The Otto Preserve

The trailhead is beyond the parking lot. The main Loop Trail is a lovely walk through mature forest and is well protected in light rains due to many sheltering trees. The Loop Trail, together with the Baumgart Woods, Betty's Shortcut and Walden Walk side trails, are an easy 1.4 mile walk. Dogs on leash are allowed. The Heritage Trust offices and Resource Center are located at the entrance to the Otto Preserve. Maps and educational materials are available. Visitors are welcome during business hours.

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Carl and Ilse Otto came to Lummi Island in the 1950s. Carl was an inventor with diverse interests. He raised German shepherd dogs and Scottish Highlander cattle, worked the land, and milled the timber to build the barns on the property, as well as the building that is now the Heritage Trust office. Ilse was a talented artist and a gold and silversmith.

Sometime after Ilse died, Carl contracted Lou Gehrig's disease and was cared for by islander Phyllis Lockwood. When Carl passed away, Phyllis inherited the Otto farm. The Lockwood family were stewards of the land until the Heritage Trust purchased the land in 2000.

The Otto Preserve was the Heritage Trust’s first land protection project. The 70 acre property was slated to be sold and could have been developed for 23 home sites.

Hundreds of individuals, families, organizations and businesses helped the Heritage Trust purchase the Otto farm and create the Otto Preserve. Additionally, as part of the Otto campaign, five neighboring landowners placed conservation easements on their private properties to protect an additional 105 acres of the surrounding landscape. 

In 2005 the Heritage Trust secured an option to purchase the 17 acre Baumgart property that bordered the Otto Preserve to the north. At the same time, a generous landowner donated an additional seven acres of heavily forested land along the southeastern boundary of the Preserve. The preserve was expanded to 94 acres.

In 2012 the Heritage Trust was successful in purchasing and protecting an additional 10 acres of prime wetland and forest habitat adjacent to the Otto Preserve. This acquisition protected the entire northern edge of one of the largest wetland complexes on Lummi Island, and expanded the Otto Preserve to its current 104 acres. The Otto Preserve protects open space, native forest, rich wetlands, and critical plant and wildlife habitat, while providing low impact public access.

The Heritage Trust Resource Center, located at the Otto Preserve, is our member and visitor center and the location of our office. 

Browse our reference library for information about ecology, conservation, geology, plants birds, and other wildlife. View island maps showing topography, geology, and Heritage Trust protected lands. Learn about our nature preserves, opportunities to enjoy the natural world of Lummi Island, and how to become a member. 

Heritage Trust Resource Center hours: 

Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm (usually)
We are closed Saturday & Sunday

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