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Lummi Island Hikes: Baker Preserve Trail and Otto Preserve

Last updated May 14, 2022 | Published on Nov 21, 2018

Lummi Island is an often-overlooked hiking destination in Washington State. A small island that is only accessible by ferry, it’s a great daytrip or weekend getaway from the nearby cities of Bellingham or Seattle.

If you’re a foodie, Lummi Island is particularly amazing due to the Willows Inn and associated restaurant. Run by award-winning head chef Blaine Wetzel, the restaurant serves some of the best food I have  eaten in my entire life (and I’ve dined at The French Laundry and NOMA, so that’s saying something).

During your stay on the island, be sure to check out several Lummi Island hikes. My personal favorite is the Baker Preserve Trail, although the trails in Otto Preserve are really nice too.

The first of four deer I saw that morning.

Be on the lookout for deer on Lummi Island!

Lummi Island Hikes – Which One to Choose?

There are three trails (or trail systems) that I know of on Lummi Island, all managed by the nonprofit Lummi Island Heritage Trust.

The Baker Preserve Trail is the best known hiking path on Lummi Island. The trail is 3.2 miles roundtrip with 1000 feet of elevation gain – so its short but steep but with a great view at the end.

Otto Preserve is a small protected area on the island with a network of trails criss-crossing it through the forest. It’s a great place to get a closer view of the woods.

Curry Preserve is less remote than the other two hiking areas and includes some nice footpaths near some houses on the island. It is also dog-friendly.

An old stove by the side of the road on Lummi Island.

Baker Preserve Trail

  • Distance: 3.2 miles there-and-back
  • Elevation gain: 1000 feet

Baker Preserve Trail is a short but steep hike through the woods to the Baker Preserve Ridge, which has great views of the Puget Sound. There are not many tall points on the island, so the ridge is easily visible from various points on Lummi Island.

View towards Baker Preserve Ridge from the nearby road at early morning.

When I hiked the Baker Preserve Trail, I arrived to 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.

Baker Preserve Trailhead

Baker Preserve Trail

Baker Preserve Trail

From there it’s a relatively easy half-mile to the top of the ridge.

After reaching the ridge, follow the signs to a viewpoint with an amazing vista of Puget Sound. Be prepared for rain (it is Washington State, after all!) but with any luck, you’ll get a break in the clouds and be able to see the amazing view.

From the vista, you can see all the way to the San Juan Islands. If you like the water, consider exploring them by boat with an epic San Juan Islands sailing itinerary.

I made it to the top!

View from the top of Baker Preserve Trail

Trail along Baker Ridge

Otto Preserve

During the same visit to Lummi Island, I decided to check out Otto Preserve with my husband, Daniel. The reserve is a lovely forested area with lots of trails that 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.

Welcome to Otto Preserve

Daniel at the Otto Preserve Trailhead

A nice quiet place for a break


We love Lummi Island!

Preparing for Hikes in Lummi Island

Even though these trails are located near developed areas in Lummi Island, remember that you are entering a rugged outdoors environment and prepare accordingly. Pack a lunch or snacks, bring water, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Check the weather forecast and make sure you’re prepared for the weather conditions with plenty of layers as appropriate.

Familiarize yourself with proper hiking bathroom etiquette before hitting the trail and be sure to leave no trace of your visit behind.

Hiking Gear for Hikes in Lummi Island

Not sure what to bring or wear on your hike? This list includes some of my favorite gear when going on hikes in Lummi Island.

  • Hiking Shoes – Sturdy hiking shoes are important. I’m a big fan of Altra Lone Peak Trail Running Shoes and pair them with Dirty Girl Gaiters to keep rocks from getting into my shoes.
  • Socks – Good thick socks are key. I usually wear a pair of double-walled Wrightsock Coomesh II socks with my Altras. For longer hikes, I switch to Injinji Midweight socks to prevent toe blisters.
  • Backpack – I love Osprey backpacks and use the Osprey Manta pack which is technically a men’s pack (because I have a longer torso than most women). The women’s equivalent is the Osprey Mira pack.
  • Hiking Poles – Hiking poles reduce pressure on your joints and help maintain your balance if you trip. My current favorites are the LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles because they are super lightweight and portable.
  • Rain Gear – Raingear is essential when hiking in the PNW. My favorite rain jacket is the Outdoor Research Helium II jacket since it is very lightweight.
  • Camera – I love taking photos and always bring a camera along on my hiking trips. I use the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III because it is lightweight yet has many advanced features.

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Have you been on any of these Lummi Island hikes? If so, I’d like to hear from you! Leave a comment below.

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Hi, I'm Unicorn!

I am an avid hiker, traveler, and adventurer who is on the mission to explore hiking trails around the world.  I’m also obsessed with National Parks, long-distance trails and other outdoorsy things.

I hope to share this knowledge with you and inspire you to explore new hiking trails too!


  1. robbidenman

    Nice!! My hubby and I are heading to Willows for dinner and an overnight on 12/9. Last time we did the Baker Preserve and were looking for another so reading your blog is timely! Isn’t Willows amazing?!?!?! We go once a year! Happy Anniversary! BTW, you may already know, but they are having a Cyber Monday sale online for their gift certificates which I am pretty sure apply to dinner (anniversary #9?) Take good care!

    • Unicorn

      Thanks for the lovely comment. Have a wonderful dinner at Willows!


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