ANACORTES, Wash. — The Anacortes Community Forest Lands are a nearly 3,000-acre wilderness just outside of downtown Anacortes. The network of trails is a favorite for locals to explore and for those with a couple hours to spare waiting for ferries.
I’d recommend getting a map before you go. It’s pretty easy to lose yourself in the dozens of miles of trails here. There is a kiosk with a map posted. Make yourself familiar, and it might be a good idea to write down the trail numbers of the route you're going to take.
One popular trail is around Little Cranberry Lake, which is about a mile and a half loop. The trail starts out groomed, but there are some rugged parts. Use some caution when hiking with little ones. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
On the east side of the lake, you can see burn scars, which are signs that a wildfire has been through here recently. There are numerous vantage points around the lake with differing perspectives. This lake was originally a pond before getting dammed up in the early 1900's.
So instead of waiting for hours to take the ferry, explore this hike instead.