This morning I awoke to yet another blanket of fluffy snow in the neighborhood. My car was stuck in the driveway and I just had to get out. Cabin fever was setting in so I strapped my snowshoes to my back, grabbed some hiking poles and hiked out to the Swede Heaven Trailhead on the Whitehorse Trail.
Once there you are given two options. Head East and you have up to 6 miles of beautiful woodland along with views of the North Fork Stillaguamish River. This side of the trail takes you right into the town of Darrington. However, I chose to head West toward the second option.
The West side of Whitehorse Trail from Swede Heaven offers 21 miles of interesting trail until meeting up with the Centennial in Arlington, but I had my heart set on Fortson Mill. It’s only a few miles round trip from here and I knew it was going to be looking great in the snow. If you haven’t heard about Fortson Mill you can read about it here at Fortson Mill Ghost Town.
When you Pass a pond on your left you’ve arrived to the Fortson site. Pictured above is one of the old mill ponds. Shortly after this one there’s a faint side trail to the bigger pond and access to the river is on the opposite side. Just a little further and you will find the crumbling Fortson Mill. This was such a peaceful outing and the trail was all mine the whole way. It’s yet another great access point to the rustic Whitehorse Trail.
Take Highway 530 from Arlington on up to Swede Heaven Rd where you will take a left at the Whitehorse Shell Station. Follow this road for a half mile and look for the trail crossing at the bottom of a hill. There’s limited parking here.