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Washington

Chuckanut Island


The Cyrus Gates Memorial Preserve offers visitors an up-close encounter with the richness and beauty of Puget Sound’s rocky islands and shorelines. The preserve is accessible only by boat and is an excellent stop off for boaters launching from Larrabee State park.

Location

South of Bellingham in Northwest Washington

Size

5 Acres

Why the Conservancy Selected this Site

This island was a gift to the Conservancy in 1976. It is home to a bald eagle nest and is a healthy example of native coastal forest habitat.

What the Conservancy is Doing

Dedicated volunteers have served as stewards here for many years, cleaning up the shoreline, answering questions from visitors, and protecting this special place from inappropriate uses such as camping and fires. The island is also being managed to eradicate non-native plants such as English ivy.

Photos

Cyrus Gate Memorial Preserve Map

Click image to enlarge.

Open year-round, the island is accessible by private boat only. Please beach boats on northeast and west beaches only. Please stay on the foot trail that circles the island. The preserve is open daylight hours only.

What to See: Plants

The Cyrus Gates Memorial Preserve offers a protected forest island habitat of Douglas-fir trees – some well over 250 years old – along with grand fir, madrone, and western red cedar. The understory is dominated by salal, ocean spray and snowberry. Western starflower blossoms appear each April.

What to See: Animals

The tidal areas of the island are home to many marine invertebrates including barnacles, rock crabs, sea cucumbers, limpets, hermit crabs, and blue mud shrimp. Surfbirds, which winter in flocks of two dozen or more in Chuckanut Bay, frequently perch on the island's rocky shore. Bald eagles also nest regularly on the island.

Directions

From Bellingham: Take Interstate 5 to Exit 231 onto Route 11 (also known as Chuckanut Drive.) Proceed south for 14.4 miles to Larrabee State Park, a public boat-launching site. Continue north by boat around Governor's Point to the preserve.


Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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