Hike 8: Franklin Ghost Town Trail
Franklin Ghost Town Trail (https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/franklin-ghost-town-trail) is a cute little trail that features abandoned mining cars, tracks, and mines as well as a small cemetery. This makes it very interesting for small children, so I highly recommend this hike, even though we didn’t find it particularly picturesque. It is a great accessible winter hike so I’d save it for that time period as there are plenty of more interesting hikes available during the summer months. However, the kiddo enjoyed himself almost the entire time. Especially when we crossed paths with the remnants of the past.
This trail is very easy with a just enough incline to get your heart rate up if you’re carrying a kiddo on your back. The parking lot is a bit mucky, so I’d advise bringing an extra pair of shoes and dressing the kiddos appropriately. There is a $5 fee to park (cash), there’s a drop box in the lot as the lot itself is on private property. It does appear to be mostly an honor system, but I paid because I’d hate to think that they might close access eventually due to hikers non-payment. Once you cross the gate you can choose to go down to the river or up to see all the relics of the past, including a donated mining car.
We chose to go up initially and spent way too much time at the mining car. As you continue up the view is nice, but nothing spectacular, but it doesn’t take long to find the old mines. Luckily, they’re fenced off because the kid definitely wanted to climb in/on. Once you pass the old mines and keep following the trails you’ll pass some old foundations and an old mining car track. These were both very popular areas with the kid.
The trail ends at a small family cemetery, then turn around and head back down. Then we went down the trail that follows the river. We actually didn’t continue down the entire river adjacent trail because there were a few areas that were a bit sketchy for a toddler or a toddler mom carrying a toddler, but the part we did was quite beautiful. If the kiddo were a bit older or the river had been flowing less rapidly, we would have continued. So keep that in mind.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable, short hike that is great for winter. The kid loved it and was highly entertained. I’d definitely recommend it.
For this hike, I chose to donate to Native Land, I use this resource every time I hike as a jumping off point to educate myself (through their hard work) about the land I’m hiking and the people that steward that land. It has been an invaluable resource. If you would also like to donate to help support their work, click here: https://native-land.ca/support/ .