It’s always fun to discover new trails. On a recent trip to Lummi Island, I took the opportunity to check out some footpaths in the area. Daniel and I were there to celebrate our 8-year anniversary and to eat at the world-renowned Willows Inn. I wanted to work up an appetite for our big dinner, so I got up early that morning and hit the trail.
There are three trails that I know of on Lummi Island, all managed by the nonprofit Lummi Island Heritage Trust. The Baker Preserve Trail is the best known of the three, and so I decided to start my explorations there. The trail is only 3.2 miles roundtrip with 1000 feet of elevation gain, so I extended my hike by starting from the cottage that we rented for the weekend.
And that’s how I found myself walking southbound along S. Nugent Road as morning dawned around me. The road was littered with small branches and leaves from last night’s windstorm. As I walked, I passed a neighbor wrestling a particularly large branch from the middle of the road off to the side.
The road didn’t have much of a shoulder to walk along, but it didn’t really matter. Only a handful of cars drove by as I walked, each slowing and giving me a friendly neighborly wave. Halfway to the trailhead, I passed a field with an unobstructed view of the Baker Preserve Ridge. I eyed the top, looking forward to the pleasant climb ahead as dawn broke around me in earnest.
I arrived at the trailhead 20 minutes later to find an empty parking lot. The trail begins with a steep climb uphill and I was glad to have my hiking poles with me. The grade becomes a bit less steep after about a quarter mile but still climbs aggressively until it reaches a junction with an old logging road.
From there it’s a relatively easy half-mile to the top of the ridge. I followed the signs to a viewpoint with an amazing vista of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. It had been drizzling all morning, but thankfully the clouds parted and the view was clear.
The next morning, Daniel and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Willows Inn and decided to check out another trail before taking the ferry back to the mainland. We headed to Otto Preserve, which houses the Lummi Island Heritage Trust headquarters.
Previously home to a farm raising Scottish highland cattle, the 100-acre Otto Preserve includes several short intertwining trails that meander through quiet woods. Old farm buildings and equipment are in evidence through the trees. The path is wide and mostly flat – a pleasant but easy ramble through the woods to round out our trip to the island.