Did you know that the San Juan Preservation Trust protects and preserves 300 properties on 20 different islands in the San Juan’s? These properties offer miles of trails and shoreline, with public access. Many of these sites are accessed only by dinghy or kayak, where you will find trailheads with Preservation Trust signage. Some areas, like Vendovi Island, offer a day-use dock.
The Mission of the Preservation Trust is to purchase and conserve unique properties with natural beauty that are vital to the ecosystem and/or has significant historic and scenic value. Caring for these lands connects people to nature and provides the same opportunity for future generations. Visitors are asked to stay on designated trails to protect flowers, plants, and animal habitat.
The San Juan Preservation Trust is a 501(C)(3) charitable organization. Funds come from contributions provided by individuals, families, and private foundations that support research, maintenance, and purchases of island property. Making a contribution entitles you to membership, which includes “The Island Dispatch,” a quarterly print newsletter, along with e-newsletters, and priority when registering for events and outings.
Vendovi Island is a favorite among boaters, but other locations are often overlooked because these island access points are not widely known to the boating public.
Kimball Preserve is one of those hidden gems with spectacular views from the ridge trail along the southern tip of Decatur Island. The unnamed Island along with the southern tip of Decatur Island and the isthmus that connects the two are part of the San Juan Preservation Trust. Boaters can anchor in the channel between Kimball Preserve and Center Island and take the dinghy to the northern shore of the isthmus. A “no-trespassing” sign painted on a rock is left over from an earlier time and no longer applies. A trail leads up the hillside with fabulous ocean views. Decatur property north of Kimball Preserve is private. The rocky islet between the unnamed island and Decatur Island in the Preserve is an undeveloped Bureau of Land Management property.
A portion of Henry Island near Roche Harbor is another special place to visit. Henry Island Preserve is made up of the isthmus forming the crossbar of the “H” on Henry Island along with some of the surrounding forest. Public access to a one-mile trail is available by dinghy on the beach at Open Bay or at the beach along Mosquito Pass east of the isthmus, depending on weather conditions. The beach along the isthmus of Open Bay is spectacular and is part of the Trust property. The cabin along the beach is private; the grave marker is in memory of Henry W. Perkins (1835-1887). A trail along the Mosquito Pass side of the isthmus heads northward through the forest. Other property on Henry Island is private.
San Juan Preservation Trust
Visit their website to learn more about the San Juan Preservation Trust, or to make a donation, or to view the map of Trust Properties that you can visit.