Here is a hike that is rapidly growing in popularity on the south part of San Juan Island. Mount Finlayson is hardly a true mountain at 295 feet but the views from the top of this hill on a good take are truly breathtaking. On a clear one can see across the Straight of Juan De Fuca and many of the San Juan Islands. The hill has three noted bumps. The middle bump with the highpoint a little off-trail is the true summit but both the west summit and the east summit also have breathtaking views. The trail up to the parking area vary with some gradual section combined with some short steeper sections. Once you get to the higher elevations though the hike becomes much more gradual with constant views of the ocean. It is also a national historic site so one can marvel at the history of the site while enjoying the stunning views.
Directions from Anacortes: Take the Friday Harbor Ferry (which does have a higher toll). Take Spring Street through downtown Friday Harbor. Make a left on Mullis Street. This road will become Cattle Point Road. Stay on the road for 7 miles. The Jakle's Lagoon trailhead will be on your left.
From the Jakle's Lagoon Trailhead take the trail marked to Mount Finlayson east. The trail itself will start out gradual but will get steeper once it goes over the first bump of Mount Finalyson. Once over the first bump the trail will then head to the second bump which is the true summit. For those who are anal walk off trail to the north in the woods and tag the true summit which is in the trees. From there traverse over to the third bump. From there you can either make a quick turn back or head take the trail down head make a loop as the trail goes over to Jackle's Lagoon.
From what I saw no red tape was required for this trailhead. That might change in the future because this is a National Historic Park.
This is a hike that can be done at any time. Don't though try this hike like I did on a rainy day.
Camping is prohibited on this trail because it is a national historic park.