Animals of the Evening Hike
Jul
18
5:00 PM17:00

Animals of the Evening Hike

This hike is about 1.8 miles roundtrip with approximately 175 feet of elevation gain. July brings forth a multitude of berries, deep green growth, and long summer days. There is no better place to be in the middle of summer than enjoying our wooded sanctuary! Let’s spend some time near the end of the day learning about the animals that delight in the evenings around Little Cranberry Lake. Meet at the water tower on 29th Ave.

This hike is for humans of all ages. Please leave your pets at home.

The Animals of the Evening Hike is categorized as Intermediate: suitable for those in fair hiking condition or novices who want a bit of a challenge. Generally 2-4 miles roundtrip with moderate elevation gain. May include some steep sections and some obstacles along the trail that require balance or maneuvering.

Click here for driving directions.

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Jean's Favorite Views Hike
Jul
19
4:30 PM16:30

Jean's Favorite Views Hike

This hike is about 6 miles roundtrip with approximately 1200 feet of elevation gain and is for the very fit only!

A challenging physical adventure featuring Jean’s favorite views from sugarloaf and the spectacular trail 247! Take off from work early Friday, bring water, sturdy workout gear, and meet at the base of Mt. Erie on Ray Auld Drive. This will be a fast paced, three miles per hour, workout adventure. Comparable to about the same pace you would walk if you were trying to sneak out of work before anyone sees you.

This hike is for humans only; please leave your pets at home.

Jean’s Favorite Views Hike is categorized as Challenging: these hikes are challenging for unconditioned hikers. Generally 4-7 miles roundtrip with moderate to significant elevation gain. Steady and often steep inclines. May include difficult terrain or obstacles throughout.

Click here for driving directions.

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Our Sanctuary Hike
Aug
9
10:00 AM10:00

Our Sanctuary Hike

This hike is about 2.4 miles roundtrip with about 340 feet of elevation gain.

There’s no better place to take time for yourself than in the middle of our forest sanctuary. Get to know the heart of the forest while enjoying the company of the forest community on this elevated hike up along the ridge on the northwest side of Whistle Lake. Meet at Ray Auld Drive parking lot.

This hike is for humans; please leave your pets at home.

Our Sanctuary Hike is listed as Intermediate: suitable for those in fair hiking condition or novices who want a bit of a challenge. Generally 2-4 miles roundtrip with moderate elevation gain. May include some steep sections and some obstacles along the trail that require balance or maneuvering.

Click here for driving directions.

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Wetland Wonders Walk
Aug
10
10:00 AM10:00

Wetland Wonders Walk

This walk is about 2 miles roundtrip with approximately 25 feet of elevation gain.

What has our wetland done for us lately? Wetlands are special ecosystems that help improve the quality of our entire forest lands. Let’s walk along the 32nd street swamp and Big Beaver Pond and see the kidneys of the forest firsthand. Meet at the ACFL kiosk on “A” Avenue and 37th St.

This hike is for humans of all ages. Please leave your pets at home.

Wetland Wonders Walk is listed as Easy: gentle and suitable for all hikers. Generally 1-2 miles roundtrip with minimal elevation gain and very few obstacles along the trail.

Click here for driving directions.

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The Keystone Beavers Hike
Sep
4
9:00 AM09:00

The Keystone Beavers Hike

This gentle hike is about 1.3 miles roundtrip with approximately 50 feet of elevation gain.

The Little Cranberry Lake area is filled with a network of beaver ponds created and maintained by local beaver families. We will explore one trail that reveals their dams and daytime clues to their nighttime ways. Meet at the ACFL kiosk on “A” Avenue and 37th st.

This hike is for humans only. Please leave your pets at home.

The Keystone Beavers Hike is listed as Easy: gentle and suitable for all hikers. Generally 1-2 miles roundtrip with minimal elevation gain and very few obstacles along the trail.

Click here for driving directions.

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Fires and Our Forest Hike
Sep
6
10:00 AM10:00

Fires and Our Forest Hike

This hike is approximately 2.1 miles roundtrip with about 225 feet of elevation gain.

We will trek along the west ridge of the lake above the bat cave and observe the fresh understory growth on the land marked by the 18-acre fire of 2016. Along the way, let’s take note of and compare the biota we see in the burned and surrounding areas. Meet at the water tower at the end of 29th Ave.

This hike is for humans only. Please leave your pets at home.

The Fires and Our Forest Hike is listed as Intermediate: suitable for those in fair hiking condition or novices who want a bit of a challenge. Generally 2-4 miles roundtrip with moderate elevation gain. May include some steep sections and some obstacles along the trail that require balance or maneuvering.

Click here for driving directions.

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The ACFL Inclusive Hike
Sep
7
9:00 AM09:00

The ACFL Inclusive Hike

This hike is approximately 20 miles with over 2500 feet of elevation gain and is for the very fit only! There is an option to join the group for a smaller loop of about 4.5 miles with about 900 feet of elevation gain.

Are you seriously ready to see all three corridors of the forest lands in one day? Join us for a day’s worth of hiking at a fast pace looping the lakes and taking in the summer time vistas. Bring plenty of water, sturdy workout gear, and a snack for this cardio-adventure. Don’t think you want to go the whole way, but want to get an idea of what a fitness hike is all about? Join us at the beginning of the hike for a shorter 4.5 mile loop which will take us right back to where we started. Meet at the base of Mt. Erie on Ray Auld Drive parking lot.

This hike is for humans only, please leave your pets at home.

The ACFL Inclusive Hike is listed as Advanced: strenuous and suitable for well conditioned hikers only. Generally 7+ miles roundtrip with significant to extreme elevation gain. Likely include a fast pace, steep inclines, trail obstacles, or all of the above.

Click here for driving directions.

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Jun
19
6:30 PM18:30

Friends of the Forest Executive Director Meet-and-Greet

Members and non-members alike are invited to join the Friends of the Forest in welcoming Asa Deane, our new Executive Director, at a meet-and-greet reception at the Depot Building, 611 R Ave., on Wednesday, June 19th at 6:30 pm. Get to know Asa and learn about our exciting new forest education programs launching this summer from our Forest Educator, Melissa Courtney. Beverages and delicious appetizers from Gere-a-Deli will be provided. We hope to see you there!

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May
11
10:00 AM10:00

Sugarloaf Flowers with Mom Hike

This hike is approximately 2 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 500 feet.

This is the ultimate wildflower walk of the year. From blue camas lily to red Indian paintbrush, what a way to enjoy the celebration of the return of spring! The views from the summit are not to be missed. In honor of Mother’s Day we will have a photographer on hand to capture family photos at this beautiful location.

Meet at the Ray Auld Drive parking lot at the base of Mt. Erie.

Click here for Driving Directions

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May
8
9:00 AM09:00

Wildflower Walk

This hike is about 1 mile roundtrip with approximately 150 feet of elevation gain.

We will trek along the ridge to the west of the lake and observe the fresh understory growth on the land marked by the 18-acre fire of 2016. What new growth has sprung up through the open mineral rich soil?

Meet at the water tower at the end of 29th Ave.

Click here for Driving Directions

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Apr
27
10:00 AM10:00

Little Cranberry Ridge Spring Celebration Hike

This hike is about 2.5 miles roundtrip with about 275 feet of elevation gain.

Meet at the Cranberry Lake parking lot on the north end of the lake for our circumnavigation of Cranberry Lake. We will trek along the ridges to the east and west of the lake and observe the fresh understory growth on the land marked by the 2016 18-acre fire. Kids: Bring your observation tools (hands, eyes, ears, and nose) to help you find the signs of spring with our forest scavenger hunt!

Click here for Driving Directions

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Apr
26
10:00 AM10:00

Our Earth, Our ACFL Hike

This hike is approximately 1.8 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of about 160 feet.

Learn about the history of our community forest lands and the important role we all play in taking care of our community forest in perpetuity. This route is a regular favorite, providing spectacular views and deep woods feel with just the right amount of physical challenge.

Meet at the Whistle Lake parking lot at the end of Whistle Lake Road.

Click here for Driving Directions

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Heart Lake Stewardship Hike
Mar
23
10:00 AM10:00

Heart Lake Stewardship Hike

This hike is about 1.5 miles with approximately 140 feet of elevation gain.

Join us as we take a hike to take care of our forest lands in conjunction with Anacortes High School Activist Student Union’s event ‘Fidalgo for our Future.’ We will begin with a short hike, followed by a litter pick up southbound along Heart Lake Road, and finish with a short loop through the Whistle Lake corridor to make our way back to Heart Lake parking lot. Please join us at Anacortes High School both before and after the hike for the event (optional). For more information about the Fidalgo for the Future event please visit the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/793023477710879/

Meet at the Heart Lake parking lot off of Heart Lake road.

Click here for Driving Directions

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Mar
22
10:00 AM10:00

Little Cranberry Shoreline Loop Hike

This hike is about 1.7 miles roundtrip with approximately 50 feet of elevation gain.

Celebrate our tilt towards the sun and what the spring season means for our forests with a hike along Little Cranberry’s picturesque shoreline habitats. It’s our only lake with a near shore trail all the way around it.

Meet at the Cranberry Lake parking lot north of the lake. (Take Georgia south off of Oakes Ave., then three blocks up, take a right on Little Cranberry Road and follow the gravel road to the parking lot.)

Click here for Driving Directions

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Mar
20
10:00 AM10:00

Spring Morning Hike Along Cranberry Lake Shoreline

This hike is approximately 1.15 miles roundtrip with an approximate elevation gain of 25 feet.

Greet the first day of spring along trail 101 that runs down the western edge of Little Cranberry Lake. Maybe the sun will rise over the canopy to greet us too!

Meet at the Cranberry Lake parking lot at the north endow the lake. (Take Georgia south off of Oakes Ave., then three blocks up, take a right on Little Cranberry Road and follow the gravel road to the parking lot)

Click here for Driving Directions

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Work Party with Ranger Dave- Invasive Ivy Removal
Mar
16
9:00 AM09:00

Work Party with Ranger Dave- Invasive Ivy Removal

On a recent walk along trail 218, I discovered a very large patch of non-native invasive ivy, along with some holly trees, that need tackling with a large group of volunteers.  Trust me, there will be plenty of ivy to spread the cheer.  I have not seen a patch of ivy like this one in a long time in the ACFL.  Let’s meet at the Whistle Lake parking lot off Whistle Lake Rd.  From there we have a short 7 minute hike to the ivy.  It’s a little wet at the site, so if you have rubber boots please bring them.  If not, there is still ivy and holly outside the wet area.  Thank you!

Click here for Driving Directions

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Mar
15
10:00 AM10:00

Special Hike with Ranger Dave: Changing Trees

Have you noticed any changes to our trees the past few summers? Take a walk with Ranger Dave to explore and examine trees dying in the ACFL, presumed to be caused by the last 4 years of drought-like conditions specifically here on Fidalgo Island, a rain shadow area of the Pacific NW. Dave will take you on a journey, pointing out subtle to dramatic changes that have occurred in the past few years to our resident trees and understory. Dave, who is also a Certified Arborist with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management, will present some technical observations from an arboricultural point of view. Meet at the Whistle Lake parking lot off Whistle Lake Road. Be sure to dress warmly and have a good pair of hiking boots. A camera may be an item to bring along as well. Hope to see you there!

Click here for driving directions.

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Feb
27
6:45 PM18:45

Annual Membership Meeting

All are invited to attend our Annual Membership Meeting!

Wednesday, February 27that the Depot (611 R Ave)

Doors open at 6:45 pm. Meeting begins at 7:10 pm. 

 This free event is a wonderful opportunity for members and non-members alike to get to know more about the Friends of the Forest and our work in service to the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. We will begin with a brief annual report and elections followed by a special presentation by Dr. Michael Medler, a professor at Huxley College of the Environment at WWU. 

 Dr. Medler has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Arizona and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. He currently teaches upper level environmental science classes at WWU and has given TEDx talks about his work.  His presentation at the annual meeting, like his research, will focus on the science of forest fires and the relationship between fire and human evolution. Forest fires, exacerbated by new symptoms of climate change, present an ever-growing threat to Fidalgo Island and the ACFL. Our town and forest interface has never been more dynamic; making this topic quite timely. You won’t want to miss it!

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Feb
23
9:00 AM09:00

Work Party with Ranger Dave- Heart Lake Road Clean-up

It’s time for our annual hunt for treasures along Heart Lake Road and to pick up all the trash along the road and parking lots. In the past we have found bird feeders, pocket knives, and hundred dollar bills! What will we find this time? Meet at trail head 215 on Ray Auld Drive at the base of Mt. Erie Road. Safety vests, trash bags, and trash grabbers will be provided. Please bring gloves and good boots. As usual, if it’s snowing, super windy, or raining hard, we will reschedule.

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Feb
22
10:00 AM10:00

RESCHEDULED: Special Hike with Ranger Dave: Changing Trees

THIS HIKE HAS BEEN CANCELLED and will be rescheduled for another date in the near future. This trail still has lots of ice, snow, and fallen branches, making it difficult to point out these changes to trees. Please stay tuned for the new date and time of this event. Thanks for your understanding!

Have you noticed any changes to our trees the past few summers? Take a walk with Ranger Dave to explore and examine trees dying in the ACFL, presumed to be caused by the last 4 years of drought-like conditions specifically here on Fidalgo Island, a rain shadow area of the Pacific NW. Dave will take you on a journey, pointing out subtle to dramatic changes that have occurred in the past few years to our resident trees and understory. Dave, who is also a Certified Arborist with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management, will present some technical observations from an arboricultural point of view. Meet at the Whistle Lake parking lot off Whistle Lake Road. Be sure to dress warmly and have a good pair of hiking boots. A camera may be an item to bring along as well. Hope to see you there!

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Feb
15
10:00 AM10:00

Canceled- Heart Lake Hike for Seniors and Adults

Due to icy road and trail conditions, we have decided to cancel this hike. We apologize for any inconvenience, but want to make sure everyone stays safe!

Distance: 1.5 miles roundtrip

Our Heart Lake hike is the perfect valentine to give to yourself, or to share with a friend. Together, we will look for the many signs of spring.  We will amble along the east side of Heart Lake and continue north on a nice stroll through the Heart Lake forest area.

Meet at the Heart Lake parking lot.



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Jan
26
9:00 AM09:00

Work Party with Ranger Dave- Invasive Holly Removal

Dan Senour, hiker representative for the ACFL Trail Committee has spotted a large patch of non-native invasive holly growing along trail 21 that needs to be removed. Meet at trailhead 215 on Ray Auld Drive at the base of Mt. Erie Road. From there we will hike to trail 21 via 215 and 320. It's about a 15 minute walk to the holly site. We will have all the tools, just bring gloves, boots, and dress warmly. If it's snowing, super windy, or raining hard, we will re-schedule. See you there!

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Jan
19
10:00 AM10:00

Whistle Lake Fitness Hike

For those who want to cover ground at a fast pace!

Distance: 8 Miles

We will cover some ground exploring the Whistle Lake forest lands on this fitness journey. Along the way we will enjoy a great view of Whistle Lake from the south, pass by Toot swamp, and summit Sugar Cube. Make sure to dress in layers and bring water.

Meet at Whistle Lake parking lot.



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Oct
24
5:00 PM17:00

Sugarloaf Mountain Old Growth Extra Gentle Hike

Tucked into the bottom of Sugarloaf lies a sweet trail through ancient trees.

Meet at the base of Mount Erie on Ray Auld Drive. 

Directions to the base of Mount Erie
From Commercial Ave in Anacortes -  Head west on 32nd St.  Turn left on H Ave.  H Ave eventually turns into Heart Lake Rd.  Continue south on Heart Lake Rd approximately 1.6 miles.  Ray Auld Drive will be on your left.  Park anywhere along Ray Auld Drive near the trailhead kiosk.

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Oct
13
10:00 AM10:00

Sugarloaf Mountain for all ages

Experience the golden glow of Sugarloaf Mountain in October. We will hike from the dark woods at the base to the stunning summit view, enjoying every stretch in between. 

Meet at the trailhead on Ray Auld Drive at the bottom of Mount Erie just off of Heart Lake Road. 

Directions to the base of Mount Erie
From Commercial Ave in Anacortes -  Head west on 32nd St.  Turn left on H Ave.  H Ave eventually turns into Heart Lake Rd.  Continue south on Heart Lake Rd approximately 1.6 miles.  Ray Auld Drive will be on your left.  Park anywhere along Ray Auld Drive near the trailhead kiosk.

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Oct
12
10:00 AM10:00

Big Beaver Pond Loop for adults

This gentle, just over one mile hike will lead us past three distinct wetlands and through two watersheds. You will come to know the qualities of a marsh, swamp, bog, and fen. We will explore the role of our resident beaver families in creating and sustaining this rich habitat within the ACFL. Enjoy this excellent birding opportunity.

Meet at the end of 32nd St West off of D Ave. 

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Sep
14
10:00 AM10:00

Northwest Heart Lake Hike for adults

We will explore a maze of trails in the Ace of Hearts Creek terrain. There will be some gentle hills on this just over 1 mile hike. 

Meet at the Heart lake Parking Lot

Directions to Heart Lake parking lot
From Commercial Avenue in Anacortes - Head west on 32nd St.  Turn left on H Ave.  H Ave eventually turns into Heart Lake Rd.  Continue south on Heart Lake Rd approximately 1 mile.  The Heart Lake parking lot will be on your right.  Park near the trailhead kiosk.

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Sep
8
10:00 AM10:00

Erie View Trail Hike for all ages

This is a trail of wonders, twisting and turning through prime wetland wildlife corridor all the way to a hidden meadow. Our most recent forest acquisition of 40 contiguous acres is in this area. The views of Lake Erie and Mount Erie are a rare treat. This hike is approximately 2.8 miles.

Meet at the base of Mount Erie on Ray Auld Drive. 

Directions to the base of Mount Erie
From Commercial Ave in Anacortes -  Head west on 32nd St.  Turn left on H Ave.  H Ave eventually turns into Heart Lake Rd.  Continue south on Heart Lake Rd approximately 1.6 miles.  Ray Auld Drive will be on your left.  Park anywhere along Ray Auld Drive near the trailhead kiosk.

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