Description: A hike so beautiful it's hard to share, this is our favorite. A medium hike through traditional old-growth forests leads up to a waterfall-fed lake. There is a boardwalk that encircles the entire lake, so reaching the lake isn't the end of the line; you actually get to walk around the entire thing, enjoying a spectacular view (not far and very easy). Don't stop to admire the ducklings too long though - Droopy got bored and spontaneously jumped off the boardwalk for a thorough dunking. If you like this hike then you'll also like Beaver Plant Lake.
Downsides: Popular, and on the way up watch your footing! It had a few stream run-offs you had to cross that made for some slippery rocks.
Directions: Drive I-5 North to Everett. Take exit number 194 onto Highway 2 east. Exit onto highway 204 (to Lake Stevens). Turn left (north) onto Highway 9. A little past Lake Stevens take a right (east) onto highway 92. Follow 92 for about 8 miles, through Granite Falls, and at a T intersection with the Mountain Loop Highway take a left (north) onto Mountain Loop Highway (20). Follow road for about 10 miles to the Verlot Public Service/Ranger Station. You can buy trailhead passes at this station when it is open. The Rangers are very nice, and if your dog is well behaved they don't mind it coming into the station with you. From the Center travel east 1 mile and turn right one Pilchuck Road 42. Follow the road 1.5 miles (watch the many potholes) to a parking area on the right side of the road. It gets fairly crowded in the summer, but don't let that stop you - we've found the trail stays fairly uncrowded even with the parking lot full. The Heather lake trail is well marked. Just follow the trail for a little less than 2 miles to get there.
Last updated 2/02