Heart Lake, Anacortes Community Forest Lands
Apr 30, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Anacortes Community Forest Lands
- Region: Puget Sound and Islands -- San Juan Islands
- Hiking Companions
- Hiked with kids
- Hiked with a dog
- Be Aware Of
We parked at the Heart Lake parking lot (where there are two restrooms and lots of fishermen putting their little boats into the water) and loaded up the kiddo in his backpack. My daughter, Oliver and I set on on our hike, while my son-in-law took off on his mountain bike. The weather was cloudy initially, it brightened up as our hike went on. We left the parking lot headed north on Trail 210 which goes around approximately 2/3's of the war around the lake in in a counter-clockwise direction. We passed several intersecting trails, but continued on 210 until its end passing several thick-barked, beautiful old Douglas Fir trees which had obviously been involved in a forest fire sometime long ago. At that point we had to make a decision; continue south about 1.5 miles to a viewpoint or loop back around to the parking lot taking a different route back. Since we weren't really sure how the view would be on this cloudy day or how much time we had before we met up with my mountain biking son-in-law, we opted to head back around the lake, taking a different route. From there we headed east on Trail 212 and north on Trail 250, picking up Trail 210 clockwise and then 242 back to the parking lot.
As I mentioned, the trails are well marked. Views are of the lake and forest. If you get to the southern viewpoint, you can see south toward Deception Pass with beautiful water views. The trails to the south of the lake are designated for hikers only. There was a fair bit of mud on the trails, not terrible, but mildly annoying. It rained hard the night prior so mud was to be expected. We didn't pass any hikers, but did pass a man and his dog, who looked like they were headed to their favorite fishing spot.
A quick glance at the Heart Lake map tells me that there are approximately 10 miles of trails surrounding this lake. There is ample parking which is on the east side of the lake, off Heart Lake Road, which is actually H Street in Anacortes. It's a great hike for kids of all ages as the elevation gain is minimal and there are restrooms. We walked 4 miles in two hours and had a total elevation gain of about 550'. If you haven't made it out to these trails, put it on your list for a day hike. You can make it as long or short as you like. You can walk across the street from Heart Lake and hike up to the top of Mount Erie the very same day. From up there at just under 1,300' the view is amazing!
All in all, it was a successful day for Oliver's first hike in his backpack! He is fortunate to grow up in such a beautiful area of the country. I think we have a junior hiker in the making!