Friday, December 14, 2007

Spencer Island Barn Spent

This past week I set out for Spencer Island in the Snohomish River Estuary Preserve outside of Everett for a little trail research. I had last visited about three years ago for a hiking brochure that I designed for the County Tourism Board and for a running article for Northwest Runner magazine. This visit was for inclusion of Spencer Island in my upcoming guide book, Day Hiking Central Cascades (Mountaineers Books).
How fast things change around here thanks to our latest string of tumultuous autumn storms. It is no longer possible to hike all the way around the island. The levee trail on the northern half of the island has been breached in a couple of places making circumnavigation of the island impossible now. Fortunately, you can still hike the southern half of the island; and that will be in my new book. It is just that the entire hiking experience here is now shorter.
And missing a famous landmark. If you have my Snohomish Hiking Brochure turn to the page on Spencer Island. The old barn, captured in the brochure by Alan Bauer is no longer standing. A wind storm last fall toppled it. One of last remnants of Spencer Island's farming days gone. Fortunately the Jackknife Bridge (shown above), one of the last remaining bascule bridges, still spans the island providing access to this wonderful and easily accessible natural area.

One other Snohomish Hiking Note: The Lunds Gulch Trail at Meadowdale County Park is currently closed. A series of landslides has rendered it inaccessible. Park personnel should have the trail reopened by spring. But the old barn on Spencer is never coming back.

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