Our region is abundant with opportunities for outdoor adventures. Whether you blaze the wide variety of local hiking trails or fly through the trees on a zipline, you’ll be sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. One activity we highly recommend is traveling down the Iron Goat Trail. Stretching approximately nine miles through the Cascade Mountains, this scenic expedition follows the late 19th-century route of the Great Northern Railway. Learn more about this fascinating trail and some of the best things you’ll see along the way!
The Iron Goat Trail is just one of the many places to explore during your visit to Leavenworth. Request your free copy of our Vacation Guide right now for a full list of our area’s top hiking trails, attractions, entertainment, dining, and more.
Iron Goat Trail History
Over 100 years ago, the Great Northern Railway was one of the most remarkable engineering feats of the 19th-century. The railroad successfully winded through the Cascades and Stevens Pass near Leavenworth, opening the Pacific Northwest to settlement and trade with the rest of the world.
After one of the most tragic railroad accidents in history occurred during a snowstorm on the Great Northern Railway, a new Cascade Tunnel was built in 1929. The opening of this new railway put a sizable stretch of the Great Northern Railway out of business, and it sat abandoned for many years. Today, the Iron Goat Trail comprises the abandoned section of the railroad and introduces travelers to the sights that the train passengers enjoyed many years ago.
Hiking the Iron Goat Trail
Boasting beautiful mountain views, lush fern forests, and wildflower fields, the Iron Goat Trail is a scenic journey that is sure to become one of the highlights of your Leavenworth getaway. The trail is open to hikers only and does not permit bikes or motor vehicles. That way, you can enjoy a peaceful and memorable journey on foot.
There are three official trailheads along the Iron Goat Trail in which hikers can begin their journey. The Wellington Trailhead is located right in Leavenworth, WA, allowing our guests quick access to some of the trail’s nearby attractions including the waterfalls, a vintage red train caboose, and more.
Tips for Hiking the Iron Goat Trail
- A recreation pass is required to park at the trailheads. You can purchase a Northwest Forest pass from the Skykomish Ranger Station, many recreational outlets, or online.
- To prepare for a fun and safe journey down the trail, we recommend you pack rain gear, a warm sweater, sturdy shoes, lunch/snacks, and of course, your cameras!
- The old tunnels and timbers found along the trail are off-limits to hikers. They are prone to collapse and are extremely dangerous.
Create Your Own Adventures With Pine River Ranch
From the Iron Goat Trail to white water rafting, there are a plethora of ways to embark on a new adventure in Leavenworth! You’re invited to experience it all when you stay with us at Pine River Ranch. Our historic and secluded bed & breakfast provides everything you need to lodge in comfort and make memories that will last a lifetime. Guests of Pine River Ranch are spoiled with rustic-style guest suites packed with luxury amenities. You will also enjoy a complimentary gourmet breakfast delivered straight to your door each morning! There’s no better way to complete your unique getaway. Book your favorite room with Pine River Ranch today! We look forward to welcoming you to Leavenworth soon!