Outdoors

Trail of the week

HOPE ISLAND LOOP

HIKE DESCRIPTION: Unlike many short hikes, getting to the trailhead is a big part of the fun when hiking on Hope Island.

Hope Island is accessible only by boat (unless you’re a really strong swimmer), making the 106-acre island a good place for a getaway. One of the island’s highlights is a 2-mile trail that loops around its perimeter.

The trail is well-marked and travels through old-growth forest, visits saltwater marshes and offers access points to the beach. Late in the day, especially weekdays, you might only have to share the island with deer and raccoons.

Near the Washington State Parks campground, the house and windmill of an old homestead sit in an opening that includes picnic tables and apple trees. This area seems to lure grazing deer. An island caretaker sometimes resides in the homestead.

DIRECTIONS: You’re going to need a boat. Many kayakers paddle to Hope Island from Boston Harbor Marina, but the shortest trip (less than 1 mile) is from Arcadia Point. To reach the Arcadia boat launch from U.S. Highway 101, turn east on Lynch Road (also called Lynch Lane) south of Shelton. Drive 9 miles to the boat ramp. A parking area is located a block before the ramp.

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (1=easiest, 5 = most difficult).

MILES ROUND TRIP: 2 (not including paddle miles).

ELEVATION: 100 feet.

BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.

MAP: NOAA: Puget Sound, Southern Part.

PASS: Moorage fees charged 1 p.m.-8 a.m. Call 360-902-8844 for more information.

ALSO: Bring your own drinking water because there is no fresh water on the island. The park has picnic areas, camping and roughly 11/2 miles of beaches. There are two vault toilets on the island near the campground. The campsites are first-come, first-served. The island is part of the Cascade Marine Trail. Kayaks are available for rent at Boston Harbor Marina. Check the tides before your trip. Pets are not allowed on the island. A geocache is hidden on the island.

INFO: parks.wa.gov, bostonharbormarina.com.

Craig Hill, craig.hill@thenewstribune.com

@AdventureGuys

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