Mount Vernon’s Little Mountain Park
HIKE DESCRIPTION: Big things are happening on Little Mountain.
On a rainy May Saturday morning, a few miles up a trail called Rooty, a band of Cub Scouts was hard at work. The scouts were assisting the Mount Vernon Trail Builders, a group dedicated to improving and expanding the trails at Little Mountain Park.
The trail group started building trails in the park in 2007. Since then, the trail system has more than tripled in size to 9.5 miles. “We’ve put in 13,000 volunteer hours over the past seven years,” said Jim Taylor, the organization’s executive director.
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The fastest way to the top is to link a series of short trails called Rooty, Huff-N-Puff and Drop Down. Using these trails you’ll hike only 3 miles for a round-trip visit to the summit (934 feet above sea level), where you can take in views of Skagit Valley.
This makes for an easy leg-stretching stop for motorists on nearby Interstate 5, but to truly experience Little Mountain Park, Taylor says visitors should take more time to explore.
“Surfer’s Way (0.74 mile) is very popular. Bonnie and Clyde’s (1 mile) is very popular,” Taylor said. “They are long, flowy, fun trails. The prettiest trail we have is called the Nature Trail (0.25) and it is a short jaunt out to a bridge that we built across a tributary to Carpenter Creek. It’s beautiful, and it’s worth going out there. It’s well intended for all ages.”
DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 5 in south Mount Vernon, take Exit 225 and turn west on Anderson Road. The road quickly become Anderson Laventure Road. Turn right on Blackburn Road, then right on Little Mountain Road. A well-marked sign for the park and Little Park Road will be on your right. The first trailhead (for the trailhead described in this report) is less than 800 feet up the road. But there is a second trailhead farther up the road, and some start their hikes from the road’s end at the summit.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest) with opportunities to make this hike more challenging.
MILES ROUND TRIP: 9.5 miles of trails.
ELEVATION GAIN: 500 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.
MAP: A map is posted at various trailhead kiosks. Some kiosks have printed maps available. Download a map at littlemountainpark.org.
PASS: None required.
ALSO: A mountain bike skills park is in the works and could be completed over the next two years, Taylor said. The road to the summit is 1.5 miles and open to bikes. Dogs on leashes are permitted. Owners must clean up after their dogs. Numerous geocaches are hidden in Little Mountain Park. For more information visit, geocaching.com.