Bay View State Park, Skagit and Samish Flats,
Desperate for a little escape from everything, we reserved the last available site at the nearby Bay View State Park on Padilla Bay. We had stayed there 20 years ago, when we were first dating and almost froze to death. OK, so maybe not that bad, but considering the hobbled together secondhand camping gear we had, it was amazing we still kept dating after that!
Bay View State Park is located on Padilla Bay, which has grown and filled in over the past years. As a result the park has the feeling that we are camping in someone's backyard. The park also added more campsites, so there's not much privacy between sites unless you qualify looking through the brambles at your neighbor private. The campground still has positives - a quick and easy escape, nice beach access, being close to the Padilla Bay waterfront trail, and is centrally located to the Samish and Skagit Flats.
On this trip we walked the waterfront trail, enjoying the Tundra Swans and Snow Geese take off from the waters to head to their feeding fields. A large flock of Dunlin fed in the shallows of the slough and large flocks of Golden-crowned Sparrows pecked on the edges of the path. We also drove down to the usual Skagit and Samish birding hot spots - Wylie Slough, North Fork Access, West and East 90. Thankfully hunting was over by this time, so we had some peace walking around the dikes watching for raptors, waterfowl and shrikes. We also went to the Kukutali Preserve State Park - a relatively new park that was turned over to the state in the 2000s. Kukutali Preserve was used by the native Americans to catch salmon and gather shellfish. The small island chain covered with tall conifers was still relatively intact - providing great forest and beach within the Puget Sound. Even close to home there are always great places to discover.
Pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)