Guemes Channel Trail


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Guemes Channel Trail Facts

States: Washington
Counties: Skagit
Length: 1.2 miles
Trail end points: Ship Harbor Boulevard cul-de-sac and Ferry Terminal Road
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7725629
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Guemes Channel Trail Description

Guemes Channel Trail will link downtown Anacortes, the Tommy Thompson Trail, and the San Juan Ferry. Both trails offer shoreline routes along old rail corridors.

The Guemes Channel Trail is currently built in two segments, beginning from the cul-de-sac at the end of Ship Harbor Boulevard. A short gravel trail heads west from there towards the ferry docks with scenic beach overlooks. A future phase will bring the trail further west to Washington Park. The eastern portion is a broad blacktop trail quite close to the water that heads towards town. 

Parking and Trail Access

Limited parking is available at the cul-de-sac at the end of Ship Harbor Boulevard.

Guemes Channel Trail Reviews

This is a lovely paved trail that hugs the shoreline along Guemes Channel where large ferries regularly ply the waters between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. The views are outstanding and the trail is accessible year round. Make a right turn off Highway 20 directly through the San Juan Passage housing development downhill to reach trailhead parking area along the water. The trail goes east about 1.2 miles toward the city of Anacortes with plans for eventual completion all the way to city center. This same parking area also serves the Ship Harbor Trail which runs westward toward the WA State ferry terminal. If you get the yen to go to Guemes Island there is a small Skagit County ferry that makes regular 5-minute crossings from downtown Anacortes.


Posted on March 27, 2014

"It is spring which means that we are getting closer to beginning to work on the next section of the Guemes Channel Trail. If you follow this site you are aware that last year we received state funding allowing the ability to take the trail from it’s current ending to almost as far as Luvric’s Marina. Surveys have been completed and we are now in the permitting process. The goal is to begin the project sometime in late July and have this section completed by fall. There will be challenges along the way but we have a great team at city hall working on solutions.

Meetings have been taking place with neighbors along this section of the trail. We want to be good neighbors and assure the home owners that the community will be respectful of their personal property and privacy.

Funding for the trail is an ongoing process. Mayor Gere has been in contact with our representatives in Olympia and has every reason to believe that we will continue to be in the forefront on project funding. We all need to be talking to city and state officials to let them know the Guemes Channel Trail is an important project. Together we WILL see this project through to completion!"

@@@@ 6.22.2014 TrailBear Takes a Look...

There is a sign at the entrance to the trail showing a map of the proposed extension and the permit application. Check back in July and see if they get started.

Here is a tale of two trails and plans for something more. Here is a real waterfront trail and views to match as you bike or walk along only a few yards from the salt water.


Sure 'nuf. Park at the cul de sac trailhead and decide. If you go right, you are on the Guemes Channel Trail, a blacktop rail trail right along the channel. It runs for about 0.75 miles to an End of Trail sign. You can see the old right of way going onward below the bluff.

The plan is to extend this trail down to join the Tommy Thompson, which begins at the old Anacortes Depot and travels south to Weaverling Spit,then crosses Fidalgo Bay on a trestle to end at March Point.

This is going to take some years, but in 2013 the trail builders scored a $700,000 grant from the state to extent the trail from that End of Trail sign down to Lorvic's Sea-Craft - a rather interesting marina about 0.93 miles further on down the channel.

If you turn left at the trailhead, you find a 5' wide gravel trail leading down into the wetlands behind Ship Harbor and towards the ferry docks. Time Had Been when this was wall to wall canneries, but that was a century ago. We had fish in those days.

Here is a delightful sand beach, old pilings with sea gulls, assorted trail overlooks with sweeping views and a wooden board walk leading across the wetlands.

The plan is to have the GCT run from Washington Park, beyond the ferry docks, down the channel into town. It will be nice waterfront ride when done, but for now you can enjoy a waterfront trail with lots of great views.

Trike on!

Enjoying the sea air and views on the GCT.

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