Known as "The Friendly Isle", Lopez Island is the third largest of the San Juan Islands. It covers less than 30 square miles, boasts more than 60 miles of shoreline, and is hugely popular with summer vacationers. The rest of the year, around 2,500 fulltime residents call the island home.
But Lopez Island is also home to Fisherman Bay Preserve, a 29-acre property featuring everything from open meadows and woodlands to wetlands thriving with birdlife and a sandy spit. The spit marks the entrance to Fisherman Bay and is the reason why this area is sometimes also referred to as the Spit Preserve.
Leashed dogs are welcome in Fisherman Bay Preserve, which boasts around one mile of shoreline for you and your furry friend to explore. However, as the preserve encompasses rare coastal dunes and wetlands, not to mention fragile plants and nesting and foraging birds, you'll need to take care to stick to the designated trails only in order to avoid causing any disruption.
You and your dog can wander along trails through the old orchard and the site of the former homestead, before making your way down to the sand spit. It's a quaint and peaceful little spot where you and your canine companion can enjoy some quality time in each other's company. And while the island can get a little busy in summer, it's a fairly quiet spot for most of the rest of the year.
Fisherman Bay Preserve features an eight-bay parking lot where you can also find an outhouse. Access is free, and the preserve is found roughly eight-and-a-half miles from the Lopez Island ferry landing and 4.35 miles from Lopez Village.
If you're ever exploring the San Juan Islands and looking for a dog-friendly beach, Fisherman Bay Preserve is well worth a visit. With 29 acres of beautiful natural scenery and intriguing history to explore, you and your furry friend will have a grrr-eat time.