A crowing rooster is just one of the traditional farming sights and sounds your will hear as you enjoy biking through the lower Stillaguamish River Valley. Home to many family-owned dairy farms, with content cows lined up in historic barns and tractors travelling as slowly as bikes on quiet country roads, biking is a fantastic way to explore the Stanwood-Camano area.
Silvana to Stanwood – Park in the gravel lot near the railroad tracks in Silvana for a 15-mile loop via Pioneer Highway, Miller and Norman Roads. The north end of Miller Road is closed to motorized traffic but connects to Pioneer Highway via a path through the guardrail onto the old road. Use caution as the unused road is mossy and bumpy. You will also cross the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks¾wait at a distance if you encounter a train.
A clear day brings views of both the Cascades and the Olympics across the valley. Working farms will challenge your ability to tell a Jersey from a Holstein. And you can test your bird-spotting skills with migratory waterfowl and bald eagles.
Camano Island – Experienced riders who want a challenge will love riding hilly Camano Island. Main roads can be busy, but there are many secondary options. Park at Terry’s Corner or Camano Center for a beautiful 40-mile loop around the island. You can also start in Stanwood, as Highway 532 has wide shoulders to go with heavier traffic. There are small stores, waterfront parks, and a few art studios for interesting stops. At the southwest end of the island, Cama Beach and Camano Island State Parks offer camping and cabin options, including two dedicated hiker-biker sites.
Stanwood to Conway – There are many ways to make this loop to visit the Skagit River valley. Pioneer Highway is the most direct. The section north of Stanwood is busier than that to the south, and there is no shoulder until you get to Skagit County. An alternate north-south route is via Cedarhome Road, which can have beautiful views of the Salish Sea. You can also ride north on the frontage road just west of I-5 or via back roads on the east side of I-5. From north of Stanwood, cross I-5 at 300th Street NW (for a stop at Bonhoeffer Gardens) or via a little-used underpass at 44th Avenue NE.
Before you go, you can view maps of the Stanwood and Camano Island cycling routes.