The Al Emerson Nature Trail forms a small 0.5-mile loop within the larger Camano Island State Park Loop Trails. This level interpretive path gets special attention due to the outstanding efforts of one man whose desire it was to share the magnificence of the area’s old-growth forests. In 1953, Al Emerson became the first official ranger of Camano Island State Park, where he spent his career contributing to the prosperity of the land. The trail was made a reality during the decade before his retirement in 1973, when Al worked to nearly single-handedly shape its footprint.
Only a few steps into the forest, the daylight dims under a thick canopy of giant grand and Douglas fir. Several posts display photographs and signal at the variety of flora along the path. A bench near the halfway point is a good place to extend your outing and take in the fresh air. Look around for red huckleberry here during the summer months. The last section winds through a more open wood with fields of sword ferns that stretch out of sight.