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The Haunting History of the Iron Goat Trail and Wellington Ghost Town

The Iron Goat Trail‚ also known as the Wellington Ghost Town Trail‚ is a historic hiking trail located near Stevens Pass in the Central Cascades of Washington‚ United States.​ This trail is not only famous for its natural beauty but also for its haunted reputation.​ It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the remnants of Wellington‚ a once bustling railroad town that met its tragic fate in a deadly avalanche in 1910.​

A Haunting History

The story of the Iron Goat Trail begins with the small town of Wellington‚ which was founded in 1893 as a railroad community.​ Situated at the west portal of the Cascade Tunnel along the Great Northern Railway‚ Wellington was an important stop for both passengers and mail trains.​ However‚ its fate took a devastating turn in 1910 when a massive avalanche struck the area during a blizzard.​

On March 1‚ 1910‚ two trains ― a passenger train and a mail train ― were trapped at the Wellington Depot‚ waiting for the storm to pass.​ Unfortunately‚ the heavy snow was replaced by rain and strong winds‚ causing a massive slab of snow to break loose.​ The avalanche swept down the mountainside‚ engulfing the trains and the town‚ resulting in the loss of nearly 100 lives.​

Today‚ the remains of Wellington stand as a ghost town‚ its tragic history shrouded in mystery and tales of paranormal activity.​ Visitors to the Iron Goat Trail often report experiencing strange phenomena and eerie encounters along the way‚ adding to the trail’s reputation as a haunted destination.​

Trail Description

The Iron Goat Trail covers a distance of approximately 9 miles‚ offering hikers a chance to immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty and uncover the remnants of the Wellington ghost town.​ The trail features scenic views of mountains‚ waterfalls‚ wilderness‚ and wildflowers‚ providing a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.​

The trail surface varies‚ ranging from paved asphalt to natural surfaces such as dirt‚ rocks‚ and roots. Wooden boardwalks with edge barriers are also present along certain sections of the trail.​ The average trail width is around 3 feet‚ and the estimated average grade category is mostly gentle‚ with some steeper sections.​

At various points along the trail‚ interpretive signs provide information about the history of the area‚ allowing hikers to learn about the Wellington train disaster and the significance of the Great Northern Railway.​ Rest areas with comfortable benches are strategically placed along the trail‚ offering hikers a chance to take a break and soak in the surroundings.​

Exploring Wellington Ghost Town

While the Iron Goat Trail provides a captivating hiking experience‚ reaching the actual Wellington ghost town requires an additional three-mile trek from the upper trail section. It’s important to note that there are no standing structures or abandoned buildings remaining in the Wellington site‚ but the area is steeped in history and provides a haunting atmosphere.

Visitors are encouraged to respect the site’s historical significance and enjoy the interpretive signs that provide insights into the tragic events that unfolded in Wellington.​ The Wellington ghost town serves as a solemn reminder of the power of nature and the fleeting nature of human existence.​

Plan Your Visit

If you’re interested in exploring the Iron Goat Trail and the Wellington ghost town‚ it’s essential to plan your visit accordingly.​ The trail can be accessed by taking Highway 2 to Stevens Pass and then turning off onto Road 6099‚ leading to the Wellington trailhead.

As with any outdoor adventure‚ it’s important to be prepared.​ Wear appropriate hiking attire‚ carry essential supplies such as water and snacks‚ and be aware of trail conditions. The Iron Goat Trail is generally well-maintained‚ but weather conditions and seasonal variations can impact the trail’s accessibility.​

Whether you’re a history enthusiast‚ a nature lover‚ or an adventurous soul seeking a unique experience‚ the Iron Goat Trail and the Wellington ghost town offer a captivating journey into the past.​ Embark on this hiking adventure and immerse yourself in the haunting beauty of the Central Cascades.​