Skagit County Washington is a wonderful place located halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. The first view of Skagit County, as one heads north on I-5, is the valley of the Skagit River as it flows off the Cascade Mountains in the east and heads for the Salish Sea to the west. The valley floor that spreads out before you is a lush agricultural landscape with flat, lightly traveled roads. In the spring, the valley is famous for the tulips raised here, http://www.tulipfestival.org/. As the seasons progress, berries and potatoes bloom across the valley. This all provides a beautiful backdrop for a bicycle ride.
The flat valley roads give way to challenging hills to the east, north and on Fidalgo Island. Summer is the best time to ride in Skagit County, with long, dry, warm sunny days. However, the weather is mild enough that we ride all year round. We occasionally have to dodge showers in the fall, winter and early spring but significant parts of Skagit County benefit from the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. This effect often means that we escape storms that affect areas north and south of us.
Skagit County is home to many small towns and communities that are favorites of bike riders in the area. Mount Vernon is the county seat, the home of the annual Tulip Festival and the starting point for many rides with lots of dining and lodging options. A great stop for lunch in downtown Mount Vernon is A Taste of India.
Anacortes is beautiful town on Fidalgo Island with challenging hills, great mountain biking, wonderful food (Gere-a-Deli is a favorite stop on bike rides to Anacortes) and great views of the Salish Sea. The ferry terminal in Anacortes is the gateway to the San Juan Islands which opens up a whole different world of biking that our Club generally takes advantage of each summer.
LaConner is a quaint old town on the Swinomish Channel that is a frequent stopping point for bike riders. It has a nice board walk along the waterfront and many fine dining options. The Skagit Bike Club often stops for coffee or lunch mid-ride in LaConner. A favorite informal lunch spot is the LaConner Pub & Eatery with great waterfront views.
Sedro-Woolley is a favorite starting point for rides or a mid-ride stop. Sedro-Woolley is the gateway to the North Cascades National Park east on State Route 20. There is great riding around Sedro-Woolley with exceptionally quiet country roads that climb through evergreen forests or follow the Skagit River upstream. A great place for a mid-ride break or post ride lunch is the Woolley Market in downtown Sedro-Woolley, where the homemade soup is always a good choice.
The Bow/Edison area is a charming little place on the Samish River with great eats, that we visit frequently. Neither Bow or Edison are actually incorporated towns but downtown Edison is home to Bread farm Bakery, Mariposa Taqueria and many other dining choices. The Bike Club favorite for lunch though is the Corner Pub in Bow.
Where ever you choose to ride in Skagit County you’ll have beautiful scenery, a choice of terrain and plenty of great places to stop and eat. Make plans soon to ride your bike in Skagit County.