Scenic Driving Tour #1 Northern Ferry County
Itching to get out on the road and take in some of Ferry County’s scenic and very photogenic points of interest? This easy-going tour takes you to seven of the area’s most scenic view points.
Camera friendly, the tour starts at the Republic Cemetery overlook, swings around the northern most point of Curlew Lake, passes through photogenic Malo, WA, takes you to several view points along the Kettle River, then to Curlew Lake State Park on the west side of Curlew Lake, and then back to Republic. Along the way, you’ll visit tiny Curlew, WA and see its historic bridge. If you exit your car on this tour, be prepared to walk on uneven and unpaved surfaces.
For a detailed description of the route’s points of interest, click on the links below.
1. Republic Cemetery
3. Historic Malo Store
One of the most charming, historic buildings in Ferry County, the Malo Store has been in operation since 1903. Not only is this small store photogenic it is functional and a great place to stop for a soda, snacks, and camping provisions. The interior of the store is as interesting as the exterior, with its original flooring and counters. Note: the back side of the building, which faces the old rail line, is also photo-worthy and for many years served as the front side of the building.
4. Beal Park
Located west on Kettle River Rd, off of Hwy 21, Beal Park is a small, road-side park located on the Kettle River (west of the town of Curlew). Though unassuming in appearance, its location provides visitors with east and west views of the Kettle River’s scenic meanders. It’s also well know to area birders who visit there to enjoy bird watching. There are no maintained paths down to the river, so be prepared to walk down a short sand and gravel path to the water’s edge.
5. Peggy Brixner Park
Peggy Brixner Park is located on the shore of the Kettle River, just across from the town of Curlew, Wa. The “Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole” has been used and enjoyed by generations of families for picnicking and swimming. It’s perfectly situated to take photos of the Kettle River and the historic Curlew Bridge. The area is known for an abundance of migratory birds, like osprey and swans. Caution: There is no lifeguard present, so wear a life jacket when swimming in the river.
6. Curlew Bridge
In 1901, the cable ferry used to cross the Kettle River at Curlew, Washington was replaced by the sturdy Curlew Bridge, a one-lane bridge, which is still in use. The photogenic Curlew Bridge provides attractive east/west views of the the Kettle River. The bridge, though narrow and antique in appearance, is still actively used by the residents of Curlew, so don’t doddle or block the bridge when taking your photos.
7. Curlew Lake State Park
Probably one of the least known of Washington’s state parks, Curlew Lake State Park consists of green, grassy rolling hills, stately ponderosa pines, sandy-beach swimming areas, and great views of (and access to) Curlew Lake. A great place to photograph wildlife and landscapes, the park also has picnic, restroom, and shower facilities. NOTE: Day use and overnight use requires the purchase or display of a current Discovery Pass, which can be purchased at the park’s ranger station.
Turn Your Tour into a Picnic
If you’re in the mood for a picnic, before heading out of Republic, stock up on fruit and deli salads at Anderson’s Grocery; or pickup to-go wraps and sandwiches at Mountain View Coffee House and Cafe or Knotty Pine.
If you’d like to re-experience the tasty, classic burgers and shakes of your childhood, stop for lunch at Fisherman’s Cove’s Snack Shack. The Snack Shack is open seven days a week during summer months, and faces out on a wonderful view of Curlew Lake.
Want to lunch in Curlew? Plan to eat at Tugboat’s, where you can buy yummy shakes and sodas, and enjoy a delicious burger and basket of excellent skinny or curly fries.
- Start: Republic, Washington End: Republic, Washington
- Access: The roads on this route are open year round. Curlew Lake State Park is closed in the winter. If you exit your car on this tour, be prepared to walk on uneven and unpaved surfaces.
- Recommended seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn
- Drive time: is approximately 2 hours (allow more time for frequent stops).
- Road surface: paved, improved roads.
- Fees: You’ll need to have or purchase a Discovery Pass to drive into Curlew Lake State Park for day or overnight use.
All water collected from lakes, rivers, or trails should be treated before drinking. Always plan for injuries and abrupt changes in weather by carrying matches, a knife, first aid supplies, food, water, and extra clothes. Be alert for wildlife and make certain your food and supplies are stored in bear-proof containers. There are no lifeguards present at any of the rivers or lakes along the way, so wear a life jacket when in the water.