Outdoors in Anacortes, WA

Outdoors in Anacortes

Fidalgo Island is a Pacific Northwest treasure possessing many outdoor opportunities that need to be experienced. Because of this, we’ve turned to Experience Anacortes to bring you the best trails and places to visit while spending time outdoors in Anacortes.

Cap Sante Park
Primarily a vista point, this 37 acre forested promontory affords an excellent view of the the marina, the City of Anacortes, March Point, Fidalgo Bay, Mt Baker and the Cascades.
Directions here.

Cranberry Lake Area
This site, found near the city center, is heavily forested and contains Cranberry Lake (approximately 27 acres) and several other small lakes and bogs. The site varies in terrain from flat to steep slopes. An extensive trail system is found in this area.
Directions here.

Heart Lake Area
(off Campbell Lake Road, onto Heart Lake Road)
Formerly a state park, Heart Lake was transferred to the City in 2002, and incorporated into the Anacortes Community Forestlands. The trails here welcome hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers, so be sure to share the trail and keep your eyes open (there are some specifically for hikers only).
Directions here.

Deception Pass State Park
A 4,134 acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three different lakes. Breathtaking views, old growth forests, and abundant wildlife can be seen all over the park.Click here to read the WTA’s hiking guide for Deception Pass State Park, and click here for the Rosario Headlands &Lighthouse Point hiking guide. Kukutali Preserve, also part of Deception Pass State Park, is jointly owned and managed by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, and Washington State Parks. Open for day use only.
Directions here.

Washington Park
This site is located at the very west end of the city on Rosario Strait and contains a wide variety of facilities. The site is divided into two basic parts: a day use area consisting of a boat launch, picnic shelters, restrooms, children’s play equipment and open play area. Overnight camping area consisting of 68 campsites for RVs and tents, with restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Only about 41 of the 200 acres are developed but a 2.3 mile paved road runs through the entire park for use by cars, joggers, bicyclists and walkers.
Directions here.

Mount Erie Park
Mt. Erie is a 160 acre Park. At the top of Mt. Erie, elevation 1,270 ft, choose from four viewing areas and be rewarded with spectacular views in every direction. Mt. Erie is, the highest point of Fidalgo Island and is part of the former Anacortes watershed. There is a small parking area and a road to the top of Mt. Erie. Trails from this area lead into a portion of the 1400 plus acres of the Anacortes Forest Lands.
Directions here.

Great Places to Hike in Anacortes!

Spring in Anacortes is just around the corner!

If you are looking for some new places to hike this spring, then you should check out some of these picturesque places in Anacortes!

The Tommy Thompson Trail This trail isn’t exactly a hike but it is a nice place to walk! Nice and flat, it is perfect for people who aren’t ready to tackle wooded trails. Located at the bottom of Anacortes, near Q Avenue, this trail is nicely paved and not surrounded by trees, so you can soak up all the sun you can in get in Washington. This trail leads to the newly re-built bridge that spans across Fidalgo Bay toward the refineries.  Along this Anacortes trail, you will probably see a beautiful assortment of wildlife: seagulls, seals, crabs and even the occasional eagle!

Sharpe Park- The Sares Head trail, located in Anacortes’ 110 acre Sharpe Park is wonderful for those who aren’t afraid to get a little bit sweaty! This system of trails leads you up, down, and all around. The trail itself isn’t too long, less than 2.5 miles round trip, with optional trails to make your walk even shorter.  This trail features some of the best views on Fidalgo Island! Be sure to take your camera so you can get some great photos of the  ocean beating against the rocks. Continue up the to the Sares Head view point and watch the beautiful sunset!

Rosario- Rosario Beach in Anacortes offers a spectacular system of trails that overlook the glorious ocean. There is also a wonderfully rocky beach covered in sea-bleached-driftwood-and logs,  a perfect place to walk your dog or have a picnic. And if you ever get tired of that, and the tide is right, take a short hike over to the tide pools and get a glimpse at life under the sea!

Mount Erie- This trail is a bit more difficult! The road up to Mount Erie can either be walked or driven up.   It consists of over 1000 feet of turns and hills! But however you decide to get to the top, whether it is by car or by foot, you won’t be disappointed! Many viewpoints dot the top of this mountain; each one has a spectacular view. The best one, in most opinion, shows a striking view all of Anacortes’ Campbell Lake and extends to Skagit Bay, and not to mention that south Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island are also visible!

Sugarloaf- If you are a hardcore hiker and you really want to get down and dirty, do not omit a trip to Sugarloaf Mountain! Although the length of this trail is not super notable, only 1 mile, the hike is nothing to scoff at! This is one steep mile, and it leads to some rewarding views of the San Juan Islands, the Olympic Mountains, and Whidbey Island!

Heart Lake- The trails at Heart Lake are something to be admired. The trails will take you all around this beloved swimming and fishing spot! This trail is not incredibly hilly and is a relatively easy walk.  It is the perfect way to pass some time between a picnic and a superb dip in the lake come summertime in Anacortes.

Whistle LakeIf you really want to have some fun on a summer day check out Whistle Lake in Anacortes.   Since it is about a mile from the closest parking lot, there is hike thrown in there as well, not to mention the trail that goes all the way around the lake.  As soon as you make is to the water you might not ever want to leave! This lake is the purest around; it was once a water source for Anacortes.  One might also want to experience the thrill, enjoyed by all the locals, of jumping of the small cliffs into the water. This jump is safer than it sounds, but it definitely gets your adrenaline pumping.

Cranberry Lake- Most people who live in Anacortes know about Cranberry Lake. It’s really lovable because the beautiful trails can be accessed from a myriad of places all over town. Each trail is a new experience, but they all lead to the same place, the lake. Most of the trail runners enjoy a quick dip (during summer in Skagit County) before returning to the trails for their jog home.  If that’s not your style, Cranberry Lake is the perfect place just to swim! It is small enough that you can easily swim from one side to another and back.  It’s also a great place to explore!,

Cap SanteThis piece of historic Anacortes waterfront is another perfect place to hike around, take breathtaking pictures of the Cap Sante marina, and make unforgettable memories! This trail is located just shy of the top of the hill, which most locals believe has the best view in all of Anacortes!  It is easy to have a blast hiking and exploring this stunning spot.