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By Mike, July 20, 2015 6:45 PM

Meet Mike Buettell, volunteer trail builder and mountain climber extraordinaire, to walk new trails in the Roche Harbor system.  Explore Tim’s Trail to the new Pollywog Pond, the Bent Cedar Trail and Sophie’s Romp.  Meet and park at the intersection of Roche Harbor and West Valley Roads. Distance; 3.5 mi.  Rating: Moderate on gentle trails with 200′ elevation gain.  Dogs on leashes okay.

New Trail Signs on Mitchell Hill

By Mike, July 1, 2015 10:15 PM

Mitchell Hill has traditionally been the place where even experienced hikers got lost — and calling 911 on your cell phone, if it worked at all, might connect you with Victoria. After the National Park Service acquired the land a few years ago, superintendent Lee Taylor determined to install unobtrusive signs to end this problem. On Wednesday of this week, after a lot of planning and public input — and approval of the signpost locations by a Park Service anthropologist — a group of volunteers helped Park staff install the new signs. Some 30 people from Spring Street International School, the San Juan Island Trails Committee, and the general public worked from 10 until 1 and then shared a meal laid out on long tables set up under the trees.

Signs now indicate two loop trails. One, marked with green arrow signs, is shorter and easier. The longer, steeper loop is indicated with blue arrow signs. Intersections are marked — if you come to an unmarked intersection, just bear on straight ahead. And every directional sign includes an arrow pointing back to the Horse Trail Road parking area. There are posted maps at most entrances to the property, though not one as yet at the main entrance and parking area on Horse Trail Road. But there is a map box there with printed maps provided by the Trails Committee (and paid for by Roche Harbor Resort).  You may also download a printable version  here. With one exception, all the trails are open to hikers, bicyclists, and horse riders. The general rule is: Bikers yield to everyone, and everyone yields to horses. But the pattern so far has seemed to be that everyone defers to everyone else. Only the Cedar Grove Trail, beginning near the entrance, is now limited to hikers only


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By Mike, June 10, 2015 8:44 PM

From Trees to Tap: The Workings of a Working Watershed. Meet caretaker Will Hamilton and water systems manager Chad Hoffman for an educational tour of the Briggs Lake area (known as the Roche Harbor Watershed) which is a private forest providing water, wood, wildlife and recreation which is enjoyed by many islanders. Learn what makes this watershed and water treatment plant property so unique. Take the watershed tour, a distance of 1.25mi. and then walk .75 mi. or drive to a tour of the water treatment plant where liquid refreshments will be served. Terrain: grassy trails, level to downhill (no uphill). Rating: gentle. Dogs on leashes okay. Rain or shine. Meet and park at corner of Roche Harbor and West Valley Roads. Limited parking; please carpool if possible.

Poetry Walks

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By Mike, April 3, 2015 12:18 PM

In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, as well as National Poetry Month, The Land Bank, with help from its partners, SJI Library, SJI National Historical Park, SJI Trails Committee, Lime Kiln Point State Park, and Friends of Lime Kiln Society (F.O.L.K.S.), have placed nature-inspired poems, submitted and selected by Islanders, along trails winding through some of San Juan Island’s most inspiring natural settings – Limekiln and Deadman Bay Preserves, Lime Kiln Point State Park, and American Camp.
The Poetry Trails are yours to explore during regular Park and Preserve hours throughout the month of April.  Included in our month long celebration is a series of three Saturday guided poetry walks.  Poetry Walks Flyer

“A Decade of Living at Windy Corner on the Yukon River in Alaska.”

By Mike, March 25, 2015 9:36 AM


Using slides, Lynette Roberts and Steve Ulvi will share stories and memories of the people and the immense taiga landscape while learning to live a simple life in the bush along the Upper Yukon River near Eagle, Alaska. They lived, worked and adventured in Alaska for 33 years, moving to San Juan island in 2007 to build a new homestead life in retirement. Refreshments will be served.

Know Your Island Walk, Sat. March 28

By Mike, March 16, 2015 6:52 PM

Sat. March 28, 2015, 1-4pm.
Meet Kathleen Foley of the San Juan Preservation Trust and Tanja Williamson of the San Juan County Land Bank for a behind the scenes look at an exciting land acquisition project being undertaken for future public use. Learn about the Mount Grant Preserve (formerly known as Lawson Ridge) and get a peek at its spectacular views of San Juan Island. Distance: 2 mi. RT. Terrain: old unpaved road and rough unfinished path with significant uphill and down. Altitude gain/loss 500′. Rating: moderate to difficult. No dogs, please. Rain or shine. Binoculars suggested. Meet and park at the Preserve entrance on West Valley Road. Look for sandwich sign saying “San Juan Preservation Trust/ Land Bank Event”. Parking is limited so please try to carpool.

Spring Is Here Potluck, March 19th

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By Mike, March 8, 2015 8:02 PM

March 19th, 6pm at the Grange Hall. Continue reading 'Spring Is Here Potluck, March 19th'»

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