. Credit: Tony Kent/Flickr CC

More history hikes near Seattle

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. Editor’s note: Access via Mowich Lake Road is closed for the 2023 season.

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

Resources 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.

More great family hikes

Editor’s notes: Image credit this page: Tony Credit/Flickr CC. This article was originally published several years ago and updated most recently for 2023.

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