The Lake Erie Grocery has the most charming shopkeeper! His supply of trail maps for the Anacortes Community Forest Lands was sold out, so he drew the route we needed for today’s hike on the map in a Kiwanis flyer that he had and sent us happily on our way around Heart and Whistle Lakes.
With 50 miles of trails meandering through the Anacortes Community Forest Lands (ACFL), having a map is almost essential if one wants to do much more than simply hike the parameter of the lakes. What I call “wild” lakes, Heart and Whistle Lakes are not particularly large lakes, and sort of shaped like their names, a heart and a whistle. Protected by the surrounding forest, their waters are relatively calm, yet it is not uncommon to see huge trees that have blown down into the lakes.
The mass of trails weave a maze of sorts around lakes, past bogs, even beaver ponds, and up and down the hills through the forest. Look at this map closely and you will see that each red marking identifies a different trail!
Often with spectacular views, like from the top of Mount Erie or Sugar Loaf, I’ve hiked some of these trails already, and look forward to returning to explore even more.
The Friends of the Forest is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands through education, outreach and stewardship. More information about their organization and the Anacortes Community Forest Lands, including where to obtain trail maps, can be found here – http://www.friendsoftheacfl.org/content.cfm?contentid=15.