ACFL Trail #249

1.5 miles roundtrip/30 min. loop
Description: Forested, one steep hill each direction
Views: Mount Erie, views through trees of Lake Erie, creek running through low valley
Directions: From Anacortes, drive south out of town on H Avenue, which becomes Heart Lake Road. Park on the shoulder on the right, just before the “twin trees” (photo below left). From Hwy. 20, turn west on Lake Campbell Road, then right at the Lake Erie Grocery. Park on the west shoulder immediately after the twin trees.

The center photo above shows the steep right loop start. The left loop starts gently, but quickly changes to a fairly steep descent to a valley and a bridge over a spring that’s graced with short falls in rainy seasons. Hike steeply uphill out of that valley and close to the top, watch for a left junction that leads through a madrona grove to a wildflower meadow (in spring) and big views of Mount Erie. Since it’s about halfway through the hike, it could be a great place for a stop, or even a picnic. 

When you return to the trail, watch for a large big leaf maple on your left and marvel at its crop of ferns growing up the trunk and limbs (photo below left). Continue through slight ups and downs past a marshy area with bright yellow skunk cabbage blooms in early spring. The trail finishes with a short, steep descent – take it slow and watch your footing on the loose rock!

Taking the right loop route is best when it's wet due to the quick steep scramble that could be slick coming down if you started with the left loop. After this initial ascent, the trail flattens out for the first 15 minutes. When you reach the junction (see left loop description), go straight instead of turning left to enjoy head-on Mt. Erie views and the madrona grove. Overall, the trail is the reverse of above, with a footbridge over a creek with small waterfalls in spring (above center), then a long steep hill ascending out of the valley, ending in rolling short hills.