Thursday, July 19, 2012

Washington Park in Anacortes

Anacortes is a great little city. It has water all around and six marinas. It has views of islands near and far, or Mt. Baker and the Cascades and of the Olympics.
And it has a gem - Washington Park. I first saw something unbelievable there. At sea level there are rocks that bear scratches from the glacier that covered Puget Sound to past Olympia in the last ice age.

Seattle Times
… Washington Park, a 220-acre mostly wooded gem of a park 0.7-mile west of the ferry landing. It's at the far northwest tip of Fidalgo Island, jutting out on a finger of land called Fidalgo Head. Along with a 73-site campground, the park features a picnic area, a boat launch and several miles of trails that crisscross the park's forested interior, which is home to some 100 species of birds. 
A geologic wonder as well, the peninsula is largely composed of greenish serpentine rock, which weathers into a rust-colored soil that's toxic to many plants. Thus, only certain plants and wildflowers — Blue-Eyed Mary and Pod Fern, among them — can survive on its windswept meadows. 
But the park's true calling card is perhaps its 2.2-mile loop road that explores all that the peninsula has to offer: rocky shoreline and tidepool beaches ripe for exploration; forests of fir, cedar and island-esque madronas; bluff-top meadows and grassy knolls, and just about everywhere, water views to the surrounding islands and far-off mountains. 
Numerous pullout spots with park benches and/or beach access invite visitors to stop, ogle the views and smell the saltwater, as it were. Along with folks in cars (speed limit: 10 mph), the one-way, one-lane road is beloved by walkers, cyclists, families — pretty much everyone.
The photo - Mt. Erie, about 900 feet tall, is in Anacortes! I don't recall where I got this photo.

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