We were a group of four on the Remembrance Day hike to Cortes Island. The ferry was uncrowded and the crossing calm. We began the hike at the trailhead near the Cortes Island Motel and walked through this beautiful rainforest. We ascended up toward the Summit and then along the Millennium Trail undulating over rocky bluffs through some old growth trees. We had views of Hague Lake before we reached the Swim Rock, where we stopped for lunch. The water and the weather were calm, and we chatted with a local woman who was fishing from her kayak.
We continued on the trail high along the shore with great views and descended the ladder along the Rock Face. We made a short side trip to visit the Survivor Fir, which we measured as 7.9m in circumference. We crossed the bridge across the narrow waterway between Hague and Gunflint Lakes and walked the loop to the south, including Pierre de Trail and the Cedar Ridge. We also enjoyed the large Douglas fir at the junction, which we measured as 8.35m in circumference. We returned over the bridge and walked the trail along the west shore of Gunflint Lake, with great views along the way and the steam donkey remains. We continued on through the Spruce Grove and returned to the vehicles.
It was a great hike with lots of variety and highlights. The trail was very quiet at this time of year. After the hike we stopped at the Cortes Coop for delicious refreshments before taking the ferry home. 8.9 km, 4½ hours.
(click on photos to enlarge)