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An Illustrated Map for a Guemes Island Trail


Barred Owl

It's been several months since I completed a map for one of the Skagit Land Trust's preservation areas. Today, the signage that incorporates my artwork is being installed up at the trailhead of a recently completed nature walk trail up Guemes Mountain on Guemes Island. This is why I can now reveal the artwork for the map!

When I was contacted and asked to design a map for this beautiful parcel of land, I had never been on this island off the shore of Anacortes, Washington. It is one of the islands in the San Juan archipelago, and consists of primarily privately held land. There is one store, one State Park, and a lot of beautiful open land.

Map sketch
Pencil sketch as submitted to the Skagit Land Trust

The trail in question traverses old, mixed forest as well as young forest and meadowland. All along the trail, one has the opportunity to see a broad range of native flora and fauna which vary throughout the year. At the summit of Guemes Mountain where the trail ends and the view of the San Juans and the mainland stretch widely out before you, there are rock outcroppings interspersed with wildflower patches. My map depicts the trail, the basic habitat areas, some of the flora and fauna, and some information about elevation changes.

XGuemes Mountain Map Final sm copy
Completed map, dimensions: 10.5"x17", graphite, pen & ink, and watercolor

The artwork was scanned professionally as a TIFF file. After receiving the scan, I did some fairly involved revisions, which, thanks to the power of PhotoShop, yielded an accurately informative and colorful map.

Are you interested in walking the trail and seeing the view from the top of Guemes Mountain? It's a gentle ascent. A small ferry carries one from Anacortes to the island. Either take your car for the 2.5 mile drive to the trailhead, or walk on and pick up a bicycle from the Anderson Store near the ferry dock on the island and pedal your way past dramatic bluffs and tranquil farmlands to the start of the 2.3 mile roundtrip walk.


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Marilyn McGuire

J., The map turned out just great! Can't wait to see it in person.
Love the Barred Owl carrying the legend.

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