San Juan Islands

Orcas Island

Flickr: Jasperdo

Orcas Island is the second-largest San Juan island, and a popular choice among outdoor recreation enthusiasts. There are some lovely spots for running on Orcas Island, especially for trail runners. There’s a gorgeous array of paths at Moran State Park and Turtleback Mountain Preserve. 

Moran State Park:  One of the best places to run on Orcas Island is Moran State Park. This lovely protected space sits at the center of the island’s eastern bend. It’s a spectacular hiking destination, but runners will have no problem finding a route that suits their experience level. There are 6 miles of horse trails, 11 miles of bike trails, and 38 miles of hiking trails. This brochure and map has numerous suggestions for trail runs/hikes, ranging from easy to challenging.

One of the best options is a loop around Cascade Lake at the southwest corner of the park. Most of the route is fairly gentle trail, but the east half uses the shoulder of Olga Road. Starting from Midway Campgrounds, the loop is 2.6 miles. For more distance, continue east on the 1.5 mile trail to Cascade Falls.  ROUTE MAP: LAKE LOOPFor modest trail running, the 3.9 mile Mountain Lake Loop is a good option.

Turtleback Mountain Preserve: The trails of Turtleback Mountain Preserve are generally wide and soft, but they can be quite steep. Most runs here are better suited for experienced trail runners or hikers. However, the views are incredible. The 2 km out and back from Crow Valley School Museum to the North Valley Overlook is a good route to test the waters. Generally wooded, but there are some great views too.  ROUTE MAP TRAIL MAP   INFORMATION

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