This is a quiet alternative to the busy trails in the state parks on Camano Island. The lake is not much more than a pond, but you can hear the bubbling of the small springs feeding into the wetland and listen for birdsong as you stroll along the path.
This meandering loop will take you on all the trails, so you don’t miss anything. Start at the Parameter Trail. The first thing you will notice is a large old maple with wide spreading limbs. Continuing along the trail there will be an old orchard on your left with apple and pear trees. The trail makes a bend and starts to follow along the property line as it heads down to the wetlands. Stay on the Parameter at the intersection with the Holton Wetland trail. The Parameter climbs up from here, but there is a nice bench at the top to rest. When it joins the North Loop trail, stay straight. Soon you will begin to head downhill beside an old mossy fence toward the tiny lake. There are a few good places to view the lake, not very impressive, but it is big enough for a few ducks. The wetlands are more interesting, with the little springs and the huge leaves of skunk cabbage.
You will see the sign for the Ravine Drop Off trail, Skip it for now, that will be your return to the parking lot. Take the Holton Wetlands Trail, the cute wooden sign with the frog and skunk cabbage marking the start is very picture worthy.
There are nice interpretive signs to stop and read as you walk through. At the intersection of the North Loop, take the North Loop up to the Parameter trail, yes this is backtracking a bit, but you will get a bit more walking. Enjoy the native lowland forest plants, Douglas fir, hemlock, western redcedar and grey barked alder towering above, an understory of red huckleberry growing out of stumps and fringe cup lining the trail. Look for sword fern and the lacy lady fern in here also. When you come to the Wetland Trail intersection, take the remaining part of the Wetland you missed until you come to the Ravine Drop Off and follow this back up the hill.
On your way back, you will see some old barns, be sure to check them out. This was once a farm and some of the old equipment has been kept in the barns, complete with an old crank phone, milk cans and other assorted farm equipment.