Hiking at Whistle Lake

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Added by Lindsy Dugan

Distance: 3.7 miles roundtripElevation gain: 200 ftGreat spot in the summerHop in the lake and swim across for cliff jumping

Two trails start right at the trailhead. The left-hand trail, #237, follows an old road directly to the lake. OR #201 on the right is slightly longer, but more of a true trail.

Wind your way through the second growth of Doug-fir and cedar that make up this forest. The first swampy area of the many to be found on this hike will be along this section. Look for the bright yellow bracts and huge tropical looking leaves of our native skunk cabbage. The flowers are actually on the spike in the middle. This plant is found in freshwater swamps and along streams shaded by trees.

In just under a mile, there will be an intersection with #21, go left on #21 and shortly there will be a three way intersection, a vault toilet and garbage can. Take #20 towards the lake, reach the northern end of the lake and intersect with #204. On the right there will be a sign for the Anacortes Forest Lands and the Kenny Oakes Trail. Take #204 heading around the lake counterclockwise. Ignore all side trails heading uphill and stay along the lake shore trail. There are lots of inviting little vistas and great places for a picnic lunch along this section of shoreline.

The trail leaves the shoreline and climbs above it, then passes through a small section of woods. Take a left on a little side trail that ends up on a large rock outcropping with a view of the lake and the island at the southern end.

Head back into the woods and intersect with #21 and #202, head left on #21, then shortly reach another intersection. There is a nice large wooden map with a ‘You Are Here' marker, showing you at the intersection of #21 and #22. [Be advised, though, that this map is from 2007 and many of the trails are not on it] Take #22 left through the forest and past another swamp. Watch for Trail #205 - this will continue your journey around the lake, but it first goes through the woods around a rock bluff.

You will soon face another intersection; stay on #205. Pass Toot Swamp and cross a little wood bridge, reach the lake again, and begin heading uphill. Reach the top and the way flattens out before dropping back down to another intersection. Stay on #205. Once past the intersection the forest opens up and there are some nice rocks above the lake to enjoy lunch with a view. Once done with lunch, continue north until you hit the northern tip of the lake again. Return on the old road for a complete loop back to the trailhead.

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Known for

Swimming
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Wildflowers
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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