Orcas Island – Day 2 – Hiking

Day 2 had us on our way back to Moran State Park. It was a quick drive through beautiful pastoral farms as we headed for Cascade Falls. The friendliness of the island is present everywhere from friendly waves to fresh eggs left on the side of the road. No price marked, just leave a donation.

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A little further and we were driving through the arch of Moran State Park.

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Shortly after entering the park, we were coasting past Cascade Lake. It was hugging the road and so beautiful we had to stop for a picture. The road goes through one of the camping areas so some of the campers were right at the lake’s edge. The others were farther up the hill on the other side of the road. We were super quiet so as not to disturb the campers still sleeping. 

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The first hike was to Cascade Falls. These falls are about 40 feet tall. They are the largest waterfall in the San Juan Islands. It was an easy hike to the falls. 

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The hiking trail followed a crystal clear stream called Cascade Creek. We could hear the falls way before we could see them. 21

Even the dogs had a fun time exploring the area. Heidi was a little intimidated by the sound of rushing water, but Baylie jumped right in following my daughter into the icy cold water as she tried to get to a better vantage point for taking  pictures. 

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There were lots of things planned for the day so after enjoying the old-growth forest, the babbling stream, and the beautiful cascading falls, we hiked back the way we had come. At first, Heidi resisted leaving this serene, gorgeous area, but then decided she didn’t want to be left behind!

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We past a fallen tree that failed to resist the high winds of a storm.

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All though there are over ten hikes promising views, lakes, old-growth forests, challenging climbs, and more in Moran, our sights were set on another park, Obstruction Pass State Park. This hike took us through mossy, towering trees, far-reaching views of Buck Bay and East Sound, and all the way down to the sea’s edge with the largest public beach on the San Juan Islands.  

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There was evidence of woodpeckers and insects making homes or finding food in some of the trees. 

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While we were standing there enjoying the spectacular water views, an immature Bald Eagle landed right in front of us. At first, we dared to move fearing he would take flight before we could take a picture. 

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We need not have worried. He wasn’t concerned about us or the dogs. He was fascinating to watch as he surveyed his kingdom below.

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Our allotted time for the day’s hiking was used up quite a while ago, so we returned to the car and headed back to the bed & breakfast for a lunch of fruits and cheeses we had packed for our weekend.  The beauty of Cascade Lake beckoned for one more picture. 

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