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Na Se tion cti a on l P In ark sid s e

Published by the Journal of the San Juan Islands, Islands’ Sounder and Islands’ Weekly

and San Juan Island National Historical Park (pgs. 5-12), as well as detailed information about the summer hikes sponsored by trails organizations (pg. 15). In addition, on pg. 14 you can zero-in on the wonderful wildlife you might encounter while taking a walk in our many parks. Trails to you.



ith only 175 miles of land inside its borders, San Juan is the smallest of Washington state's 39 counties by far. But whatever they may lack in acreage, the San Juan Islands make up for with a unique assortment of parks, trails, scenery, campgrounds, wildlife, shorelines, sunshine, labyrinth of waterways, peaks and valleys, rustic

rural character, laid-back lifestyle… well, you get the picture. And when it comes to outdoor adventure, the San Juan Islands can't be beat. The 2015 edition of our annual Parks and Trails Guide offers an overview of recreational opportunities, highlights of various public agencies that together make the islands unsurpassed for adventure in the Great Outdoors, like the Mt. Grant Preserve (pg. 3)

San Juan County Parks San Juan County operates 17 different parks spread across the four islands served by the state ferry system. The majority, 14 to be exact, are day-use parks. Nearly all are situated along the shoreline and each offers a picturesque setting where one can gaze out over the water, break out a picnic basket, a book or a boogie board, or just sit back, relax and watch the world — or whales — go by. The most prized of county parks are its three campgrounds. Why? Location, location, location. All three, with more than 60 campsites and 150 acres combined, are positioned on the shoreline and offer quick and easy access in and out of the water. Located about a mile south of the ferry landing on Lopez Island, Odlin Park features 30 campsites — nine by the beach — a boat ramp, dock, mooring buoys, a softball field and a picnic area with a covered pavilion. It also boasts an extensive network of trails that weave along the shoreline and through the woodlands of the 80-acre campground and park. Shaw Island County Park, on the banks of Indian Cove, has the longest stretch of white sandy beach — 4,610 feet — in the San Juans, as well as 11 campsites, a picnic shelter and a boat ramp for shallow-draft vessels. It’s

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about two miles south of the ferry landing, overlooking Thatcher Pass. Coveted for decades by boaters and campers alike, San Juan County Park rests on the shore of San Juan Island's spectacular westside, looks out toward Canada over Haro Strait and is perhaps the most perfect spot on the globe to launch a kayak or soak up a sunset. The 12acre park features 20 campsites, a boat ramp, gravel beach and, like the Odlin and Shaw campgrounds, is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail system. (For more on county parks and campgrounds, or to reserve a campsite, visit co.san-juan.wa.us/parks/ default.aspx, or call (360) 378-8420.) Washington State Parks Wherever you go in the San Juan Islands, there's a state park nearby. Washington State Parks manages 15 separate parks totaling nearly 6,000 acres, including two of the more perennially popular campgrounds in the entire state system, Moran State Park on Orcas Island and Lopez Island's Spencer Spit State Park. Moran State Park is home to the tallest peak on the islands, Mount Constitution, at 2,409 feet. Moran encompasses the vast majority of the island's State Park land with 5,000 acres. It features old-growth forests, alpine meadows, five fresh water lakes, a stone observation tower — built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 — 151 tent sites, a playground and swim area, picnic pavilion and more than 35 miles of hiking trails. While no match for Moran size-wise, Spencer Continued on page 4

Mount Grant Preserve ....................................... 3

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Mount Grant Preserve

A hidden gem

Hikers take a rest on one of the benches at the summit of Mt. Grant (facing West Northwest). The views from the top are spectacular in all directions. BY THOR HANSON


here is a hidden gem at the heart of San Juan Island. And we now have a chance to save it. The proposed Mount Grant Preserve boasts stunning 360-degree views and important habitats, but just as importantly it is a place accessible to everyone. Because in addition to wonderful hiking opportunities, it has a good road all the way to the summit. Early this spring I stood on that peak with my father, who is 80, and my son, who is 5, neither of whom would have walked to the top. But because of that road, three generations of my family could enjoy Mount Grant together. And as we stood there, with mist blowing through the old growth firs around us, and gorgeous views appearing and disappearing between the clouds, my son turned to me and said, “Papa, I feel like we’re not even on San Juan Island anymore.” Mount Grant is a magical place. When you see it you will fall in love with it, not only for what you experience, but for all the things to come. This will be a place people visit for quiet and solitude, but also for family picnics and celebrations. It will be a place for bird-

Contributed photo

watching and wildflowers, but also for field trips and first kisses. Yes, people will hike and run up Mount Grant, but they will also drive to the top, ride bicycles and horses, and push baby strollers. Earlier this year, the San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank placed a $1 million down payment on the property. Fundraising continues to complete the purchase and protect this special place forever. In the meanwhile, the property is open daily for walking and non-motorized use, and for driving access on designated days. Visit sjpt.org or call 360-378-2461 to learn about operating hours, special events and how you can play a part in The Campaign to Save Mount Grant. Author and biologist Thor Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and winner of The John Burroughs Medal. His books include “The Impenetrable Forest,” “The Triumph of Seeds” and “Feathers,” which was nominated for The Samuel Johnson Prize. He cochairs the Campaign to Save Mount Grant.

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Roche Harbor • Lime Kiln State Park • SJ County Park • American Camp • English Camp Sculpture Park • Lakedale Resort • Alpaca Ranch • Vineyards • Lavender Farm • Snug Harbor Flag down the bus anywhere along the route, including the trail heads at Mt. Young and Mt. Grant Visit our website for more info on schedules, tips & tours • Weekends on Lopez & Orcas, daily on San Juan 378-8887 • sjtransit@rockisland.com • SanJuanTransit.com • $15 DAY PASS / $5 ONE-WAY



The San Juan Islands are the perfect place to pitch a tent. Most campsites are totally accessible and family-friendly. All you have to do is decide if you want a spot lake-side or near the beach. Take a look below to find a wealth of options. To make a reservation at an island county park, visit sanjuanco. com/CAMP/parkreservations/. To make a reservation at a state park, visit parks.wa.gov/reservations/. You can also find out information about camping on outer islands at the above websites. Below is a list of main campgrounds in the San Juans. San Juan Island • San Juan County Park – Located on the west side, this popular scenic park looks out over the Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan De

Fuca to Vancouver Island and beyond. Park amenities include water, picnic areas, toilets, beaches and a boat launch. It has 20 campsites, and reservations are recommended from May-September (360-3788420). Lopez Island • Odlin County Park – Odlin is situated on the waterfront, edged by a stretch of beautiful sandy beach. Odlin boasts 30 campsites, toilets, water, a boat launch, a dock, a baseball field and a group picnic area, and is an ideal family campground (360378-8420). • Spencer Spit State Park – Located on 138 acres on the north end, Spencer Spit has 16 mooring bouys and 37 campsites, including group camps and a water trail site. Spencer Spit offers water, toilets, picnic areas, hiking trails and kayaks for rental (360468-2251). Orcas Island • Moran State Park – Stationed on 5,252 Orcas Island acres, Moran State Park features five lakes, 151 campsites, 30 miles of hiking trails, 11 miles of bike trails, six miles of horseback riding trails, and a playground, as well as the scenic lookout atop Mt. Constitution. Kayaks, canoes and paddle boats are also available for rent, and both showers and restrooms are at hand (360-376-2326). Shaw Island • Shaw Island County Park – Overlooking Indian Cove on the southern edge of the island, Shaw Island County Park offers 11 campsites near and along the longest stretch of sandy beach in the San Juans (360-378-8420).

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Spit State Park boasts nearly two miles of saltwater shoreline, 42 fully equipped campsites and a total of 16 mooring buoys, a consistent draw for the boating crowd. The 138-acre park and campground is also home to a rustic clam-shelling shack from days gone by, which rests on a rocky sandbar that stretches out to nearby Frost Island like a spear. On the westside of San Juan Island, overlooking the busy waterway of Haro Strait where three pods of semi-resident killer whales forage the waters of their seasonal hunting grounds, is Lime Kiln State Park. Although it has no campsites, Lime Kiln features an historic lighthouse built in 1919 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Because of the frequency with which the orca whales travel by, Lime Kiln is also known as Whale Watch Park. In addition to the “Big 3” mentioned above, State Parks also manages eight marine parks accessible only by boat, kayak or canoe. Several have docks, like Stuart Island, and most, such as Matia, Sucia, James and Jones, feature protected coves, modestly equipped campsites and mooring buoys. For more on Washington State Parks campgrounds and marine parks, visit parks.wa.gov.

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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

San Juan Island National Historical Park nps.gov/sajh

2015-2016 Guide to American and English Camps

Park founded to celebrate peace and nature

Inside this issue

ne hundred and fifty-one years ago, an American farmer named Lyman Cutlar shot and killed a Hudson’s Bay Company pig rooting in his San Juan Island potato patch. In so doing, he nearly started a war between the United States and Great Britain. Fortunately, men of vision and moral authority on both sides realized the folly of bloodshed over a 54-square-mile island far from the seats of power—thus the creation of San Juan Island National Historical Park. To learn more about the Pig War, English Camp’s commissary, blockhouse please turn to the next page. and formal garden sit at the edge of the



embankment on Garrison Bay.

Public transportation to English and American camps San Juan Transit and Tours: (360) 378-8887. Regularly scheduled routes north to English Camp and south to American Camps during the summer season. Walk on the ferry and enjoy some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the region. Bob’s Taxi and Tours: (360) 378-6777 or (877)4-TAXIBOB. Service to all points on request. San Juan Taxi: (360) 378-3550 or (360) 378-TAXI. Bike and kayak racks on all vehicles. Classic Cab Company (360) 378-7519.

Island Bicycles: (360) 378-4941. Bicycles. Open daily. Susie’s Mopeds: (360) 378-5244 or (800) 532-0087. Mopeds and automobiles. Friday Harbor Marine: (360) 3786202. Electric boats, runabouts, kayaks, fishing kayaks, dive shop, sailing school and high-speed water taxies. M&W Rental Cars: (360) 378-2794 or (800) 323-6037. Automobile and van rentals and automobile sales. Island Tours/Taxi: (360) 378-4453.

American and English camps offer numerous hiking trails. Browse our maps and trail guide to find one that suits you. (pgs. 8 & 9)


From living history to nature to evenings of song and dance, it’s all here. Check our program guide. (pgs. 7 & 10)

Mitchell Hill Trail Map Read about the new directional signs and view the new trail map for one of the island’s most dynamic multi-use trail networks. (pg. 11)

Island Marble Read artist Jessica Herron’s cartoon interpretation of the park’s Island Marble Butterfly conservation program. (pg. 12)

Basic information

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

San Juan Island National Historical Park Superintendent Lee Taylor

Contact Information Superintendent San Juan Island NHP P.O. Box 429 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 e-mail SAJH_Administration@nps.gov Administration (360) 378-2240, ext. 2221 FAX: (360) 378-2615 Visitor Services (360) 378-2240, ext. 2233 Website www.nps.gov/sajh Follow us on Facebook The park is administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Cover (page 5): In the late 1850s the U.S. Army underwent a uniform transition that, among other things, introduced a broad-brimmed felt hat, pinned up on one side (with Ostrich feather). The uniform code was circulated throughout the army with photographs of the same model wearing the uniforms of the various corps, such as the Artillery (pictured). Members of the Third Artillery wore this very same uniform while serving on San Juan Island during the crisis of 1859. This guide is published in cooperation with The Journal of the San Juan Islands. The National Park Service cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness or accuracy of the materials provided by the advertisers or other organizations, nor does the NPS endorse other organizations or their views, products or services.


The Pig War of 1859: A close call

n July 27, 1859, George E. Pickett’s Company D, 9th Infantry, arrived on San Juan Island with a mission to protect United States citizens from the British government on Vancouver Island. The reason? An American settler named Lyman Cutlar had shot a pig belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Everyone overreacted, particularly U.S. Department of Oregon commander Brig. Gen. William S. Harney, who had issued Pickett his orders. Ownership of the entire San Juan Island group had been in limbo since the signing of the Oregon Treaty in 1846. The treaty gave the United States lands south of the 49th parallel, extending the boundary to the “middle of the channel, which separates the continent from Vancouver Island.” There are actually two channels— Haro Strait nearest Vancouver Island and Rosario Strait nearer the mainland. The San Juan Islands lie between the two. Britain insisted on the Rosario Strait; the U.S., Haro Strait. Thus, both sides claimed the archipelago. To solidify the British claim, the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1853 established Belle Vue Sheep Farm on the southern end of the island. The Americans, meanwhile, believed the San Juans belonged to them. By 1859 about 18 Americans,


including Cutlar, had settled on San Juan Island in anticipation of official American possession. Neither group acknowledged the jurisdiction or taxing authority of the other. Several incidents ensued over the next several years, culminating in Cutlar’s pig murder in June 1859. British authorities threatened

Cutlar with arrest if he did not pay for the pig. This is what compelled Harney to dispatch Pickett to San Juan Island. British Columbia Gov. James Douglas responded by sending three warships under Royal Navy Capt. Geoffrey Phipps Hornby to dislodge Pickett. Hornby’s initial orders were to remove Pickett by force if he refused to leave peaceably. But soon after

Hornby arrived in Griffin Bay, Douglas, at the urging of the senior Royal Navy officer in the area, dispatched a messenger with a new order proposing a joint military occupation of the island. Pickett refused and asked Harney for reinforcements. Soon nearly 500 U.S. troops—now under command of Lt. Col. Silas Casey— occupied the island bolstered by eight naval guns. After observing the guns being emplaced, Hornby sought permission to assault the heights and spike the guns. This was rejected by Pacific Station commander Rear Adm. R. Lambert Baynes. A stalemate ensued for more than three months until U.S. Army commander Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott was dispatched from the East Coast to mediate the crisis. Scott and Douglas negotiated a standdown while the two governments arranged a joint military occupation of the island. The Americans remained at Cattle Point, and the Royal Marines established a camp 13 miles north in March 1860. The joint occupation ended 12 years later when Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany, acting as arbitrator, selected a three-man commission who settled the dispute by awarding the San Juan Islands to the United States. Thus ended the so-called Pig War—the pig the only casualty.

Fast facts about park hours and laws

oth park units are day-useonly. Hours are: English Camp: Dawn to 11 p.m. Royal Marine Barracks contact station is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 7. American Camp: Dawn to 11 p.m. Visitor Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 2. The visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday, during the winter season. Pets must be kept on a leash within park boundaries. Bags

are provided to clean up after them. Please respect the leash law—it not only protects fragile plants and wildlife, but other visitors and their pets as well.

using metal detectors is strictly prohibited. Please do not disturb natural features and ruins. You may collect fruits, nuts, unoccupied seashells and mushrooms. English and American Camps Off-road travel (by four-wheeled are important archaeological areas vehicles or mopeds) is not allowed dating back 8,000 years to the time in the park. of the Coast Salish Indians and Use or possession of fireworks is Canadian First Nations peoples. prohibited year-round. Horseback Artifacts are on display at the riding is allowed by permit only. American Camp visitor center. It is unlawful to hunt, trap or Because artifacts are protected under discharge firearms within the park federal law, collecting, digging or boundaries.

2015 Summer Program Guide: something for everyone Weekly Programs Weekly programs scheduled below also are available on request. For information, call 360-378-2240, ext. 2226, or go to www.nps.gov/sajh. Also follow them on Facebook. Birding in the Park — American Camp attracts a variety of birds throughout the summer. Join park staff in enjoying this wonderful island resource. Fridays, 8 to 10 a.m., June 5 to August 28, meets at American Camp visitor center; or by appointment. Call (360) 378-2240, ext. 2228 for details. Living History: Life during the Joint Military Occupation on San Juan Island — Park rangers and volunteers recreate military and civilian life during the island’s early pioneer period. Activities include blacksmithing, coopering, weaving, needlework and exhibitions of military equipment and skills. Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m., June 6 to August 29, English Camp parade ground. Pig War Story Guided Walk — Park rangers and volunteers describe events leading up to and including the Pig War and the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by English and American troops. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to noon, June 6 to August 29, American Camp. Young Hill/Royal Marine Cemetery Guided Hike — Serious hikers will enjoy this two-hour journey, led by Park Historian Mike Vouri up the south slope of 650-foot Young Hill. The hike can also divert to 410-foot Mitchell Hill. See the Royal Marine Cemetery and the Garry oak woodland. Sundays, 2 to 4 p.m., June 8 to August 30, meets at the north end of the English Camp parking area. Wildlife in the San Juan Islands — Puzzled by an animal or bird? Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center staff are here to answer your questions. Founded in 1982, Wolf Hollow is a nonprofit organization located on San Juan Island in Northwest Washington State. We serve all of San Juan and Skagit Counties and northern

Hikers enjoy the view of the northern end of San Juan Island and the Haro Strait on the way to the summit of Young Hill. The trail winds through forests and across rocky balds from its starting point in the English Camp parking area. A weekly walk is scheduled on this trail, as well as the Frazer Homestead, Salmon Bank and the Jakle’s Lagoon/Mt. Finlayson trails.

Whidbey Island. Thursdays 1 to 3 p.m., June 12 to August 28, English Camp barracks. Contra Dancing at English Camp — Folk singer Michael Cohen and local folk musicians present an evening of traditional folk tunes and dancing for those wishing a turn on the floor. Cohen plays regularly at the San Juan Farmers’ Market. He has worked with the Smithsonian in cataloging American folk music. The core group of dancers meets on Mondays throughout the winter at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor, so there are always experienced dancers to help along the novices. Mondays, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., June 15 to August 24, English Camp barracks. Frazer Homestead Walk — Many of today’s island families are descended from U.S. Army soldiers. Learn more about how American Camp’s “frontiersmen in blue” played a key role in pioneering Euro-American settlement on San Juan Island. Park rangers also will discuss how agricultural operations changed the character of island landscapes, including American Camp. Stay posted to the park’s website for information. Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m., June 17 to August 26, meets at the American Camp visitor center. A Walk to the Salmon Bank — Accompany a park ranger or volunteer on this cross-prairie journey to the historic Salmon Bank at South Beach, where springs attracted Native Ameri-

cans and Europeans alike. This activity can be strenuous. Thursdays, 2 to 3:30 p.m., June 18 to August 28, American Camp parking area, or by request. Call 360-378-2240, ext. 2226. (continued on page 10)



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English Camp

Trails and Features Young Hill trail—Hike this fairly steep trail up 650 feet to the top of Young Hill for a panoramic view of the island group’s northwest corner, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Novice walkers should take care to pace themselves as most of the gain is in the last half mile. An exhibit panel identifying geographic features is mounted on an overlook about two-thirds of the way up the hill. Another panel is on the summit. (1.25 mi. from parking area to summit.) Royal Marine Cemetery—The Royal Marine cemetery is about 50 yards off the Young Hill trail, about a third of the way up. Five Royal Marines are interred, and a memorial stone is in place for two other marines. A stone also commemorates a civilian who was accidentally shot by his brother while hunting. Bell Point trail—Walk the mile-long, fairly level trail to Bell Point for a view of Westcott Bay. If you like to harvest shellfish, check with the park ranger at the visitor center for information on licensing, locations, daily limits and red tide warnings. (2-mi. loop.) Self-guided walk—Relive the Royal Marine-era by following the exhibit waysides scattered about the parade ground and Officers Hill. Each sign explains an existing building (or a spot where one once stood) or some aspect of daily life during the joint military occupation of San Juan Island. (.25-mi. loop.) English formal garden—This reconstructed flower and herb garden— originally known as the “strawberry garden”—lies between the officers’ quarters site and the parade ground. The camp’s second commanding officer had the original built for his family to remind them of home. Westcott Bay trail—Follow in the footsteps of the Royal Marines to the park’s newly acquired lands on Westcott Bay. Ask a park ranger for directions to the trail connection completed in 2013 in partnership with the San Juan Island Trails Committee and San Juan County Land Bank. (3-mi. one way.)

The Journal, Islands’ Sounder & Islands’ Weekly Local News • Spectial Sections • Arts & Entertainment • Sports SanJuanJournal.com • IslandsSounder.com • IslandsWeekly.com July 4

Parade, voted one of the 10 best in the nation! Pig War BBQ • Rock The Dock Fireworks – Biggest and Best Ever!

Saturday and Sunday July 11 & 12

Mark your Calendar! Something ! for everyone

16th Annual Summer Art Fair Art, music, library book sale and more!

October 1 - 31

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December 4

Island Lights Holiday Celebration Tree lighting and Christmas caroling

www.sanjuanisland.org • 360-378-5240

American Camp

Prairie walks—Primitive tracks crisscross the prairie and trace the bluff from Grandma’s Cove to South Beach and back to the visitor center via the Redoubt. A great place for viewing orca whales, the redoubt also offers a regional perspective with views of Mt. Baker, the Olympic and Cascade Frazer Homestead trail—Trace the ranges, Vancouver Island, and on route of the old Military Road from the visitor center north to Rosler Road an exceptionally clear day, even Mt. Rainier, 130 miles up Admiralty Inlet. on this joint project of the park, San (2.5-mi. loop.) Juan County Land Bank and the San Juan Trails Committee. Highlights Grandma’s Cove—Stroll downhill to include two small prairies and a pine forest. (2.9-mi. round trip.) Self-guided history walk—Relive the Pig War along the trail that starts and finishes in the visitor center parking area. Exhibit waysides along the trail tell the boundary dispute story. (1.25mi. loop.)

one of the finest beaches on the island and a favorite of San Juan Islanders. Use caution when descending the bluff. (.9-mi. round trip.) Jakle’s Lagoon trail—Pick up a self-guided walk booklet, hike along the old roadbed and enjoy the quiet of a Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock canopy. (1.5-mi. to the lagoon.)

Olympic Mountains to the south and Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the west. Be on the alert for horseback riders and ensure your dogs are on leash for the safety of all. (3-mi. loop.)

South Beach trail—Follow the track of U.S. Army water wagons from the South Beach springs and enjoy the prairies in this trek starting just below the Redoubt. Raptors dip and soar on Mt. Finlayson trail—Hike along the the hunt for small mammals and deer grassy ridge to the top of Mt. Finlayson feed among tall grasses. (2-mi. roundwhere you can see Mt. Baker to the trip from visitor center.) east, Mt. Rainier to the southeast, the UPS TA IRS

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2015 Summer Program Guide: something for everyone Limeys on San Juan: The Royal Navy in the Pacific: — The Royal Navy called at and then operated from the Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard (just north of Victoria, BC) from the survey of the site by HMS Pandora in 1842 until it abandoned the yard at sunset on March 1, 1905. The yard also served as auxiliary base of the British Eastern Pacific Station during the mid-19th century. Learn more about the lasting British legacy here in this PowerPoint program by park historian Mike Vouri. 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 12, San Juan Island Library.

(Continued from page 7)

Special Programs All programs are free and open to the public, except where noted. Programs are subject to change without prior notice. For updates on additional programs and accessibility information, call San Juan Island National Historical Park at (360) 378-2240, ext. 2226; visit our website at www.nps.gov/sajh or find them on Facebook. Belle Vue Sheep Farm: Who came next? — San Juan Island historian Boyd Pratt describes how Belle Vue Sheep Farm at American Camp transitioned from a corporate to a private farm and will explore the legacy that can be seen and experienced each week at the Friday Harbor Farmers’ Market. 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 8, San Juan Island Library. Einstein’s Cat: The Coming of Telegraphy on San Juan Island, Part Two — Time and distance had a profound effect on events as they unfolded during the Pig War crisis of 1859. Learn when the telegraph arrived here and how it affected communications on San Juan Island in the second installment of this presentation introduced in 2014 by Park Ranger Doug Halsey. 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 15, San Juan Island Library.

Landscape Painting Workshops — Join San Juan Island artist Nancy Spaulding to learn how she utilizes photography and sketching onsite to create many of her landscapes of American Camp features and vistas. The July program will cover photography and sketching subjects onsite. In August participants may bring their projects from the first session, but all are welcome. 2 p.m., Saturdays, July 18 and August 8, meets at the American Camp visitor center. Storytelling with Karen Haas — Join Washington state’s beloved storyteller Karen Haas for an entertaining evening of pioneer lore as told by the people who lived it. 7 p.m., Friday, July 24, Royal Marine barracks.

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Northwest Pioneer Folkways Demonstrations — Author and educator Janet Oakley will set up at Encampment for demonstrations of pioneer folkways from butter churning to Dutch oven baking and other tasks. Noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 25, English Camp parade ground. Encampment 2015 — Park staff, volunteers and re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada recreate life on San Juan Island at mid19th century. The Candlelight Ball is scheduled 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. All day, Saturday and Sunday, July 25-26, English Camp parade ground. Sheep to Shawl at English Camp — Join weavers from throughout the San Juan Islands when they gather in the barracks to demonstrate how pioneers transformed raw wool into yarn, and witness how a period loom transforms the yarn into cloth for blankets, apparel and more. All day, Sunday, August 2, English Camp parade ground.

Mapping the San Juan Islands Redux — Join Boyd Pratt, Doug McCutcheon and Mike Vouri for a reprise and update of their evening of viewing 1890s images of the San Juan islands by the U.S. Coast Survey’s John Gilbert, contrasted with photographs taken from the same perspective today. Vouri will open the discussion with a look at the first survey of the islands from 1853-1860. Pratt will follow with insights on Gilbert’s land-use T-sheets. McCutchen will then present a series of slides that capture from the same perspective today the sites of Gilbert’s images. 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 19, San Juan Island Grange. Park Update: An Evening with Superintendent Lee Taylor — Learn how park operations fared in the 2015 summer season, from Cattle Point to the Mitchell Hill trail network. Lee will be pleased to field questions from the audience. 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 9, San Juan island Library

Prescriptions • Souvenirs • T Shirts & Sweatshirts • Candy • Hallmark Cards & Gifts, Gift Wrap • Art, Office & School Supplies

San Juan Island’s Favorite Corner Store — Since 1920 — 210 Spring St, Friday Harbor • 378-4421 • Open Mon–Sat 9 am–7 pm; Sun. 10 am.–4 pm

New era begins this summer on Mitchell Hill trails Directional signs to be installed by staff, partners


ecoming disoriented in the Mitchell Hill trail network will soon be significantly reduced thanks to a joint effort by the park and the community. Park staff and volunteers were scheduled July 1 to install 21 directional signs, plus a trailhead bulletin board in the more than 300-acre network, added to the southern boundary of the park’s English Camp unit in 2010. There has been no directional signage in Mitchell Hill’s maze of old logging roads, deer tracks and social trails dating to the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ownership era. As a result, it was easy for hikers to become lost over the years, sometimes emerging from the woodland miles from where they started. “On one occasion the county had to dispatch a search party,” said Mike Vouri, park chief of interpretation. The 1’ by 1’ directional signs will be mounted on posts and installed at key trail junctions throughout the property. Trails cross several seasonal creeks, wind through a stand of cedars and top out on the summit of Mitchell Hill, which is dominated by a giant Douglas fir. The addition of a large trailhead map and the unobtrusive trail signs will increase safety without compromising the natural setting, according to Lee Taylor, park superintendent, who developed the system and signs with input from park staff and the San Juan Island Trails Committee. The National Parks and Conservation Association paid for the signs. “I am pleased to say this was a team effort that would not have been possible, especially without the help of those who’ve hiked, biked and ridden horses there for many years,” Taylor said. The Mitchell Hill and Westcott Bay Development Concept Plan/Environmental Assessment planning process included seven public meetings and three opportunities for the public to provide comment. The document not only provides for the directional signage, but also includes a blueprint for future facilities and recreational activities. More than 40 citizens commented throughout the process, Taylor said.

The Mitchell Hill trail network (above) is located at the end of Horsetrail Road, just off West Valley Road. It is the only trail in the park (including the American Camp unit) that provides for bicycling as well as horseback riding and hiking. It was developed following a series of public meetings and valuable comments made by those who’ve used the trails extensively over the decades. Clip and save.

The process getting there isn‛t easy either. As a caterpillar, it goes through five different transformations, or instars. Each period of development lasts about 4-5 days, and is completey dependent on the health of its host plant, the field mustard.

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Jessica Herron is a Northwest-born illustrator and animator who recently finished an artist residency at San Juan Island National Historical Park. Visit her at jesspherron.wordpress.com . San Juan Island National Historical Park 2015


Know your island walks SanJuanIslandTrails.org Parks.Wa.gov SanJuanco.Com/parks SjcLandBank.org GuideToSanJuans.com

Above: The Strait of Juan de Fuca comes into view from a bluff overlooking the south end of San Juan Island. Left: A party of four travel the 6-mile-long American Camp Trail (ACT). Contributed photos. Below: A Barred owl perches on a branch after catching a snake on the west side of San Juan Island. Cindy Hansen photo


oin the Trails Committee for a group hike on San Juan Island on the fourth Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. All ages are welome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. July 25, 1-4 p.m. Roche Harbor Trails Meet Mike Buettell, volunteer trail builder and mountain climber, to walk "new trails" in the Roche Harbor system. Explore "Tim's Trail" to the new Polywog Pond, the Bent Cedar Trail and Sophie's Romp. Meet and park at the intersection of Roche Harbor and West Valley Roads. Distance: 3.5 mi. Rating: Moderate on gentle trails with 200' elevation gain. Dogs on leashes okay. Aug. 22, 1-4 p.m. Westcott Bay Trail Meet Lee Taylor, Superintendent of San Juan Island National Historical Park, and learn about this recent addition to the park;

Photo/ Matt Pranger

Meet and park at English Camp in the main parking lot. Distance: 3 mi. Rating: Moderate on wooded path. No dogs. Plan to rest at the Westcott Bay house for refreshments and celebrating trails.

T.G.I.F. All YeAr lonG!

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Sept. 26, 1-4 p.m. Mitchell Hill Meet Lee Taylor, Superintendent of San Juan Island National Historical Park, and walk to Mitchell Hill through cedar groves and Garry Oak woodlands. Hear from Lee about park plans for this area. Meet at English Camp’s main parking lot to carpool to trail head. Distance: 3-mi. loop. Rating: Moderate on wooded trail with significant ups and downs. Dogs on leashes okay.


...and visit several historical structures including the 1894 San Juan County Jail and our new addition, the developing San Juan Island Museum of History and Industry, profiling the history of fishing, farming logging and limestone processing. Located a short distance from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor. Hours: May–September, Thurs.–Sat. 10-4, Sun. 1-4 April–October, Sat. 1 – 4 November–March by appointment San Juan Historical Museum 405 Price Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360.378.3949 • sjmuseum.org historicsanjuans.org

P.O. Box 889 • Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360-378-2688 • VHF66A www.portfridayharbor.org

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n addition to beautiful scenery and interesting history, parks in the San Juan Islands are also home to a rich variety of wildlife. Whether you have a quiet picnic or go for a long hike, seeing and hearing a range of wild creatures can add to your enjoyment of these special places. You may be lucky enough to watch a bald eagle soar overhead, see a harbor seal pop its head out of the water or catch a glimpse of a doe and her fawn moving quietly through the trees. There may be little swallows swooping to catch insects, a garter snake warming itself on a rock or a heron standing motionless at the edge of the water. They are all around you, if you look and listen!

While you are enjoying the many parks and trails in the islands, here are some ways you can help keep wildlife safe. CARS Many wild animals, including deer, otters, raccoons and owls, are hit by cars. Drive slowly and carefully, especially at night and in wooded areas. DOGS Most dogs love to chase and can injure or kill wild animals. Keep your dog under control at all times.

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BOATS Marine animals can be injured by boats and propellers, and boat wakes can damage shorelines. Go carefully, watch out for animals in the water and minimize your wake when you are close to shore. LITTER Bottles, cans, plastic bags, etc., are all potential hazards for wildlife. Dispose of all garbage properly. FISHING Animals can become caught in discarded fishing line, nets or hooks. Remove unwanted or snagged fishing gear.

Slow and Quiet Move slowly and quietly. If you move quickly and make lots of noise, most wild animals will be gone long before you realize they are there. Listen and Look Use your ears as well as your eyes. Often the first clue that a wild animal is nearby is a sound - a few cheeps from the branches above your head, or a rustle in the bushes.

Sit and Watch Choose a good spot, sit quietly, and look around. It’s more rewarding to watch animals acting naturally, unaware that you are there. Not Too Close Don’t be tempted to move closer to get a better look. Use binoculars and watch from a distance to avoid disturbance.

Located in the heart of Moran State Park www.orcasadventures.com • Open 10-7 Daily

FOOD Wild animals can be attracted to road sides and picnic areas if they are fed, or food scraps are left behind. They are then more likely to be injured, and young animals can become reliant on handouts when they should be learning how to forage for natural foods. Don’t be tempted to feed wildlife, and remove all picnic leftovers. Abundant wildlife is one of the reasons parks in the San Juan Islands are so special. While you are visiting, enjoy these beautiful wild creatures and help keep them safe.

Go take a hike

View from Yellow Aster Butte, the Aug. 16, 2014 hike. LOPEZ COMMUNITY TRAILS NETWORK


he Lopez Community Trails Network, a trails organization on Lopez Island, 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 on Saturdays. Hikes are at a leisurely pace, encouraging exploration and experiencing the wonders of nature. Sign-up is by phone or email with the hike leader. There is no expense except the sharing of transportation costs when we go off-island. Call Bob Walker (360-468-3397) with any questions about any details. July 11 • Anacortes Forest and Cranberry Lake This little jewel of a lake is just five minutes from the Anacortes ferry terminal, but seems worlds away. There are many optional up and down routes that circumnavigate the lake for a total of two or three miles unless the group wants to explore even farther. From Lopez we will car pool for the 9:35 a.m. ferry. If you are from Orcas, call for car pool instructions. For sign-up or questions contact Mike Moore at 360468-3622 or eroom@rockisland.com. August 15 • Sauk Mountain This easy to moderate four-mile round-trip

Cali Bagby photo

hike to the site of a former lookout cabin boasts great vistas of the surrounding peaks as well as the Skagit River. We will carpool to the trailhead, which is off Highway 20, near Concrete. We plan on taking the first a.m. ferry to Anacortes. For sign-up and/or questions contact hike leader, Chris Coiley at 360- 622-6307 or cjcoiley@yahoo.com. September 26 • Chain Lakes Loop There is a reason for the name. We go past Upper and Lower Bagley Lakes plus Iceberg, Hayes and Mazama Lakes, all within the 7-mile-hike. This is a one way hike either starting or finishing at Artists Point, with up

close views of Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker. We will car pool from Lopez on the first or second ferry to Anacortes. Contact Bob Walker for further info and signup at 360-4683397 or robwillwalk@hotmail.com. October 10 • American Camp, San Juan Island This national historic site on San Juan Island has many trails with open views of the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. We will take the 10 a.m. ferry from Lopez and return on the 5:40 p.m. ferry. For sign-up/ questions, contact trip leader, Bob Walker (360468-3397 or robwillwalk@hotmail.com).

Full service fitness center offers training, group fitness classes, an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna Orcas CrossFit classes will help you achieve your fitness goals and reach limits that you didn’t think were possible. We are the only Crossfit facility on Orcas.

www.orcasmuseum.org • (360) 376-4849 181 North Beach Road • Eastsound, WA 98245 Open Sun 12 to 3 pm all year Wed-Sat 11 am to 4 pm May through September

376-6361 188 A Street • Eastsound www.OrcasAthletics.com

Orcas Island: Hiking the State Park BY ERINN NELSON


oing for a hike and enjoying the scenery is a favorite island pastime for residents and visitors, but it can often lead to the question “What’s that?” With a wide variety of flora and fauna and a rich history the San Juan Islands are a unique place to experience and learn about the natural splendor that makes the county special. The seasonal staff of naturalists and volunteers offer their outdoor services at Moran State Park. Since 2009, when Moran’s Outdoor School was closed and the position of resident naturalist was cut due to lost funding, Moran State Park has relied on the efforts of volunteers, college interns and the nonprofit organization Friends of Moran to provide visitors with interesting information and educational experiences. The Western Washington University interns and volunteers have returned to Moran State Park for another season of

guided walks, scavenger hunts "Volunteers are and educational fun. crucial for a “Volunteers are crucial for a successful learning center. We successful learning operate seasonally on volunteer center..." staff,” says the Friends of Moran website. “We have some amazing naturalists on hand to answer questions. We can help you set out on a spectacular nature walk, treasure hunt or just tell you which island you are looking at.” The Summit Learning Center, which opened in May of 2012, is at the heart of the Moran educational experience. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. through the summer. Guided walks embark or end at the learning center’s location at the top of Mt. Constitution, across from the Summit Gift Shop. Within the Summit Learning Center visitors will find the 70 gallon tank filled with Kokanee fish from Moran Creek Hatchery, the “Newtarium” housing rough-skinned newts, and


Did you know that San Juan County is the only Leave No Trace county in the U.S.? On Oct. 7, 2014, San Juan County became the first county in the U.S. designated as a voluntary “Leave No Trace” area as they adopted the guiding principles and ethics to support Stewardship on the San Juan Islands. That is something to be proud of. Some very progressive thinking on the local county council’s part. But they know the facts. Last year the county had more than a million visitors. The six National Park Service units in this region reflected an

interactive learning experiences. Visitors interested in learning more can join in guided walks, offered daily. The “Newt Walk” embarks from the Summit Learning Center and takes participants along the migratory path of the orange-bellied rough skinned newts that make Summit Lake their home. Or beginning from the Moran Creek Kokanee Hatchery, located near the swimming area of Cascade Lake, follow the waterways that the young land-locked salmon take in their journey through the park and their life cycles. The guided walk ends at the Summit Learning Center to take an up-close look at some of the Moran’s Kokanee. Also in the Summit Learning Center, kids are invited to join in a “treasure hunt” where they are given a list of items to find. The first to collect their “forest booty,” including finding different types of pine cones, locating cedar and fir trees, and varieties of moss, receives a prize.

increase of visitation across the board last year, and listen to this – your San Juan county parks were up 40 percent in the shoulder season and started this season up 18 percent in the first quarter. Everyone who works with the tourism industry is aware of this growing pressure. It is the nature of living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are many reasons for the increase in tourism: better economy, safe but exciting, stronger U.S. dollar in Canada, even our cultural values have evolved. Material possessions are lessening in the percent of expendable income, in favor of experiential purchase. And look at the really big picture: there are lots more people on earth–a billion born since 2000. The world’s population has doubled since 1970. This county’s land managers have embraced Leave No Trace as one of the ways we can retain the special qualities, local aesthetics and minimize impacts to the environment. For more info, check out lnt.org/blog/leave-no-trace-middle-sea.


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Profile for Sound Publishing

Park and Trails Guide - 2015  


Park and Trails Guide - 2015