Explore two fun, family- friendly trails not far from the Washington State Ferries terminal in Anacortes. One is a paved path along Guemes Channel, providing excellent views of Guemes and Cypress islands. The other follows a boardwalk through rich wetlands bordering a beautiful sandy beach.
Two trails diverge from this cul-de-sac. Both are new, popular with locals, in the process of expanding, and destination-worthy if you’re visiting from outside the area. Hike the Guemes Channel Trail first, heading east on a nearly level paved path. Enjoy exceptional views of Cypress and Guemes islands across the channel and glimpses of Blakely and Lummi islands and even Entrance Mountain on Orcas Island. Stop at interpretive signs and admire the stately trees that shade the path with their overhanging branches.
The path ends at 0.45 mile (0.7 km). Locals, community leaders, and trail advocates are working hard to extend this trail all the way to downtown Anacortes, connecting it with the Tommy Thompson Trail (Hike 3). It will become an amazing asset when completed. For now, however, head back to the trailhead.
Then hike west on the Ship Harbor Interpretive Trail, following a wide and smooth path through a wetland and along a gorgeous sandy beach. The trail meanders through thick vegetation, passing splendid viewpoints of the harbor and nearby ferry terminal. Several points allow beach access, which makes for some fine walking when tides are low. The trail continues on a boardwalk through an ecologically important wetland (stay on the trail), ending at 0.35 mile (0.6 km). When funding is secured, the trail will continue to the ferry terminal. Head back the way you came.