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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anacortes Community Forest 12-11-05

I'm gonna post this after all, just to see if Monte is still breathing (I think he's the one who encouraged me to visit ACFL in the first place).

Anyhoo, good time was had! Starting from Cranberry Lake, I managed to put together a decent ride (without any map). The first 8 miles were random and brought me back to the trailhead inadvertently via the hiking-only trail -- oops! -- but then I hooked up with a local just starting out and got to buzz the area more deliberately a second time. Good mix of fast/flowy, twisty/techy -- not much muck -- a lot like Banner Forest, only on a larger scale. 'Good for 2 hours. Prime weather, weekend, yet only bumped into three other riders, including the guy I tagged along with. That surprised me. Not the greatest drive/ride ratio for a south ender but still worth a trip. For those who live closer, well, I certainly wish I had something like this in my backyard! :-]
 

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You can get maps at the MT Erie Grocery and other places. Lots more than just 2 hours to do up there. The maps and signs sometimes conflict as to user groups. Also note that there is some state parks land just north of deception pass. Have no idea what's there. Anyone know anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dave_schuldt said:
You can get maps at the MT Erie Grocery and other places. Lots more than just 2 hours to do up there. The maps and signs sometimes conflict as to user groups. Also note that there is some state parks land just north of deception pass. Have no idea what's there. Anyone know anything?
The guy I hooked up with midway had the nice map and it sure looked like we'd covered most of it -- about 15 miles when all was said and done, with already a few repeats worked into that. But I'm just talking about Cranberry Lake and not taking into account some other nearby stuff (Heart and Whistle lakes).
 

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SRR said:
But I'm just talking about Cranberry Lake and not taking into account some other nearby stuff (Heart and Whistle lakes).
i'm leading a ride there this Sunday, i've never been to Cranberry before, there are a few real challenging climbs and ascents in the Heart and Whistle lakes area, as well as having a few advanced natural technical sections. i also believe that the Heart/Whistle area is at least 3 times larger with more trails....

The drainage is better, you get real forest, without the working forest feel of DNR land. A real nice treat for winter riding, i'm personally looking forward to next Sundays ride and getting myself more acquainted with the area. :)
 

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Skookum said:
i'm leading a ride there this Sunday, i've never been to Cranberry before, there are a few real challenging climbs and ascents in the Heart and Whistle lakes area, as well as having a few advanced natural technical sections. i also believe that the Heart/Whistle area is at least 3 times larger with more trails....
We'll have to hook up sometime, my crew has been riding "anna corterz" for many years and we have some great loops worked out. Whistle Lake generally drains better but cranberry is unique and technical.

So some trails to check out if you have a map:
my fave route is to work around the lake clockwise and do 118 as your first descent. At the bottom of that, climb back up and go above 118 to take the trail that drops off the top of that knoll (I think its 124?). After that we work our way over and drop down 129 which bottoms out on a residential road. start climbing back up 129 but veer right which is a nicer climb. Then work your way clockwise around the perimeter back towards the parking area.

Sorry if thats kinda vague, I don't have a map here- just make sure to ride 118 and 129, and explore the options above 118. All fun descents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Skookum said:
I also believe that the Heart/Whistle area is at least 3 times larger with more trails....
If this is true, I guess I need to plan another trip. :) As usual, Zilly only gives a partial picture. Of the 3 Anacortes rides he suggests, Cranberry sounded like the most promising and popular.
 

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SRR said:
If this is true, I guess I need to plan another trip. :) As usual, Zilly only gives a partial picture. Of the 3 Anacortes rides he suggests, Cranberry sounded like the most promising and popular.
You can hit all three areas in one ride, we used to do it quite often. It only requires about 1/4 mile of pavement, the rest is all singletrack. There's not as much good tuff around heart lake though, I woudn't bother to ride there unless you are going between whistle and cranberry.

Its true that whistle lake area is huge- but unless you know your way around, it's tricky to get all the good stuff in a reasonable length loop. There's a lot of short steep climbs and the best trails are definately directional. I would suggest a guided tour there the first few times. Cranberry is easier to navigate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
FM said:
You can hit all three areas in one ride, we used to do it quite often. It only requires about 1/4 mile of pavement . . .
If I'd been more deliberate and spotted the relationship between the three lakes, I would've attempted just that -- three birds with one drive! :-]

But it was a total sudden impulse and I headed out the door with little more than Zilly's directions to the one trailhead, that's it. I guess Cranberry was a lucky first target, since it wasn't that hard to navigate and stay oriented, as you say. I started by following the perimeter all the way round, then worked my way in. The guy I ran into later confirmed that it was all bounded by residential areas. So that settled it, so far as I was concerned. I wouldn't have had a clue how to connect via pavement, even if I'd known the other lakes were that close. Besides, by the time I got there, there wasn't enough time for much else. I usually research stuff better than this but, hey, I just wanted to ramble far and away, somewhere new -- and I wasn't disappointed.

You've motivated me to give it another shot though! and now I regret that I didn't drop the $10 for the nice map at the LBS on my way out.

Hey, thanks for the advice! :-]
 

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Still breathing.

Like FM said, there's way more than 2 hours of riding there. I've been parking at Heart Lake, there's a loop (or 2 or 3) from there in the Whistle Lake area, 2 1/2 hours or more easily. Then there's the bit around Heart Lake itself, not much if I remember right, the best trail got closed to bikes lately I think. BUT from Heart Lake parking you can get to Cranberry and do that bit. Then of course there's doing both Whistle and Cranberry.

Night riding there is a blast. I've gone solo a couple times. It can be disorientating to say the least. I don't know the trails very well and I've been turned around more than once. Riding into the same trail intersection several times from "different" trails (at night) can be frustrating at a minimum.

Monte
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Monte said:
Still breathing.

Like FM said, there's way more than 2 hours of riding there. I've been parking at Heart Lake, there's a loop (or 2 or 3) from there in the Whistle Lake area, 2 1/2 hours or more easily. Then there's the bit around Heart Lake itself, not much if I remember right, the best trail got closed to bikes lately I think. BUT from Heart Lake parking you can get to Cranberry and do that bit. Then of course there's doing both Whistle and Cranberry.

Night riding there is a blast. I've gone solo a couple times. It can be disorientating to say the least. I don't know the trails very well and I've been turned around more than once. Riding into the same trail intersection several times from "different" trails (at night) can be frustrating at a minimum.

Monte
Well, I was beginning to wonder . . . . ;-)

I didn't even glance at my Gazateer before I got there, so -- yeah -- I missed out big time. Putting the three together, even in a haphazard way, would've been better than some of the repetition at Cranberry. I should've stopped at the LBS on my way in. Oh, well. The primary objective was to do 'something' near Anacortes. And you were right, it was worth it. Thanks for forcing my attention.

I contemplated hooking up with Skookum/BBTC today for a go at some of the other stuff but didn't manage to rouse myself in time. The prospect of another long drive wasn't very appealing anyway; it took only two-and-a-half hours to get up there last weekend but nearly four to make it back! what with holiday traffic. :-[

So here I sit -- weather's perfect, no fog! -- still undecided about which way to go. Maybe Cap, maybe further south. I can usually squeeze in a comfortable ride well before the sun goes down, even starting after noon. That way, maybe it'll warm up just a WEE bit! and before the weather changes altogether. You know, I'm almost looking forward to the rain again, if it'll bump us higher into the balmy forties. I must say, my feets haven't been doing too well lately. The other day my friggin' EARS were aching! And -- hell -- it's a wonder my suspension even moves AT ALL! :-| :-o ;-)
 

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Sunday i led a ride out there and had yet another pleasant experience. Four others met me out there, all except one i've ridden with before. Nice demographic, me from Seatac, one from Seattle, 2 from Anacortes area, and 1 from Bellingham.

Anyways we met a nice local, he claimed he was Aussie but from his accent i think he really was Finnish, but what do i know.... Seriously he was totally nice and led us around Heart Lake to start the ride. He had to leave so later we meandered up to the Cranberry section and toodled around there for a spell. Really a fun ride, and a great exploratory experience.

What a great group of people assembled for a ride, everyone just enjoying the nice day. i just got over a sickness so my lungs felt as if they were on fire during the ride. But it was worth it haha.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Skookum said:
Sunday i led a ride out there and had yet another pleasant experience. Four others met me out there, all except one i've ridden with before. Nice demographic, me from Seatac, one from Seattle, 2 from Anacortes area, and 1 from Bellingham.
You almost had one from Tacoma but he overslept.

So many northies! I'll bet you were all wearing iPods too! Man, I would've had no one to talk to! ;-) (ha, ha, ha!)

So you didn't get around the Whistle side after all? Damn, I was looking for some feedback about the mileage, or potential mileage, of that particular portion.

I ended up way south Sunday myself, far enough to bump into a crew of Portlanders. Yup, they were wearing iPods too. ;-)
 

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Skookum Sighting...

Skookum said:
Sunday i led a ride out there and had yet another pleasant experience. Four others met me out there, all except one i've ridden with before. Nice demographic, me from Seatac, one from Seattle, 2 from Anacortes area, and 1 from Bellingham.

Anyways we met a nice local, he claimed he was Aussie but from his accent i think he really was Finnish, but what do i know.... Seriously he was totally nice and led us around Heart Lake to start the ride. He had to leave so later we meandered up to the Cranberry section and toodled around there for a spell. Really a fun ride, and a great exploratory experience.

What a great group of people assembled for a ride, everyone just enjoying the nice day. i just got over a sickness so my lungs felt as if they were on fire during the ride. But it was worth it haha.

Occurred 12-18-05 @ 1035 I-5 Mt. Vernon Subaru Outback. We passed you on the way to Galbraith (Tahoe with 2 Turners on bumper rack. I waved but I don't think you saw me.

I had this crazy dream the other night. I was riding in a fog and the rider behind me was hanging on to my Camelback. We were doing a little hycling too, of course. Then things got wierd.... My tummy hurts....
How do I come up with this sh*t? :confused:
 

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SRR said:
So you didn't get around the Whistle side after all? Damn, I was looking for some feedback about the mileage, or potential mileage, of that particular portion.
No not this ride but the first ride i did out there a local took us on a very nice loop on that side. For me i would like to intregrate some of the better trails across the area into one superior loop, but it will take me probably going out on a summer day and spending a whole day tooling around to dial one in. In the meantime i'm having a great time exploring and just following people around. :)
 

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gearz said:
Occurred 12-18-05 @ 1035 I-5 Mt. Vernon Subaru Outback. We passed you on the way to Galbraith (Tahoe with 2 Turners on bumper rack. I waved but I don't think you saw me.

I had this crazy dream the other night. I was riding in a fog and the rider behind me was hanging on to my Camelback. We were doing a little hycling too, of course. Then things got wierd.... My tummy hurts....
How do I come up with this sh*t? :confused:
Stalker!!!#@)$!#)(!#) ;) :p

i remember seeing your rig but i believe you passed by too quickly for me to see who you were, i was too busy telling tall tales. :)

You should avoid eating strange mushrooms on the trail, and those strange dreams will stop. :D

X-mas gift for all these local lurkers.
Click and Save
 

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Thanks for the present!

Skookum said:
Stalker!!!#@)$!#)(!#) ;) :p

i remember seeing your rig but i believe you passed by too quickly for me to see who you were, i was too busy telling tall tales. :)

You should avoid eating strange mushrooms on the trail, and those strange dreams will stop. :D

X-mas gift for all these local lurkers.
Click and Save
I was looking for one of those! Cool. :)
Can you tell us what the trail legend is? Are all the trails open to bikes or just the green with black ones or white with green or ??? Inquiring minds would like to know.
 

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gearz said:
I was looking for one of those! Cool. :)
Can you tell us what the trail legend is? Are all the trails open to bikes or just the green with black ones or white with green or ??? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Oh yah solid green ones are hiking only, green/black biking/hiker/horse, and white/black biking,hiker,horse,moto. But it appears as if the attitude of most people around the area, is extremely laid back for mt. bikers and the area is pretty barren in the winter, if you catch my drift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
gearz said:
I had this crazy dream the other night. I was riding in a fog and the rider behind me was hanging on to my Camelback. We were doing a little hycling too, of course. Then things got wierd.... My tummy hurts....
How do I come up with this sh*t? :confused:
HA, HA, HA! So you were lurking in the shadows after all? :) Well, it didn't excite much response, may not have been appreciated by all, and the characters weren't there to defend themselves, so . . . . but I saved the dialog anyway, in case you think someone else might get a chuckle out of it. I hope you did. :-]

It's funny what runs through your mind on the way to a trailhead, when your radio's gone missing . . . . :-|

Suburu Outback? Yup, you must own an iPod too. ;-) :-] :p
 

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Bummer. I was hoping...

Skookum said:
Oh yah solid green ones are hiking only, green/black biking/hiker/horse, and white/black biking,hiker,horse,moto. But it appears as if the attitude of most people around the area, is extremely laid back for mt. bikers and the area is pretty barren in the winter, if you catch my drift.
you'd say all of them are open to bikes. Now i can't ride down Mt. Erie as it's a green trail. Or maybe I could? :eek:
 

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Skookum said:
But it appears as if the attitude of most people around the area, is extremely laid back for mt. bikers and the area is pretty barren in the winter, if you catch my drift.
Yeah, the folks up there have got it worked out - for the most part. I think most realize they've got a gem right on their doorstep that won't be turned into subdivision after subdivision and give folks a lot of respect on the trail. Even the moto guys we run across are cool. The ACFL is one of our favorite riding spots......

FWIW, the Whistle lake stuff is rippin'!!! Talk about tech descents and tech climbs..... One thing is that there are ways to get more bang for buck at Whistle by hitting trails in certain directions and that usually takes several trips to get that figured out. Plus, the place is a maze and fun to get lost on. I don't know how many times we've been out there and not seen another person......

I really like the Cranberry Lake terrain, but we usually end up doing the same stretch a couple of times to get extra riding in. We used to combine all three lakes to do a big combined loop, but many of the trails on the south / west sides of Heart Lake have been shut down over the last couple of years to bikers so that's less of an option now. Of course, there are days when no one else is even out there. ;)

Chers,
EBX
 
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