Camano Island is near and dear to my heart. I moved to Washington in early October of 2019 and found myself living on Camano Island when I first arrived. I had never been to Washington or the Pacific Northwest, so it was quite the journey and Camano Island has become one of my favorite areas that I recommend to anyone visiting the islands.
I greatly recommend stopping at Freedom Park where you will run into the beautiful “Welcome to Camano Island” directory sign for things to do on the island. There is also a playground and sculpture park for your young ones to enjoy.
I also suggest this spot for the Koffman Art with a Smile art gallery, and I guarantee it will put a smile on your face. His current collection: Animal Butts with a Smile! Danny Koffman’s art is a true gem of unique artwork. Here you can find many of his past collections: ranging from food and wine to flower prints and many more! This gallery is still open during COVID-19 with a three-person max capacity inside.
Camano Island is a large island in Possession Sound, a section of Puget Sound. It is part of Island County, Washington, and is located between Whidbey Island and the mainland of Snohomish County. The island has one road connection to the mainland connecting to the city of Stanwood. Camano Island offers at least nine hikes throughout the island that you can easily do in one day if you are determined!
You can start at the north end of the island at English Boom and work your way down the island to two state parks. While spending a day in Camano Island I decided to visit my top three favorite short hikes.
Iverson Spit Preserve is a short one-mile walk that offers beautiful views of the Cascades where you will see Mt. Baker, Three Fingers peaks and Mt. Pilchuck. If you are lucky enough you can even see Mt. Rainier on clear days. Make sure to do the aptly-named Hobbit Trail, spend the day collecting mussels that wash up on shore during low-tide, or build a fort with all the driftwood.
The hike to Barnum Point is a short four-minute drive or 24-minute walk away from Iverson Spit Preserve. Barnum Point is named after the Barnum family who lived in this area for over 100 years!
To begin your hike, check the bulletin board near the parking area and note the color-coded routes of seven named trails. These are the Barnum, Bluff, Beach, Heavenly, Connector, Holly Loop and Eagle Ridge trails. If you choose to hike along the Bluff trail, there is a viewing platform with great views of Port Susan Bay towards the Cascades. Like Iverson Spit, you can see amazing mountain views. This platform is also a nice spot to hike to and watch the sunrise or sit and have a light picnic.
The two-mile walk to Cranberry Lake is located at Cama Beach State Park. This walk is covered in wildflowers and berries. As you walk this calming trail you encounter lots of wild birds — it’s perfect for bird watchers so remember to bring your binoculars! At the end of the trail you reach Cranberry Lake, which is covered in lily pads, and if you are lucky you can sometimes see frogs jump from pad to pad!
Other hikes you might consider checking out in the area are English Boom, Camano Ridge Forest Preserve, Perimeter Holton Wetland and Ravine Drop Off Trail, Marine Loop Trail located at Cama Beach State Park, and Camano Island State Park Trail. If you decide to camp you may do so at either Cama Beach State Park or Camano Island State Park. Remember to bring your Washington Discover Pass for parking at the state parks.
Good Eats & Treats
After a long day of hiking, food is all I ever want! I recommend going to the Camano Island Commons Marketplace. There you will have food options for everyone in your group. A local coffee roaster, bakery, juice and ice cream shop, pizza shop and a brewery restaurant are available. I enjoy Tapped Public House every time I go to Camano. The taphouse and restaurant offers all local brews and delicious food at a reasonable price. The menu changes seasonally and is oh so fresh! This time I ordered the pulled pork sandwich with tater tots, and street corn with cotija cheese and a honey-lime vinaigrette. I did another hike after this big lunch — but of course not after enjoying an ice cream cone from Camano Scoopz, which is now open again!
Other things you might consider doing while visiting Camano Island include checking out the Kristoferson Farm, which offers Canopy Tours for ziplining along with Terra Teams, a team-building program in their scenic forest. Programs include team bonding, planning, problem-solving, creative thinking, morale, communication skills and identifying new strengths of team members. There is also a local brewery, Ale Spike, which offers a variety of house-brewed beers.
Whether you choose to go for the day or a weekend getaway, Camano Island should be on your list of places to visit this summer. See you on the trail!