Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Whistle Lake in Anacortes

Senior Trailblazers at Whistle Lake

Twelve Happy Wanderers from the Senior Trailblazers set out for Anacortes on a beautiful, sunny and mostly warm day. We traveled up I-5 in the Skagit Valley to find our trailhead for the trip around Whistle Lake. I had not done this particular hike before, and I was very glad I brought my trekking poles, since parts of the trail around the lake were steep, covered with gnarly roots, with drop-offs right into the lake. Mostly it was much more accessible, but those spots would have been very difficult to navigate without poles. Some managed quite well.

Our first view of the lake

Whistle Lake is one of the many lakes in the Fidalgo Island vicinity. I have been to Mt. Erie, Heart Lake, Sugarloaf, and had vistas of the San Juan islands in previous trips, but this was the first time I saw this large lake in the middle of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands (ACFL).  From that link:
In the heart of Fidalgo Island lies a natural gem of a forest with wetlands, lakes, and rocky bald meadows with great views. This nice little hike will take you around the lake on a hiker only trail. Take this hike in spring for the fresh new leaves and the dainty spring flowers, or hike on a rainy day in winter and watch the mist float above the lake among the trees. The lake is very popular on hot summer days. 

Peaceful and scenic Whistle Lake

I took this picture because of the cormorant sunning itself on that log sticking up from the middle of the lake, but when I saw it, I also noticed all the beauty of the area. Most of us were smiling most of the day as we hiked, it was so pleasant.

Barb checking out where we were on the map

This lovely wooden sign was fun to see and use to orient ourselves, although many already had paper maps to help us get through the maze that is the ACFL. I have been lost in this area more than once in past years. Today, however, we went around the lake and took a few side trips but nothing that made us feel lost.

Me at Whistle Lake

This was where we stopped for lunch, before starting back in another way to make a loop rather than retrace our steps. It's truly a beautiful area, and when we saw this gorgeous Old Growth tree that is probably hundreds of years old, I stood next to it so you can get a feeling of its size.


I am often awestruck by these magnificent creatures, and glad to know that the loggers, long ago, decided to leave a few of these beauties untouched by their need for lumber. And that three, it hugged me back, I swear!

Winding trails through the forest

Although our hike was only around five miles, we had a wonderful time getting to know the environment around Whistle Lake, and I do hope we will return again to explore some of the other nearby tantalizing trails. After our outing, we headed to Anacortes to visit the Lopez Island Creamery ice cream store. Oh my, that is some of the best ice cream I've ever had! I hope to have a chance to try some of the other flavors on future trips to the area. Some of the hikers decided to go to the Tulip Festival afterwards, but I have a date with my friend Lily later this month, so I didn't go today. Plus, I was plenty tired and didn't feel like I needed any more exercise for the day. It turned out to be just right, just as it was.



  1. It's always good to try some new trails. there's much to see and do on a new trail.

  2. Oh, you know how I love big trees! I would have hugged it too.

  3. How lovely to find a new trail and in such a beautiful area too. I am lookiing forward to going to the Tulip Festival with you too. And would be blown away by the majesty of that tree.

  4. That tree is worth a hug. Beautiful scenery.

  5. A new trail! It is a beauty alright. As is that tree. Glad you had the poles, Jan. Another great day! Life is good!

  6. Wonderful photos and wow is right! You won't find any trees like that in southwestern Pa!

  7. It has to be so exciting to be on a new trail. You have done so much hiking in the area that a new trail has to be hard to find. This is the perfect group for you! :) I do believe that tree hugged you back.

  8. Good size group you have there. I am impressed with all the older folk who are out doing these hikes.

  9. That looks like a really nice little lake to hike around, and I always love the big trees.

  10. I love seeing these photos of you, DJan. Those views were just amazing!


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