Another hike that you must do while on the island is on the south side of San Juan commonly known as Mt. Finlayson (some refer to it as Jackle’s Lagoon also). Once you finish skipping rocks at South Beach head just a bit farther south on Cattle Point Road and turn (left) into the parking lot above Jackle’s Lagoon. From there you head up the trail, that at times, skirts surprisingly close to the road, but, trust me, your perseverance will be rewarded soon enough!
Once you head up, and succeed in making it to the top, of what it nicknamed ‘heart attack hill’ you will be presented with sweeping views. You look north to Canada across the beautiful blue ocean, you can see all of South Beach (it’s a full mile long), most days you will see a handful of pleasure boats and with any luck you can spot the whales! On a clear day you can witness Mt. Rainier (it’s actually 123 miles away!). The views will mesmerize you!
When you tear yourself away and continue on your walk, enjoying the fresh air, you are surrounded by the feeling of an open prairie. The trail is easy to navigate and you can loose yourself in your surroundings. After a short time you can duck into the trees on one of the many off shoots of the trail. The dramatic change in scenery that will soon surround you is surprising. You will get the pleasure of looking at old growth cedar trees, salal, and untouched natural beauty.
One of the great things about this hike is that you can do a short walk (20-25 minutes) or you can follow the signs and stretch your adventure to a few hours. The possibilities are endless! One piece of advice…don’t forget your camera!