Camano Island is a fairly large island in Washington State’s Island County, sitting between larger Whidbey Island and the mainland. It is close enough to the mainland that it is accessible by a bridge. It has a population of about 16,000 and a shopping center that substitutes for downtown on this city-free island. It is also home to two state parks. These two parks are close together and connected by a foot trail.
Camano Island State Park covers 244 acres with 6700 feet of shoreline. All state parks in Washington require a Discover Pass to park there. It has a vending machine near the entrance where passes can be purchased, or they can be bought ahead online – or when renewing car license tabs for state residents. Anyone planning to stay in the park 3 days or longer might as well buy an annual pass since it costs nearly the same as 3 one-day passes at $35 for the annual pass or $11.50 for a day pass. Online purchases may include extra fees, but the machine at the park does not.
Camano Island State Park has a campground, hiking trails, rocky beach, boat ramp, day use picnic area, amphitheater, fire circle, and ball field. The campground has 88 campsites, flush toilets, hot showers, barbecue grills, drinking water, picnic tables, and an RV dump. There are also 5 cabins and a hiker/biker camping area.
A one-mile trail leads to Camano Island’s other state park, Cama Beach State Park. This beachside park started out as a fishing resort. The former boathouse is now a center for wooden boats. Ancient deteriorating railings crusted with barnacles on the beach in front of the boathouse is all that remains of the resort’s former boat launch out of the building. Its cabins fared much better and are still in use as rentals for park visitors. They sit in rows next to the beach. A camp road passes through the cabin area, but cars are not allowed down there so people have to park in a lot higher up and bring their things down in one of the many carts provided for that purpose.
There are picnic tables between the cabins, and some barbecue grills in the area. Most cabins do not have private bathrooms, but there is a large restroom behind the rows of cabins that has flush toilets and showers. This 486-acre park has 15 miles of hiking trails, a café, beach access, and the center for wooden boats, which sometimes has classes or activities. People can reserve the park’s 33 cabins. Minimum stay is 2 nights. They tend to book up well in advance.
There are several shuttle stops within the park for a park-to-park shuttle that runs between Cama Beach and Camano Island state parks. In addition to the state parks, Camano Island also has county and local parks scattered around the island.
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