Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Guemes Channel and Ship Harbor Trail

Distance: 1.6 Miles RT for both trails

Elevation Gain: Negligible.

Season: Year-round.

Description: These two trails are connected and are accessible from a cul-de-sac near the water and the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. The Guemes Channel Trail is a paved path along an old railroad bed next to Guemes Channel. Local residents are advocating for this path to continue all the way into downtown Anacortes, but currently the path ends after 0.45 miles. Kids will enjoy looking out over the water and watching boats go by. I could also imagine younger children practicing their bicycle skills there. Once you reach the end, turn around and head back to the beginning. The west side of the parking area is where you’ll find the trailhead for the Ship Harbor Trail. This trail wanders through seaside vegetation, and the surface consists or sand and boardwalk. Birds flit through the bushes, bunnies hop in the underbrush, and cormorants sun themselves on old pilings in the water. We enjoyed the statues, and spent some time on the benches looking out toward the ferry and the islands across the channel. If you’re in the area, this is a sweet place to come stretch your legs. Interpretive signs give you a glimpse back into history, too.

Directions: From I-5, take exit 230 in Burlington, and follow SR 20 west into Anacortes. Turn right at the traffic circle on Commercial, and then left on 12th St. (Follow the signs for the Ferry.) After 2.6 miles, turn right on Ship Harbor Blvd. (it’s a housing development). Turn left on Edwards Way. The road turns down toward the waterfront. Park in the Cul-de-sac at the end of the road. There was a porta-potty at the trailhead when we went.

Links: Learn more about the Guemes Channel Trail and the work to connect it to other trails. See our trip report.