Day trip to Skagit County
This past summer, I took a road trip to Skagit County to check out what remains of Northern State Hospital. An amazing site to visit and create images.
Northern State Recreational area Is located about 75 miles north of Seattle, just outside of Sedro Woolley. A trail system leads through what was once the largest mental health facilities in the state.
Self sustaining, the hospital once housed 2700 patients, and a 700 acre farm.
Northern State Hospital was originally opened in 1912 to ease over crowding from Western State
Explore along the trails, about 5.5 Miles round trip to experience the scope of this site. Although closed since 1976, formation of the Northern State Recreation Area has made possible a trip though time.
Past the farm area, across a newer bridge, lays the hospital campus.
Now the SWIFT center, the former Northern State Hospital grounds are accessible by cycle, car, or on foot. When visiting please note some areas are off limits. The active buildings are well marked and off limits to the public.
A peek inside one of the day rooms.
Northern State is located just off of Highway 20. Most drive by without even knowing that the campus is so close. This area is definitely worth the day trip from surrounding city’s such as Tacoma, Seattle and Lynwood.
When visiting please follow all of the signage. Buildings of the hospital are not open to the public and all of the above interior images were taken through the windows.
Creating photos here is a rewarding experience. While exploring the area try to create what you are feeling. The outbuildings and bars also bring the opportunity to experiment with different metering modes. Day trips are a wonderful way to explore and create!
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