17 – Heart Lake – Loop Trail #210

Having gazed down at a “tiny” Heart Lake from the summit of Sugarloaf (see Hike 16 – Sugarloaf) only hours before, I decided to do yet another hike today – the trail around Heart Lake.

Looking to Sugarloaf . . . from the trail around Heart Lake

Exploring a few of the shorter trails near the parking and boat launch area of Heart Lake before continuing on to hike into Whistle Lake (see Hike #12 – Heart and Whistle  Lakes) last week, before hiking Sugarloaf (see Hike 16 – Sugarloaf) earlier, I had stopped at the Lake Erie Grocery and purchased a set of Anacortes Community Forest Land (ACFL) trail maps. Checking the map for Heart Lake, I could see that there was one main trail (ACFL #210) that looped completely around lake and several others intersecting throughout that route. (Such a maze of trails!) With map in hand, I then completed the 4-mile loop trail around the lake.

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After hiking mostly along the perimeter of the lake for the first mile or so, I was absolutely amazed at the size of trees once the trail entered the forest. So large, almost spooky large, one giant huge tree after another. I stood silent, jaw dropped, in awe at the base of some of them.

Huge, giant trees . . . everywhere

Growing up near the forests here in the Pacific Northwest, I have certainly seen big trees (huge trees) before (lots of big trees), but never before have I been in a forest filled with SO MANY big trees all at once. Absolutely amazing. I wondered how old some of those trees were.

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