Enjoy a nearly-level forest walk with close-up views of beaver dams and likely sightings of water fowl including (in season) trumpeter swans, plus kingfishers, woodpeckers, and owls.
Having a map map is essential. From the trailhead, you'll take Trails 114, 124 and then 108. Pass the 32nd Street Swamp, and come to a bridge crossing the stream between Big Beaver Pond and the Swamp. A beaver dam here holds back the water of Big Beaver Pond.
Across the bridge, head left on Trail 123. Find additional views out to Big Beaver Pond. After 0.36 miles, bend left onto Trail 108 and left again to reach a low bridge. The stream leads to Little Cranberry Lake.
Note the beaver dam almost beneath the bridge, and another a short distance upstream.
Continue southwest on Trail 106 and, in 0.13 miles, head left on Trail 10 (unless you are doing one of the hike extensions.) Continue along Trail 10 and note the small pond formed by another dam. At Trail 113, head left and stay on this trail. An optional side trip on Trail 125 crosses a rustic bridge and leads to a viewpoint.
Return to Trail 113 and follow it to Trail 124. Turn left and continue to Trail 108. Turn right on Trail 108 and left on Trail 114 to return to your trailhead.
As you hike, be alert for ravens and waterfowl, and for kingfishers, owls and eagles. In winter, look for golden-crowned kinglets in low shrubs along the trail. Note that some Anacortes Community Forest Land trails are open to motor bikes and a few to horses. If you are hiking on a weekday you may see only other hikers.
Hike extensions: Consult maps to follow along. For an added mile, take Trails 11, 109, 110 and 115 to add a circuit of Little Beaver Pond. For a more ambitious hike (adds 1.5 miles) take Trails 105, 101, 100, and 102 to circle Little Cranberry Lake. (Elevation changes are negligible for both of these add-ons.)
WTA Pro Tip: Pick up the locals map (Principal Trails of the ACFL. Cranberry Lake Area) at the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce or a bookstore in town.