Saddlebag Island Marine State Park
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Saddlebag Island Marine State Park

visited 11 July 2021

Never have I ever seen so many herons in one place! I didn’t manage to capture the sound effects, but they make a sound that’s a lot like pigs grunting. Lots of flying pigs having turf battles amongst the treetops.

There are … easier parks to get to.

Saddlebag Island is accessible only by boat, and for those of us whose boats are human-powered, it’s a long haul. The closest approach (four miles each way) is from Guemes Island or Anacortes. I instead chose to paddle over from Bay View State Park, which wound up making a journey of 12 miles in total.

Turns out Padilla Bay is very shallow at low tide; enough so that it made the first mile or so extra challenging. But I got there. And I’m stronger for it!

Fortunately, the return trip was aided by at least a middle tide which provided several feet of water. So much easier …

First sighting of Saddlebag and Dot Islands.

There are two beaches on Saddlebag Island. I landed on the south beach and hiked around the island for an hour or so.

From the southeast corner of Saddlebag Island, you can glance across at nearby Dot Island.

So many herons!

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