If you like a little history in your hiking adventures then the Iron Goat Trail near Stevens Pass, Washington should be on your hiking to-do list. It was named one of the top 5 scariest hikes in the United States by the Travel Channel because of the continuous reports of paranormal activity that some say are the ghosts of victims of the Wellington train disaster which killed over sixty people in 1910.

photo: loc.gov
photo: loc.gov
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As the story goes, a train full of passengers and a train full of mail were headed over Stevens Pass on February 23, 1910, when a heavy snow storm and numerous avalanches trapped both trains on the tracks near Wellington, Washington. For nearly a week, the stranded passengers watched in horror as avalanche after avalanche came roaring down the mountain missing their train cars, but then on March 1, 1910, their fears were realized when a massive avalanche directly hit the train cars and sent them tumbling hundreds of feet. Many passengers were killed instantly and others froze to death before help arrived the day after. The rescue effort took nearly a week to remove survivors and bodies.

photo: loc.gov
photo: loc.gov
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Today, the area is a popular hiking trail with a ghost town feel and is managed by the US Forest Service. You can hike a number of trails, most of which are good for all levels of hiking ability. Plus, you have the added bonus of interruptive areas, lookouts, and as some hikers have experienced – ghosts of the train disaster - actual sightings of figures, hair-raising sensations, and strange sounds have been reported. The good thing about this hike is everyone comes out alive.

USFS Youtube
USFS Youtube
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The best time of year is mid-June through mid-August, but I bet it would make a great spooky Halloween hike in late October (check the site to be sure it’s open). The trailhead is about 3.5 hours from Tri-Cities and is just northwest of Leavenworth, so food and other fun post-hike activities are nearby.  You’ll need a valid Washington Recreation pass to enter. The US Forest Service site has all the information you need to plan your trip.

USFS.gov-youtube
USFS.gov-youtube
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This Hike in the Columbia River Gorge is a Must Experience

The Labyrinth to Coyote Wall Loop. It runs 6.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1,489 feet. It features a waterfall, lava tube, rock formations, and incredible views. It’s heavily trafficked with hikers and mountain bikers on weekends and dogs are welcome on a leash. Beware, you’ll need good hiking shoes as a good portion of the trail is very rocky. It’s open all year round, but the experts recommend day use from March to November.  

Here's 3 Cool Hikes Near Tri-Cities

Badger and Candy Mountain are the two most popular local hikes, and for good reason, they're close, offer stunning views, easy parking, and they're fairly easy. But, if you're looking to freshen up your hiking experience without having to drive long distances, check out these three ideas, all within 30 minutes of Tri-Cities.