April 12, 2016
New Historical Hiking Tours!
Hiking the San Juan Islands is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area. If you are hiking with a local historian it is also an excellent way to immerse yourself in the fascinating human history of the islands. Join us for our inaugural year of San Juan Island hiking tours led by renowned historian and retired park ranger Mike Vouri.
Vouri will be leading two unique and informative walks this season. The morning tour will cover the northern part of San Juan Island. Participants will stroll through British Camp National Historic Park and hike up Mount Young for breathtaking views of the Haro Strait and surrounding islands, while learning all about Royal Navy’s encampment and British occupation of San Juan Island. In the afternoon, Vouri will guide visitors through the beautiful grassland area of American Camp National Historic Park overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic mountains. On this tour, guests will find out more about the island’s early Native inhabitants who fished extensively from the southern shore of San Juan Island. They will also learn about the American troops stationed on the island during the “Pig War” dispute, and hike up nearby Mount Finlayson for a view of the Cattle Point Lighthouse and the southernmost part of San Juan Island.
Vouri is an expert on the history of San Juan Island, and no stranger to the world of hiking. He has two decades of experience working in the National Park system, directing visitor services and leading interpretive walks. He is author of several noteworthy history books: The Pig War: Standoff at Griffin Bay (1999), Outpost of Empire: the Royal Marines and the Joint Occupation of San Juan Island (2004), The Pig War (2008), and Friday Harbor (2009).
Aside from the historical knowledge hikers will gain from this tour, they will also encounter a wide variety of wildlife along the trails. Commonly encountered animals include foxes, columbian black tailed deer, rabbits, and bald eagles, as well as many other different species of birds. Hikers looking out over our surrounding waters from the trail may also be rewarded with sightings of various marine life such as orca killer whales, harbor seals, sea lions, and porpoise. There is also a rich variety of trees, flowers, and other plants that are sure to interest hikers as they wind through the different areas of San Juan Island.
Get the most out of your hiking experience by booking a tour with Discovery Adventure Tours to hike San Juan Island. Join Vouri on a morning hike of the northern portion of the island, an afternoon hike covering the southern section of the island, or both! All hiking tours depart from our downtown shop location at 260 Spring Street, just two blocks up from the ferry dock. Tour prices include transportation to and from our shop and each require three hours of time. Be sure to bring along a bottle of water, a hat, and sunscreen to fully enjoy our sunny summer days! There is a break between the morning and afternoon tour, plenty of time to grab lunch in town and rest up for a second San Juan Island historical hiking tour or to rent bikes and set off to explore a different part of our beautiful island!