New bridge provides easier access to Ashland lakes

Morning Star WCC
Puget Sound Corps members work on a new fiberglass trail bridge. Photo: DNR.

Hikers exploring DNR’s Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Everett, now have an easier time getting to treasured Ashland Lakes. A new 56-foot fiberglass bridge replaces a previously well-loved, decaying, log bridge, called a single-log stringer bridge design.

DNR staff and Crews with the Puget Sound Corps, a subset of the Washington Conservation Corps, packed pieces of the bridge to a worksite, one-half mile from the Ashland Lakes Trailhead. Once there, they created a highline cable and strung the sides of the bridges across separately. With the sides in place, crews and staff installed other structural cross-members, outriggers and decking.

MorningStarNRCA-SpadaLake-fromBaldMtn--PaulMcFarland-8-31-2011
View of Spada Lake from Bald Mountain, located in DNR’s Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area. Photo: DNR

Now in place, the new bridge creates better connectivity for hikers enjoying the mature trees, bogs and pristine alpine lakes from the 3.7-mile Ashland Lakes Trail. Part of DNR’s Natural Areas program, the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area protects mid-elevation and subalpine forest plant communities, mid-elevation wetland and bogs and sensitive plant and animal habitat. It also provides opportunities for hiking, backcountry camping, wildlife viewing and enjoying views of Spada Lake, the sweeping lowlands and the Cascade Range.

Getting to Ashland Lakes
Start in Granite Falls at the intersection of SR-92 and Mountain Loop Highway. Go north on the Mountain Loop Highway for 15.2 miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road 4020 and go 2.6 miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road 4021 and proceed 2 miles to the site. Before going, check with the U.S. Forest Service for road conditions.

Be a part of meaningful work for Washington’s great outdoors
Want to be involved in caring for recreation sites and trails like those at Morning Star? You may be perfect for the conservation corps. Puget Sound Conservation Corps provides opportunities for young adults and veterans to gain valuable skills through the restoration and protection of Puget Sound and its resources. Corps members gain experience while helping to fill a variety of needs – from working on DNR trails and campgrounds to caring for wild spaces by removing invasive species and fostering the growth of native plants. Applications are now open for 300 WCC positions across Washington. Apply soon to be considered for the Oct. 3 start date. Learn more on our website.

To explore getting outdoors on DNR-managed lands, visit our website.