Grandy Lake is a ‘hidden gem’ Skagit County Park. It is right along the road to the Baker Lake area, which sees a lot more visitors. Me included. But taking the time to stop and wet the little kayak for an afternoon was a simple pleasure. Get to the Lake by driving east on SR 20 about 15 miles east of Sedro-Woolley. Near Birdsview, turn left on the Baker lake Road and drive 5 miles.
The Lake consists of a campground and simple boat launch. There is no potable water, no dump station and just dry Port-a-Potties. This keeps a lot of campers away, I guess. but the $7 nightly camping fee cannot be beat and the boat launching is free to all, campers and non-campers.
I got interested in this area when following the history trail of the logging railroads of Skagit County. This area was threaded with logging railroads at one time. This was before the introduction of logging trucks. Temporary rails were laid into the woods and logs were loaded directly onto them. Down the hills they came, to be either taken directly to local mills, or to be rafted on the Skagit River or on the salt water to be hauled to other regional mills, like Camano Island or Everett. Grandy Lake was the location of the Grandy Lake Shingle Company, and later the Lyman Lumber Company.
There are still lots of pilings in Grandy Lake that mark the location of what appears to be a railroad spur that went over the water, along with associated docks. Logs from the forest got dumped into the Lake. In those days every pond or lake was used as a ‘mill pond,’ Floating the logs until needed to be poled to the mill.
This map shows Grandy Lake in the mid-upper right corner. That smooth road just above the Skagit River is State Route 20. Look at all those rail lines! As you can see, the rails were laid along the north side of the Baker Lake Road. If you stop and look closely, you can see the old railroad bed and the concrete bridge foundations for each little creek crossing.
Following this post is a little photo gallery of my Grandy Lake kayaking afternoon.
’til next time,
Highland Garden House B & B
501 E. Highland Ave.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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