Did You Know? Hope Island State Park

Hope Island, located off the Washington State coast, is a great option for your next ocean adventure. Learn about its history and get inspired to hop in your kayak.
Regina Robinson Regina Robinson
Olympia Branch Communications Volunteer
September 27, 2017
Author Regina Robinson explores a new topic each month in her "Did You Know?" series, which comes out in the Olympia Branch Newsletter. 


Hope Island State Park is a 106-acre marine camping park in Mason County on the Puget Sound. This island is not only a state park, but also part of the expansive Cascadia Marine Trail that extends all the way north to the San Juan Islands. This quiet island can only be reached by boat. It is covered with old growth forests, saltwater marshes, and a two mile long beach. With the proper training and equipment, it makes for a great adventure!

History

Commander Charles Wilkes, a U.S. Navel Commander, named Hope Island for one of his crew in 1841, while charting the Puget Sound in the mid-1800s.
 
Then, around 1900, the Louis Schmidt Family established a homestead and orchard on the south end of the island. They constructed a farmhouse, several outbuildings, a windmill, and a shallow well. A small orchard consisting of fruit and nut trees (apples, pears, walnuts) supplemented the family diet. They also brought livestock to the island and maintained a vineyard producing Island Belles grapes which were sold to a winery on Hartstine Island.

Furrows from the old vineyard can still be seen amidst the dense Douglas fir that stand at the southeast end of the island. A few remnant vines can be found winding their way to the tree tops in search of sunlight.

Sarah and Robert Munn purchased Hope Island in 1943 for $20,000. Robert  died in 1954, and Sarah kept Hope Island as a vacation place and - though the Munns never lived on the island - visited frequently, especially in the summers. Sarah died in May of 1990 at age 97.

Washington State Parks purchased Hope Island in 1990. Their goal is to protect the natural and human-made elements that make Hope Island special. Trails and boardwalks have been constructed to protect sensitive habitat. Open space around the orchards and homestead areas are being maintained by staff and volunteers.

Activities

Activities include hiking, fishing, clamming, beach combing, bird watching, and sea kayaking. Interested in visiting Hope Island? Here are some links to get you started:

Please note: Water travel is potentially hazardous. Make sure you have the proper training.


    Add a comment

    Log in to add comments.
    Shirley Rogers
    Shirley Rogers says:
    Wed, Sep 27, 2017 3:08 PM

    Ok, it is not ocean or coast, it is south Puget sound. Another point, it is hope island south. There is hope island north located just east of deception pass.

    Shirley Rogers
    Shirley Rogers says:
    Wed, Sep 27, 2017 4:05 PM

    I think that hope island north, which is in Skagit county, was once part of the marine trail system but not any more. Both hope islands are listed on the state parks website as state parks with camping. Both are accessible only by water. Additional comments anyone?