Curlew Washington

Curlew is a small Ferry County town and outlaying community located at the confluence of the Kettle River, Curlew Creek and Long Alec Creek in the foothills of the northwestern slope of the Kettle River Range. The 2010 census places the population of  Curlew  as 118, although this does not account for many local folks residing in the countryside surrounding this riverside town,  nor does it include the seasonal residents of the area.

Curlew's historic Parker Truss bridge originally built in 1908 by William Oliver - J. Foster Fanning photography

Curlew is accessed and served by three primary travel routes:

·        Foremost WA State Highway 21 linking this community to Republic (23 miles south) and Grand Forks, B.C. (12 miles north).

·        The Boulder/Deer Creek Highway, county road 582, provides a route which climbs eastward over the Kettle River Range via Boulder Pass at 4,600’ gaining 2,800’ elevation above Curlew (at 1,795’) and leads to WA State Highway 395 on the east side of Ferry County.

·        The Kettle River Road is the 3rd primary route and a paved surface road leading westward, up-river from Curlew and follows the Kettle River 16  miles up to Midway B.C. this route also leads to Toroda Creek Road which eventually enters Okanogan County.

Kettle River Road, Curlew Washington, Ferry County, J. Foster Fanning - photography
The Kettle River Road heading west, upriver from Curlew Washington in northern Ferry County (above). Bamber Mountain is in the distance.
Curlew Washington, Ferry County, Kettle River Range, J. Foster Fanning - photography

Panoramic view of Curlew Washington (above) seen from the Vulcan Mountain Road, looking southeast. This view is also looking up Curlew Creek, above it's confluence with the Kettle River. The snow covered peaks are; Mount Leona (6,460'), Midnight Mountain (6,660') and Copper Butte(7,240') in the Kettle River Range in the background.

Curlew's two bridges, Ferry County Washington,
J. Foster Fanning photography
The two bridges of Curlew Washington on a deep bend of the Kettle River in northwest Ferry County. In the foreground is the russet colored WA Hwy 21 two lane bridge. The green/blue tint bridge beyond is the historic Parker Truss bridge built in 1908 by William Oliver company  The view is looking NNE downstream. (click on the mage for a larger view).   

Peggy Brixner Park, also known as Brixner Park or  “The Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole” is a public access park on the banks of the Kettle River, in the town of Curlew, Washington.  This park has been used for picnicking, swimming and family get-togethers for generations. Native Americans landed their local ferry on this sandy beach long before the whiteman came to this valley.

The park came into formal existence when the Brixner family donated the land to Ferry County to be used as a public park in memory of Peggy Brixner.

Kayakers at Curlew Washington, J. Foster Fanning, photography
A kayaking family enjoy a brief stop at Curlew's ever popular Brixner Park and the "Ol Swimmin". The historic Parker Truss bridge forms the background for this photo. Other than at flood stage or during the winter ice the this stretch of the Kettle River, within the first big bend into the United States, is a benign waterway, easy to kayak, canoe and in the summer months lazily float.
And speaking of floating the Kettle River, this is one of those rare wild rivers where the kayaker has to stay on the lookout for wildlife crossing their course (below).
A kayaker pauses allowing a mule deer doe to cross the Kettle River. J. Foster Fanning, photography

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