Hiking the Curiosity Trail
A two-part feature, Hiking the Curiosity Trail, is the result of a fascination with the weird and the wacky, as seen from hiking trails in Washington. From petrified trees to a tiny gnome city, we have scoured the state for 16 hikes that showcase the unusual.
On a recent hike to Swale Canyon my companions and I came across an old junked car just off the trail. It was an irresistible photo op. We climbed aboard, posed for pictures and tried to avoid the broken glass. It wasn't exactly a wilderness moment, but we sure had fun.
Stumbling upon the unexpected got me thinking about those destinations that are made more enjoyable by something that humans have left behind - or nature. Don't get me wrong. I don't condone leaving junk in the woods or on top of peaks. I'm more of a Leave No Trace kind of gal: take only photos, leave only footprints.
A two-part feature, Hiking the Curiosity Trail, is the result of my fascination with the weird and the wacky, as seen from hiking trails in Washington. From petrified trees to a tiny gnome city, we have scoured the state for 16 hikes that showcase the unusual.
Part 1: Amazing Geology is a tour of the superlative. The largest sand spit in the world! The longest continuous lava tube in the US! The biggest flood ever! You can hike to these places and learn about the geologic events that created them.
Part 2: The Human Touch visits places where people have had an impact. Explore abandoned possessions: a psychedelic school bus, a ghost town, rusting logging equipment. Then there are what I call "human enhancements": ancient petroglyphs, a giving tree, a hobbit village and a mailbox on top of a mountain.
I invite you to read about these hikes and see if any tickle your fancy. Several are accessible year-round and many are good for kids and people of all hiking abilities. And when you're done reading, tell us what weird stuff we missed.