Lopez Island Parks & Shorelines
Odlin County Park
Odlin County Park’s wide sweep of sandy beach, sheltered campsites, easy hiking paths, and kayak launch make it a popular in-season mecca. Only a mile from the ferry, its 30 campsites are spread over the park’s 80 acres—9 are beach sites—and you can reserve a site in advance. This family-friendly park has water and vault toilets, a fishing pier, a picnic area, mooring buoys, a boat dock for loading/unloading, and easy hiking paths. It’s only about three miles from Lopez Village, where campers will find seasonal public coin-op showers at Lopez Village Park, and a market, bakery, and restaurants. From May through September, consider a two-mile beach walk at low tide to Upright Channel State Park, a 20-acre, day-use park.
Spencer Spit State Park
Four miles from the ferry past farmer’s fields and grazing cattle, you’ll come upon Spencer Spit State Park, a 138-acre marine, camping, and day-use park whose thick undergrowth provides cover for the many rabbits that scurry away from approaching cars. The soft sand and gravel beach of Spencer Spit encloses a saltwater marsh lagoon, where you may spot eagles, gulls, herons, and ospreys, and elsewhere in the park, depending on the season, ducks, geese, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, hawks, ravens, and wrens.
Highly visitor friendly, with wheelchair-accessible trails, waterside picnic areas with tables, a kayak launch area, wildlife viewing, and a replica of a turn-of-the-century log cabin make this secluded park highly desirable. Hike the trails along the beach and cliff for the kind of views that make the San Juans famous, or try your luck at digging for seasonal butter clams on the spit. You can reach 25 campsites by car and 13 by bike or on foot, 8 with boat access—stop here as you canoe or kayak the Cascadia Marine Trail or anchor out at one of 12 mooring buoys. For day use: two kitchen shelters, picnic tables on the spit and the beach, drinking water. This is a pack in/pack out park (no garbage facilities).
Otis Perkins County Park
Want a little privacy? Past Lopez Village on the island’s west side, Otis Perkins day park is off the usual visitors’ map on a slender spit in Fisherman Bay. Enjoy one of the longest beaches in the Islands, nearly a mile of waterfront to explore and walk your dog, with great views of the San Juan Channel and the distant shoreline of San Juan. It’s also a prime spot for watching floatplanes land and take off from the bay. If you’re a birder, the sheltered side of the shore, a salt marsh teeming with waterfowl, will keep your binoculars and spotting scope busy.
Agate Beach County Park
You’ll find this calm, secluded little day park on the south end of Lopez about 20 miles from the ferry landing well worth the trip for its rocky outcrops, tide pools, and breathtaking views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and points west, which means spectacular sunsets. Look for cormorants and occasionally seen puffins nesting on offshore rocks. Beach access is via steep steps; picnic facilities and pit toilet.
Spencer Spit State Park, on Lopez Island, is a 138-acre marine and camping park. The park is named for the lagoon-enclosing sand spit on which it rests. There are many sheltered and unsheltered picnic tables, and two miles of hiking trails. The park has a reputation for excellent crabbing, clamming and "car-top boating." This is one of the few state parks in the San Juan Islands that is accessible by automobile. See website for more detailed information. [more...]