Cranberry Lake makes a fun little day hike if you happen to be staying at Cama Beach State Park, or just down the road at Camano Island State Park. It can also put the finishing touches on a more dedicated trek throughout the area’s sizeable network of trails. At any rate, this easy trail meanders through pretty groves of red alder to a shallow wetland covered in colorful skunk cabbage.
The trailhead is accessed 0.1 mile up a gated service road (which is also a brief portion of the Cross Island Trail) along West Camano Drive. Make your way into the forest on a maintained path that becomes lined with an assortment of tiny wildflowers during the spring and summer. Gently climb a mild ridge to reach the first of two trailside benches. A short boardwalk comes along shortly to give you a preview of the peaty soil and stale waters to come. At 0.7 miles, walk between two enormous Douglas firs that stand guard before the marshy expanses of Cranberry Lake.