Six of us met up at the trailhead at Heart Lake on a very cool morning. This was billed as a Strenuous 9mi hike and I wanted to get a fairly early start. My plan was to hike around Heart Lake then up onto Sugar Loaf for a view, then over to Mount Erie for Lunch and views and finish off with a hike around Whistle Lake. This gave us two nice lakes and two very nice viewpoints in the Anacortes Community Forest Trail system. The weather forecast was partly sunny. The weather kept it’s promise, kind of. For the most part it was cloudy with little sun. Occasionally the sun tried to peek out. Right at the end of the hike the sun finally came out in its glory and made for a very pleasant final hour of hiking. The views did not disappoint although the Olympics were mostly shrouded in clouds, as well as Mt. Baker. We got some very nice views of the local lakes in the area and the many islands and channels in the nearby salt water. We started hiking at 9:00, stopped for lunch on Mt. Erie as planned and finished our hike about 3:30. Total distance was 9.5 miles on my GPS. The hike started at an elevation of 340 ft and climbed to 1263 ft at Mt. Erie. The part that generated the most discussion was those elevations indicate a gain of about 900 ft. With the magic of a GPS adding up all the ups and downs we actually had a total elevation gain of 2200 feet. Toward the end of the hike as our pace had significantly slowed the topic of total elevation gain seemed to crop up in the conversations more frequently. I think we all enjoyed the hike.
Photos on the MBC Flickr Page.