Scenic Driving Tour of Northern Ferry County

Enticing view of Hwy 21 in Malo, WA.
Enticing view of Hwy 21 in Malo, WA.

Enjoy a Charming Country Drive

Itching to get out on the road and take in some of Ferry County’s scenic and very photogenic points of interest? This tour takes you to seven of the area’s prettiest and most accessible scenic view points.

The tour starts at the Republic Cemetery overlook, swings around the northern most point of Curlew Lake, passes through photogenic Malo, Washington, 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. 

For a detailed description of the route’s points of interest, click on the photos or the links below.

Turn Your Tour Into a Picnic

Snack Shack Burger

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; then pickup wraps and sandwiches at Freckle’s Gourmet BBQ.

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, and faces out on a wonderful view of Curlew Lake.

Hate to plan ahead? Remember Tugboat’s in Curlew, where you can buy sodas and enjoy a burger or a basket of fish and chips.

Ferry County Driving Tour #1. Scenic drive starts and ends in Republic, WA. Map is illustration and is not to scale.
Ferry County Driving Tour #1. Scenic drive starts and ends in Republic, WA. Map is illustration and is not to scale.

Seven Points of Interest

1. Republic Cemetery

The first stop on the tour is the Republic Cemetery, which has one of the most overlooked and scenic view points in Ferry County.  Tourists tend to stay on Highways 20 and 21, and thus often miss seeing this stunning view. The cemetery dates back to 1898 and is both historically interesting and photogenic in its own right.  Located in Republic’s town limits, just off Klondike Rd., this overlook is very easy to access.  From the cemetery, you’ll travel down West Curlew Lake Rd to the second stop on the tour.

2. Curlew Lake

Unless you’re staying at one of Curlew Lake’s resorts, there are few places along Hwy 21 for tourists to capture a shot of Curlew Lake.  This scenic location, at the northern-most tip of the lake, provides an uninterrupted and beautiful view of the lake that includes the old railroad trestle (now part of rails to trails). You’ll often see a lone fisher person in the waters below, where bass are frequently caught  Note: be sure to take your photos from the flat area of the turnout; the rocky rise isn’t safe to climb on.

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, Washington.  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.

 

More Information

Planning

  • 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.
  • Recommended seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn
  • Drive time: is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours (allow more time for 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.

Caution

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, so wear a life jacket when in the water.

Map

Warning: Map is informational only and not to scale. Consult an up-to-date topographical map before traveling these roads and trails. FerryCounty.com makes no claims as to the accuracy of the map.