This is a fine short hike that is very near Deception Pass State Park, but is not part of the State Park System, but is part of Skagit County Parks. Sharpe Park has been expanded and enhanced for public access by the addition of the Montgomery-Duban Headlands, via a generous donation of the land and waterfront.
If you are looking for a different sort of short hike that is not along the beach, this is it. Here is a link to the Washington Trails Association post about this hike. This site also has a location map of the park in relation to the rest of South Fidalgo Island. I have been meaning for years to take a look at this park, so in late September 2013 I was in Anacortes and had some extra time and extra energy and decided to just do it.
This park is a diverse combination of wetlands, rocky outcrops, giant trees, primal forest, steep cliffs and spectacular views to the west of the Olympics, the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Rosario Strait.
There is ample parking and a simple toilet. No water. Take your own. The trails are not long but they are pretty rough so you should be prepared with good hiking shoes or boots and I also recommend a walking stick or hiking poles. There is a map of the trails at the parking area but I also recommend that you sketch this out or take a picture of it as it gets pretty confusing along the trails. They all pretty much look alike, but at most forks in the trails there are very small signs, about the size of index cards, pointing and naming the various routes. The little signs are nailed to trees a bit above head high; keep looking up at each fork.
If you only want to take one route, I recommend the Sares Head trail. This deadends on a huge rocky outcrop with a bench at the top. The photo to the left was taken just about where the bench is. (I recommend making some noise or conversation as you approach this bench area as it is well known to provide a spot for couples, young and old, to exercise some canoodling, hanky-panky, or more.)Behind you you can see where some trees were burned and other are outright dead. This is a rough place for vegetation. In the deep forest and along the rocks there are a wide diversity of plants and ferns.
’til next time,
Highland Garden House B & B
501 E. Highland Ave.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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