By Taylor Goebel, Everett Daily Herald
I love a good sweaty bike ride as much as a post-good-sweaty-bike-ride meal.
So when sunshine and warm weather (finally) arrived in Snohomish County this summer, I knew I needed an excuse to ride my bike during work hours.
Enter the Centennial Trail, or more specifically, where you can eat and drink well after huffing and puffing your way along this 30-mile route.
The stretch of trail between Snohomish and Arlington is a choose-your-own-road, with lots of towns, trailheads and chili eateries.
There are too many stops to add to this list, which is all the more reason to get there and explore.
If you plan to stop at one (or three) breweries, guzzle a large milkshake, and/or inhale a burger like a competitive eater, I suggest waiting until the end of your trip. .
If you decide to start south at the Pilchuck Trailhead (5801 S. Machias Rd.), you’re in for a treat.
Start your adventure with a gooey cinnamon roll or flaky croissant from Snohomish Bakery a few blocks down from the trailhead (their Café Chala also serves hot breakfast dishes like French toast and quiche). For the gluten-free crowd, walk across 1st Street to Grain Artisan Bakery for sweet or savory scones (their sweet potato and feta spiced scone is Taylor-approved).
Finishing your ride in Snohomish? The aptly named Trails End Taphouse & Restaurant is just off Centennial and is the go-to place for a beer and classic comfort food like pulled pork sandwiches and hearty salads. Their loaded potato chips (all the toppings of a baked potato but in crunchy chip form) look especially fun.
For a quick cheesy bite, I’ve heard good things about Piccola’s New York-style pizza. And while we’re on the dairy train, you shouldn’t miss Snohomish Pie Company’s piescream sundaes.
Just want a beer? Head to Audacity Brewing for the perfect way to end your ride. This family-owned brewery came highly recommended by a colleague of mine, who called their beer the best in the area.
Cider lovers shouldn’t miss Hammered Dwarf Cider: they specialize in drier, more complex ciders and have a barrel aging program. Their current taproom list includes lychee-infused Vichy Lychee, rye barrel-aged Thoric’s Bill-Blueberry and their Manchurian Crabapple (ringing in at 12.5% ABV, I recommend going easy on this last one). are included
About 3.5 miles north of the Pilchuck Trailhead, Snowtown Espresso is a great pick-me-up for a caffeine-fueled ride, or a great coffee stop during a morning walk.
Another great area to start (or end) your Centennial trip, Lake Stevens boasts donuts, brews, tacos and more.
You are here at 3651 127th Ave. NE or 13205 20th St. Can also park on NE.
Lake Stevens Donuts is known for its fun, classic flavors and fluffy donuts. I ordered one filled with raspberry jam and didn’t regret the tart-sweet combo. Make sure you arrive early: their bestsellers go fast.
A few doors down, Biscuits & Beans Seattle-based Fulcrum Coffee with butter and cheddar-green onion biscuits (I’d also order a spread: they serve maple butter, tomato jam and more).
If you are heading north on the Centennial Trail, I recommend grabbing any of the above and riding to Cassidy Lake, about mile 11.5 (north). It’s just off the trail, perfect for stretching your legs and enjoying an old-fashioned donut with calm water views from the dock.
For a heavy breakfast or brunch, head to Fuente de Cafe for the sweet-toothed, sweet-toothed, delicious huevos rancheros, chilaquilas, stuffed tortas for their popular sweet fruit crepes.
End your day at Lake Stevens Brewing Company, which opens mid-afternoon and has outdoor seating (if you’re feeling a little peckish). Go lighter with their Regatta Guava Wheat Ale and Lakeside Blonde or their Astro Nut Peanut Butter Porter. My personal post-bike pick would be their Carolina Creeper Chili Beer. If you’re hungry, they have a food truck several days a week, so check their Facebook page for the full schedule.
To note, while you can park at the Getchell Trailhead (8318 Westlund Rd., Arlington) or Rhododendron (10911 54th Pl. NE, Lake Stevens), Marysville is not located very close to the trail, so it’s a short ride into town. There will be a trek to do. .
However, if you choose to end your trail adventure here, I suggest driving into town for my favorite post-trail treat: a smoothie, namely from Spoon & Straw. Downtown Marysville’s colorful acai bowls, smoothies and more are as nutritious as they are refreshing.
Just across the street, there’s 5 Rights Building for the hop-minded crowd.
If you started in Snohomish, your hard work will pay off 20+ miles north in Arlington.
Nutty’s Junkyard is literally right off the Centennial Trail (around mile 21 heading north) and has some of the most crispy burgers (they use Double R Ranch beef), milkshakes, and onion rings. Promises a delicious, buckle-loosening meal. Honestly, it’s like eating a potato chip loaded with onions. It also comes with their house sauce, which tastes like a mix of mayo and barbecue sauce. A wonderful combination.
For something more refreshing, grab a strawberry lemonade from the coffee stand right next to Nutty.
Oh, and you’ll know you’re in the Nutties when you see a big red barn on one of the buildings. Sit inside for that rustic Americana vibe, or catch the sun outside at one of the picnic tables.
Once you hit the town, the Glory Bucha will cool your insides better than any AC unit could with its craft kombucha. I loved the berry mix-a-lot with strawberries, blueberries and black tea. But I’ll leave the joy to one particularly enthusiastic Glory Bucha customer, who wrote, “I felt like my soul left my body. It held me against the walls. It was so good.”
Arlington also boasts my favorite type of dining: diners. For that classic, plate-size pancake and rib-sticking omelet experience, head to Steely’s or Blue Bird.
Hammond Bread Company is a great new addition to downtown Arlington: From gourmet cupcakes and cookies to cinnamon rolls (a customer favorite) and fresh bread, I can’t think of a better way to start or end a long bike ride with carbs. can think
Take your food to visit and cool off at Legion Memorial Park, or ride a few miles north and rest on my favorite part of the trail, along the Stillaguamish River. Looking north, you have a gorgeous river on your right and beautiful countryside on your left. Plus, you can learn if you’re ready to explode.
Once you head north from Arlington, there isn’t much in the way of food (besides a general store) for the last eight or so miles of the trail, but the northern trailhead stretches your legs, enjoying the tranquility. It’s a beautiful place to be. Relax, have a picnic or take a walk around the grassy area.
Plan your adventure throughout the West Coast at westcoasttraveller.com And follow us on Facebook And Instagram @thewestcoasttraveller. And for the week’s top West Coast travel stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for our Weekly Armchair Traveler Newsletter!