Parks and Recreation

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Parks and Recreation

Director: Brian Adams

Northern State Recreation Area

In 1991, Skagit County purchased a 726-acre portion of the former Northern State Hospital from the State of Washington for the purpose of developing a major regional recreation facility for the citizens of Skagit County and beyond. The site, now called the Northern State Recreation Area (NSRA), is located on the eastern edge of the urban growth area of Sedro-Woolley in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

You can view the Northern State Park frisbee golf map interactively on your smart phone in two easy steps!
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Prior to closing in the 1970's, NSRA was the working farm associated with the Northern State Hospital. Perched on a plateau overlooking the southern meadows are the abandoned dairy barns from the farm operations, built in 1921.

Some preliminary planning for NSRA occurred in 1993-94 that included a resource classification study and a conceptual master plan for development. However, between 1994 and 1998, the site received little attention due to county staff being fully committed to other projects and minimal public involvement in the site. That changed in 1998 when a group of citizens formed the Northern State Task Force (NSTF) to work on implementing some of the development plans on the property. In support of the NSTF efforts, the County Board of Commissioners earmarked three million dollars in December 1999, as seed money to get development started.

Northern State Recreation Area Master Plan


Northern State Recreation Area Park Pics



NE of Sedro-Woolley left on Helmick Rd. from HWY 20
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Northern State Recreation Area Location


  • Pack it in, Pack it out.

  • Do not enter the historic structures.

  • Park hours dawn to dusk.

  • All pets must be on leash.

  • Alcohol regulations strictly enforced.

  • No overnight camping.

  • No paintball.