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Camano Ridge Trail

Puget Sound and Islands > Bellingham Area
48.2145, -122.4820 Map & Directions
Length
5.0 miles of trails
Elevation Gain
250 feet
Highest Point
500 feet
Kids enjoying the trails at Camano Ridge Preserve. Photo by Ingrid Phillips. Full-size image

The trail at Camano Forest Preserve winds through a typical evergreen forest with plenty of sword ferns, and maple trees that are lovely in autumn. Originally set aside as Camp Lake and managed by the Department of Natural Resources, it is now managed and maintained by the Friends of Camano Island and Island County. Continue reading

  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
Rating
3.50 out of 5

(2 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Camano Ridge Trail

The trail at Camano Forest Preserve winds through a typical evergreen forest with plenty of sword ferns, and maple trees that are lovely in autumn. Originally set aside as Camp Lake and managed by the Department of Natural Resources, it is now managed and maintained by the Friends of Camano Island and Island County.

Here, you'll enjoy a moderately steep climb over 200 feet as it winds up above a residential area. After a half mile, come to a junction and bear right onto the East Forest Loop. Relax as the trail dips up and down, resulting in gradual elevation gains.

This trail, for the most part, is in good condition, although in some low areas, the tread can be muddy or covered in a thin layer of water during wet periods. As you meander through the forest, make sure to stay to the right at the next two junctions to stay on the East Forest Loop. Though the trail is marked in some places with yellow arrows and diamonds, the signage is often confusing, missing, or vandalized.

The next junction marks the halfway point, where you're 1.2 miles from the trailhead. Make a left here to start the hike back on a gradual downhill grade. On the way, pass two junctions, keeping right on both. Look for fungi growing on logs near the trail until you come to the seventh junction in the loop. Turn left here and walk only a short distance on a wide trail to come back to the first junction after 1.8 miles. Take a right and hike downhill until you reach the trailhead once again.

If you enter the park through the Camano Ridge trailhead, you can avoid the steep climb from the east trailhead described here.  The park has many trails to enjoy, over 6 miles (with some retracing off steps) if you see visit them all. 

WTA Pro Tip: Less than half a mile down the hill from the trailhead, there is an access point to the Kristoferson Beaver Marsh with a extremely short trail out to a viewing platform. If you are looking for a local place to eat lunch or dinner, try Jimmy’s Pizza and Pasta in Stanwood, an Italian restaurant that has a great reputation in the community.

Hike Description Written by
Ingrid Phillips, WTA Community

Camano Ridge Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.2145, -122.4820 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

To access the west (main) trailhead: Take exit 212 from I-5 northbound and turn left (west) onto Highway 532. Follow this road 7 miles through Stanwood and onto Camano Island. Keep on Highway 532, known as East Camano Drive at this point, until you reach the second stoplight. Turn right on Cross Island Road and continue until you reach the top of the island at Camano Ridge Road.

Turn left onto Camano Ridge Road and continue for approximately 1 mile. The entrance to the trailhead and parking lot is on your left and easy to miss. It is a gravel road right before Camano Ridge Road goes from a straightaway into a set of curves. If you enter the curves, you have gone too far. Trailhead info sign can be seen from the road, but is easy to miss.


For the east trailhead: From I-5, take exit 212 and turn left onto Highway 532. Follow this road through Stanwood and onto Camano Island. Keep on Highway 532 at the intersection past Terry’s Corner. Drive for two more miles, past Camano Square. Take a right onto CanKu Road just before the Camano Animal Shelter, 12 miles after leaving the freeway.

Drive half a mile up the hill, looking for the trailhead on your right. There is ample roadside parking, or you can park down the hill at the Island County Multi-Purpose Center. Embarking from this trailhead adds one mile roundtrip and 100 feet of elevation gain to the hike. The road is suitable for all types of vehicles.

Take Transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO.

Island Transit routes 1C and 2C stop at the intersection of Camano Drive and Can Ku Road, which is 0.3 mile from the eastern trailhead. 

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands > Bellingham Area

Island County and Friends of Camano Island Parks

Guidebooks & Maps

Available at the Camano Island Chamber of Commerce tourist information center

the Welcome Center at Cama Beach State Park

and Elger Bay Grocery

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Camano Ridge Trail

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