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Lost Oak Trail completes loop for south side of Turtleback

The Lost Oak Trail connects to the existing South Trail, allowing hikers the opportunity to make a circuit that includes Ship Peak Overlook as the highest point. San Juan County Land Bank staff, volunteers and members of the Washington Conservation Corps completed the a 3/4 quarter mile trail on the south side of Turtleback Mountain Preserve earlier this month.

"The new trail gives hikers the option to make a loop, or connect with the Ridge Trail," said the Land Bank's Orcas Preserve Steward, Ruthie Dougherty. "More importantly, the trail helps tell another story of the mountain as it meanders through transitional forest, small meadows, and rock outcrops. The remains of an old fence line and silvered trunks of long-fallen oak trees are clues to the dynamic cultural and natural history contained within this landscape."

With an elevation gain of 530 feet, the Lost Oak Trail is moderately strenuous, but the effort is rewarded with framed views to the west and shaded forest meanders. This addition brings the total miles of trail in the Turtleback Mountain Preserve to just under seven.

Lost Oak is a Pedestrian Only trail. Hikers are reminded to stay on designated trails, always leash dogs, and "leave no trace" when visiting Land Bank preserve lands.


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