Centennial Trail – Arlington, Lake Stevens, and Snohomish

Snohomish County’s Centennial Trail is an fantastic example of a completed and well executed rail-to-trail conversion. The trail is justifiably popular with good signage and frequent maintenance.

  • Distance: 30.3 miles one way
  • Elevation: 499ft of elevation gain
  • Time: Allow 3 to 4 hours
  • Parking: The northern trailhead offers convenient parking at the site of the historic Nakashima Farms. Free parking, bathrooms, water, and shade.
  • Road Quality: Generally excellent. Smooth asphalt with rare bumps.
  • Traffic: The entire path follows a dedicated bike/pedestrian path. Exercise caution when crossing roads.
  • Services: The trail goes through the towns of Arlington, Lake Stevens, and Snohomish, all of which have grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, bars, and even a few bike shops.
  • Camping: Snohomish County Parks Department operates the River Meadows Park Campground that is 5 miles outside of downtown Arlington. Yurts and tent sites are available for nightly rental and are reservable online.

The Ride

You can ride either north or south (or both for a 60 mile day!) It doesn’t matter very much because the trail is so flat. But it does manage gain 499ft of elevation heading south.

There isn’t very much around the northern trailhead at the site of the historic Nakashima Farm. But parking is free and ample.

The Centennial Trail goes directly through downtown Arlington, providing a great opportunity for a meal break. The trail skirts past the edges of Lake Stevens, but there is a signed turn-off to head downtown and good bike lanes the whole way.

The trail ends somewhat abruptly downtown in the City of Snohomish. But it delivers you right to the heart of this small city, with lots of great restaurants nearby.

No special permits are required for trail use or trailhead parking. If you plan to camp at the River Meadows Park Campground 5 miles away from the Centennial Trail and outside of downtown Arlington, you should make a reservation online.

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