Harstine Island State Park
HIKE DESCRIPTION: Harstine Island State Park, on the island’s east side, is a quiet getaway that winds through the green of the forest to the blue of Puget Sound.
The trail descends about 200 feet in less than a half mile and crosses a small creek before arriving at the rocky beach. Here, it’s worth spending some time. The beach is rarely crowded and having it to yourself is a strong possibility. McMicken Island is visible to the south. There are no shortage of good skipping rocks.
On the way back, sections of park trail wander through second-growth forest. Enjoy the solitude. The park borders private property, so don’t get off track. If you extend your hike in the woods west of the park, you will encounter a boardwalk that can be slippery when wet.
DIRECTIONS: Use Pickering Road to access Harstine Island from state Route 3. After crossing the bridge over Pickering Passage, turn left on North Island Drive. After three miles turn right on East Harstine Island Road. Drive south for 1 mile, then turn left on Yates Road. Follow this dirt road for 1 mile to the park entrance. Turn right and continue to the trailhead.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 1.5 with opportunities for adding more.
ELEVATION GAIN: 200 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.
MAP: A map is posted at the trailhead.
PASS: Discover Pass. $10 per day or $30 per year.
ALSO: Harstine Island State Park is located near McMicken Island State Park and the future Fudge Point State Park. At low tide a sandbar links McMicken and Harstine islands. Fudge Point, acquired by the state in 2013, is less than a mile south of McMicken Island and includes 3,300 acres of natural shoreline. The planning process for Fudge Point State Park started in October 2014. Jarrell Cove State Park also is nearby, on the north end of Harstine Island. Jarrell Cove staff administers all of the state parks on the island and other nearby parks. Pets are required to be on leashes no longer than 8 feet in state parks. There are several geocaches hidden near the trails in Harstine Island State Park.