“Go Take a Hike” 2016 schedule

The Lopez Community Trail Network‘s guided hike schedule is out! Join experienced leaders for great hikes in the San Juans and beyond.

Download the brochure for details and contact info.

  • March 12: Beach hike & cleanup, Lopez Island
  • April 30: Birding ID, Lopez Island
  • May 21: Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island
  • June 18: Mt. Grant, San Juan Island
  • July 23: Hidden Lake lookout, North Cascades
  • August 13: Skyline Divide, Mt. Baker
  • September 24: Oyster Dome, Larrabee State Park (near Bellingham)

Keep Your Cool on Lopez Hill

Guided hike on Lopez Hill

Sunday, August 23rd, 1pm

Yes, it’s time again for the summer Keep Your Cool hike on Lopez Hill. Beat the heat while enjoying the cool greenery of Lopez Hill. This guided hike will meet at the parking area off Lopez Sound Road: directions to the trailhead. It’s guaranteed to be cooler than Lopez Village! We’ll probably break into two groups, one for fast walkers and one for ramblers. Please dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes for hiking, and bring water. See you there!

Celebrate National Trails Day on Lopez Island

Date Saturday, June 6, 2015
Location Iceberg Point and Watmough Bay
Contact Name Tim Clark
Contact Email timc@rockisland.com
Contact Phone 360-468-2010
Link sjclandbank.org

Celebrate National Trails Day the Lopez Way!

Lopez Community Trails Network, San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan County Odlin Park, WA State Spenser Spit Park, Lopez Island Conservation Corps, and the San Juan Islands National Monument are hosting some great events in celebration of National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6th!

Nick Teague with the San Juan Islands National Monument will lead a fun and exciting morning Beach Clean-Up for Iceberg Point. Volunteers can meet Nick at the Lopez Farmers Market at 10:00 am (Lopez Community Trails Network booth) to sign-up, assemble a car pool and head to South Lopez Island, or meet at Agate Beach Day-Use Park at 11:00 am to begin the hike into Iceberg Point. Please be prepared for the weather and bring a day pack with your 10 essentials and gloves. Nick will provide garbage bags and gloves if needed. The Beach Clean-Up team will work for about 2 hours and hike out all the garbage which will cover approximately 1 1/2 miles. Please bring great attitudes and big smiles.

And for those that like to sleep in, well there’s options for you too! Join Land Bank Steward, Tim Clark, San Juan Islands National Monument Manager, Marcia deChadenedes and Lopez Community Trails Network member, Bob Walker, for one of two sporting hikes on the South Shore of Lopez Island:

1:00 pm: Park at Watmough road entrance — Tim Clark and Marcia deChadenedes will drive folks to the Chadwick Hill trailhead, and will take off up and over Chadwick Hill, past Watmough, over to Point Colville and back to the cars.

3:00 pm: Park at Chadwick Hill trailhead — Bob Walker will repeat the hike and give folks rides back from Point Colville to the Chadwick Hill trailhead by the green rope.

Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear; bring a snack/water, camera and binoculars, and leave dogs and worries at home. This a medium strenuous hike of approximately four miles, and each hike is limited to twelve happy and lucky people. Sign-up at the Saturday Farmers Market or RSVP earlier to Tim Clark at 360-468-2010.

National Trails Day® (NTD) is the American Hiking Society’s trail awareness program. Each year events are held to help promote awareness of the wide variety of benefits that trails provide, to encourage people to discover their local trails, to raise awareness of trail issues, and to instill excitement for the outdoors. National Trails Day ® is held every year on the first Saturday in June. Learn more about the program online at nationaltrailsday.org.

Lopez Community Trails Network announces 2015 hikes

“The Lopez Community Trails Network (LCTN) is again scheduling a series of hikes open to the public under the title “Go Take a Hike.” Our hike schedule, under the direction of Bob Walker, includes a variety of destinations on- and off-island, including easy beach walks to more strenuous mountain hikes. These monthly hikes are held on Saturdays. Hikes are at a leisurely pace to encourage exploration and to experience the wonders of nature.

“Sign up is by phone or e-mail with the hike leader. There is no expense except the sharing of transportation costs when we go off island. Please call Bob Walker (468-3397) with any questions about any details.”

The first hike is this Saturday, April 11th at 8am: Bird Walk with Bob Myhr. A San Juan Islands Audubon Society (jointly sponsored by the LCTN) field trip starting at Otis Perkins Park and walking to the Land Bank Peninsula Preserve.

Pick up a brochure for  the full schedule of hikes at the Lopez BLM office, the Lopez Library, or the Chamber of Commerce office. Or view the full schedule of hikes on the LCTN’s website: Go Take a Hike.


Keep your cool on Lopez Hill

Guided hike on Lopez Hill

Sunday, August 24th, 2pm

Beat the heat while enjoying the cool greenery of Lopez Hill with  friends. The “Keep Your Cool” hike will meet at the parking area off Lopez  Sound Road: directions to the trailhead. Experienced guides will walk you around this gem at whatever pace you desire, from a wafting breeze on your face to a howling gale. It’s guaranteed to be cooler than Lopez Village. Please dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes for hiking, and bring water. See you there!

Guest post by Diana Sheridan: Spring Ramble on Lopez Hill

Lopez Island sends up its praise with rolling farmlands often fenced with hedgerows of briars and Nootka rose along the roadside and with thickets backed by towering trees lining the pasture’s distant border. The wayfaring stranger or newcomer to the island, however, could easily miss this ecological treasure that offers a taste of wilderness buried in the heart of Lopez Hill on the east side of the island where it stirs to life almost secretly from a lowland forest.

Recently I joined a delightful Spring Ramble through this island jewel.  Aware that many on the island will soon face the annual summer stream of visiting guests, I would like to recommend your own ramble through this remarkable asset, one that offers quite a different experience from the sense of wild beauty and stunning views and hikes at our other incredible asset, the shoreline National Monument sites.

Where the road comes to an end, the trail begins. Curious wanderers, we soon brush by salal and a twisting limbed alder, both stretching toward the remaining shafts of sunlight. The trail shortly narrows with its closeness of green undergrowth braided together as we amble along. We pause below trees heavy with new growth where Odlin Park’s ranger, David St. George, abruptly pauses and with his astute hearing teases out the sound of a Townsend’s warbler, the first of many birds we will encounter on this day’s journey.

We meander through a staggeringly beautiful terrain of forest, observing a pleasant mix of trees quietly breathing and quietly growing. Surrounded by a grove of alder in a wetland, an occasional hemlock tree scarred by lightning strikes of yesteryear hover over stumps frayed from rot. Our steps take us over a grand root of a cedar, re-bronzed by the wear of feet traipsing this way over the generations. Another fallen tree chisels a small bridge over a wet area, perhaps eons ago a flowing streambed. Often we glance into a tangle of branches where our eyes capture the hardened curve of parasites hugging tree trunks. Or we stop abruptly to ponder a bed of bones in the lee of a tree, where once an aging deer hunkered down amidst a bitter winter storm.

Our botanists, Adrienne Adams and Beth St. George, draw our attention to a colorful array of spring wildflowers in swaths of carpeted moss, others clinging to rocks sunk along the path’s edge. Soon the names are tripping off our tongues for Siberian miner’s lettuce, foam flower, great camas, spotted coralroot and—for me, a new one—a heart-leafed twayblade, a member of the orchid family.

As the day grows shorter, we glimpse sun-slanted fingers weaving a shadowy pattern on the bark of hemlocks and firs.  We discover, as the incline increases slightly, Rocky Mountain maple trees flourishing in place of the familiar vine maple of other northwestern landscapes. Here, lacey light cascades through the larger leaves of these maples, their branches yet another haven for birds.  Wherever we wander, our intrepid ornithologist detects high above the songs of more birds darting in the afternoon light, including the Pacific-slope flycatcher, Wilson’s warbler, red-breasted nuthatch, Pacific wren and several others.

We sprint on, ascending through wind-blown, branch-gnarled native shrubs as we head toward the fresh and cool air that greets us atop Lopez Hill. More wildflowers beckon us to appreciate their sheer beauty while we rest on large flat rock formations, possibly shards of ancient sea-ledges. At last we chat with one another now that we are out of the single-file formation the path has demanded of us all afternoon. We agree we can easily imagine the incredible views of the Salish Sea that our ancestors must have cherished when this forest was clear-cut for the growing needs of the city far to the south along its shoreline.

After this brief respite, our guides, Tim Clark from the San Juan County Land Bank and Mike Moore from the Lopez Island Trails Network, lead us down through the ochre, green and darkening sienna woods. At the parking lot we offer abundant thanks and part ways, sheathed now by the tranquil beauty of one of Lopez Island’s finest treasures.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the BLM, the Friends of Lopez Hill and the San Juan County Land Bank who have persevered in preserving this natural gem, with color-coded signs and well-maintained trails. As the days of summer approach, islanders and our summer visitors will shape their own sense of place and spirit as they hike this stunning hillside of wilderness.

Diana Sheridan

June 2014

Spring Ramble a big success

From Tim Clark, our Land Bank Steward:

“A very large thank you to everyone who made the Spring Ramble such a  large success. Twenty people had a wonderful time wandering and looking  and talking and learning. An extra thanks goes out to David and Beth for  sharing their knowledge and curiosity of the plants and birds on the  Hill! Everyone commented on what fun it was and how much they learned.  And we all made it out alive!”

Beth St. George identified the following plants in bloom:

Dovefoot Geranium
Woodland Strawberry
Spotted Coralroot
Trailing Blackberry
Bicknell’s Geranium (I think this is the correct species)
Pacific Sanicle
Candyflower = Siberian Miner’s Lettuce
Small-flowered Alumroot
Sea Blush
Bedstraw (Fragrant?)
Baldhip Rose
Heart-leaved Twayblade
Miner’s Lettuce
Great Camas
Buttercup species: I don’t know these well.

David and Beth’s bird list:

Cassin’s Vireo
Townsend’s Warbler
Pacific Wren
Wilson’s Warbler
Dark-eyed Junco
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Orange-crowned Warbler
Hairy Woodpecker
Song Sparrow
We must have seen American Robin, too, but I don’t have it written down!