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NOTE: Squaxin Island is private property. Do not land there without permission from the Squaxin Island Tribe.
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By Brian High
Ten years ago, a small island one half mile long and one quarter mile wide was purchased by the State of Washington. This little oasis in the South Puget Sound had been privately owned and protected from major development for generations before becoming one of the newest state parks in Western Washington - Hope Island State Park.
At that time, nearby Squaxin Island had a state park on its southern tip. This strip of beach had a few campsites, picnic tables, and a small dock for small pleasure boats. When Hope Island was purchased, this smaller park was returned to the Squaxin Island Tribe, as the whole of Squaxin Island is a Native American Reservation.
Marine charts and maps still show the now-closed park on Squaxin Island and no park is indicated for Hope Island.
Even a browse of the W.S.P. website shows no mention of Hope Island State Park.
Yet, this park became part of a 140 mile National Recreation Trail known as the Cascadia Marine Trail in 1995. The trail was first established by the state in 1993 through the work of the volunteers of the Washington Water Trails Association.
We decided to take two days to visit Hope Island and paddle around Squaxin Island and see what these wooded and somewhat wild islands have to offer a kayaker.
Click here to read more about the trip, including a paddle with seals and the sight of ancient cedars.
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