I had the day to myself today, so I figured I’d take the opportunity to go on an adventure. Checked the WTA site and Whistle Lake caught my eye. After some research and checking trail reports I decided it would be wise to print a map. Good thing! You definitely need one to navigate this complex trail system. The area is called the Anacortes Community Forest Lands and consists of 50 miles of interconnecting trails around Fidalgo Bay.
My game plan was to start at the base of Mt. Erie and hit Sugarloaf Peak first. So I took trail #215 from the first parking lot. This looked to be the straightest route and sure enough I made it to the summit pretty quickly. It was real foggy the whole morning, but still caught some incredible views of the Sound.
Now this is where I had to facepalm! 🤦♀️ I turned to see several trails heading down the peak, reached for my map and it must have fallen out of my pocket. The Devil on my left shoulder told me “eh, forget about it. You can find your way without it!” and then the Angel on my right said ” You idiot! First off, you HATE litter bugs and secondly, you’ll get your ass lost!” After some thought I decided to retrace my steps to find my map which brought me nearly all the way back to the car, but I did find it. At that point I decided to head back and drive to the Whistle Lake trailhead at Trail #26.
This is where things began to get real muddy, but I didn’t mind… I was adventuring! I made my way through a series of trails until finally reaching the lake. It was kind of fun navigating with a map and feeling like I had the forest to myself. I was like a real life Dora the Explorer out there with my map and backpack. It’s funny how using a map can make you feel like you’re after buried treasure. 🤣
Whistle Lake was much bigger than I had expected and seemed to have plenty of decent fishing access. I wished I had brought a pole along, but I did find a nice spot to rest for a bit and enjoy the tranquility. My was it beautiful!
After exploring the lake some more I headed for the summit of Mt Erie. You can actually drive there, but I like to do things the hard way sometimes. 😆 The views from up there were spectacular. It would make for a great Sunday drive just to catch the summit itself, but I really think you should explore the trails as well.
I found the Anacortes Community Forest land to be like a playground for all types of outdoor enthusiasts wether you’re there for the fishing, biking, motorbiking, hiking, trail running, horseback riding or just simply wanting a peaceful walk in nature there are certainly options for you there. It’s very well done and maintained. Kudos to Anacortes!
Find your trail maps and additional info here: