On the drive to Granite Falls I’ve passed by this lake every time and never stopped to find an access point. Today was the day! I was headed straight on the highway, but somehow the car turned right onto Crooked Mile Road and I followed the sign to Frank Mason Park.
I pulled into the parking lot which brings you right to the beach of Gardner Lake. There’s a dock that gives you a great view of the sweet little 10 acre Lake. There’s only a few older dwellings that dot the shoreline which gives the area a sense of quietness. Looking East of the lake there was a rolling, grassy hill with a few covered picnic areas scattered throughout the lawn.
Just as I reached in my pocket to grab my car keys and head out of there my adventure instincts kicked in. There were 3 cars in the parking lot, but not a soul in sight. This sent me on foot to comb the area. Something else was out there to be seen. I just knew it. As I was hugging the left side of the hillside I found a faint trail leading into the woods. This could easily be missed, but my curiosity kept me going. Often times these faint trails just lead to neighboring homes so they have their own access to parks. This trail proved to be more.
I continued on the rough path for a little ways, staying left to make it easy to retrace my steps on the way back. Eventually the woods opened up to a nice little reflective pond. I had made a discovery! There were no signs to lead me here, which tells me that Granite Falls has been keeping this little gem to themselves. Nice try, GF, but if there’s adventure out there I’m sure to find it!
On the way back I saw several interconnecting trails that got my wheels turning that there might be more to explore out there. Especially since I still hadn’t run across another wanderer like me. I will have to come back again for some light hiking, a picnic lunch and the kid in me really wants to log roll down that grassy hill. I bet it would be great fun to sled down in the snow as well. What a great park just off the highway if you’re in need of some convenient adventure.
9130 Ray Gray Rd, Granite Falls, WA 98252