Orcas Island – Moran State Park

Entrance to Moran State Park

Entrance to Moran State Park

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are lucky to have an almost endless supply of beautiful locations to run. One of the most beautiful of those locations is Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. Just a little over an hour long ferry ride from Anacortes, Orcas Island is a perfect location for a weekend running trip or even just a day trip. Once you are on Orcas Island the best place for running is Moran State Park.

Trail around Cascade Lake
Trail around Cascade Lake

Moran State Park is a little over 5,000-acres in size and has nearly 40 miles of trails, most of which were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in the 1930s. While running the trails within Moran State park you will enjoy views of lakes, streams, waterfalls, Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island, Cascade Mountains and the Olympic Mountains. These trails are especially good if you like hills. There’s not a lot of flat terrain in Moran State Park. However, you can find some routes that aren’t too difficult. The 2.7-mile loop around Cascade Lake only has small rolling hills. At the other end of the spectrum is the trail to the top of Mount Constitution. This trail gains over 2,000-feet in 4.3 miles. But when you get to the top you will be rewarded with some of the best views you will ever see.

If you would like to try running in Moran State Park but don’t want to do it by yourself there is always the Orcas Island Fat Ass 50K and 25K in February. This run provides a great course around the State Park, a t-shirt and a post race party and concert. Plus, if you sign up early enough you can even spend the weekend at Camp Moran, the Park’s retreat center (and where I spent a week in 6th grade as part of Robert Frost Elementary School’s outdoor education program, good times).
View from the top of Mount Constitution
View from the top of Mount Constitution

For more information on Orcas Island and Moran State Park visit these websites:

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4 Comments

Filed under Places To Run

4 responses to “Orcas Island – Moran State Park

  1. Very nice overview of Moran State Park. You may want to check out the Chamber of Commerce’s website at http://www.orcasislandchamer.com for more information.

  2. ezmiles

    Hi Lance, thank you for the tip on the website. It looks like it has a lot of good info. – Steve

  3. Jason

    Great write up Steve…makes me want to go over this weekend.

  4. ezmiles

    Hi Jason, we’ll have to get a group together and head over for the Fat Ass run in February.

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