I hadn’t been back to Rockport State Park in a very long time. As we were driving along Hwy 20 in Washington State, we decided on a whim to stop at the park. Kirk had never been to the park, and my memories were pretty hazy….
Rockport SP sits in an old-growth forest, which shut the camp ground in 2007 due to trees becoming a danger, versus doing a heavy logging operation. (This also happened a few miles from us on Whidbey Island, when the South Whidbey SP shut down camping for the same reason.)
There are two sides to the park for hiking, of which there is plenty (well, in theory….). 2 loops are on the other side of Hwy 20, the rest are on the main side.
Being it is winter, and the off season, once you drive in, turn to the right. There is a parking area open which has a loop at the end for easy turn around (with more parking and picnic tables). Nearby is a trail kiosk with maps you can take. A short walk is a bathroom.
Now then…Rockport SP is a lush, moss covered forest. And it’s old. There are trees down every where. And one can’t be sure this was just this year’s crop…or if Covid rules means it is 2 to 3 years worth of them. As Kirk and I set out from the parking lot every trail dead ended in windfall.
It became almost funny as we kept checking out each trail, and having to turn back or climb over.
In the end we crashed thru and found the road to the campground, and elected to walk that. Because at least it was clear.
The loop through the old campground is peaceful and gentle hills. The road is cleared (and looked to have been scraped recently. The old campground isn’t exactly visible these days, most sites had the utilities and picnic tables removed long ago. It’s quiet back there.
We’d pass a number of trail junctions, but nearly all were not passable, with trees down. This trail I remember hiking with Ford when he was tiny.
The park isn’t big, and it’s a quick loop on the road, but it’s pretty, quiet and peaceful. It’s a great stop on the way to the North Cascades to stretch your legs. If I were to stop by again, I’d see how the West Loop trail was, being as it’s behind the ranger station. But…maybe this is the year to wait for summer and hopefully trail crews.
The map is on the website, as a PDF, to print out.
Next door to the state park is the road to Sauk Mountain, which rises sharply above the Skagit River and valley. This vintage shot was taken with my oldest the summer he was 4 (20 years ago), and was hauling up mountains all over the Cascades. Near the top is an overlook down to Sauk Lake. In summer this is a hike worth the traveling up a few miles from the highway. It’s a closer in sub alpine splendor without the Seattle crowds.
As we headed back down we stopped in Concrete, Wa and stopped in to 5b’s Bakery, a fully gluten-free bakery/eatery. They have a binder of everything, with full ingredient lists. While I can eat wheat just fine, our youngest is allergic to commercial wheat and has severe reactions. So being able to bring him a treat home, he was very pleased. And…the BBQ Chicken Focaccia pizzas were ever so tasty. You’d never guess they are gf. Totally worth a stop if you are up this way. And they have a full espresso bar/smoothies and many frozen items to pick up (such as uncooked frozen lasagna).