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Blake Island State Park

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area
View map below

Length

8.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 190 ft.
Highest Point: 190 ft.

Rating

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Originally home to the Suquamish Indian tribe and legendary for being the supposed birthplace of Chief Sealth, over the years Blake Island has also served as a timber source, a private estate, Army base, and even a smuggler’s refuge. It now may be best known for Tillicum Village, a Native American re-enactment retreat accessible via ferry from nearby Seattle.

There is plenty in store for those who venture over to experience the salmon bake and Native American dances, but few take advantage of the eight miles of hiking trails and camping available here.

The island was not always publicly accessible. For a time in the early 1900s, it was the private estate of William Pitt Trimble, who purchased the entire island. His wife Cassandra cared for it as a garden and by 1917, Trimble and his family lived on the island nearly fulltime. However, in 1929, an accident in Seattle killed Cassandra and Trimble abandoned the island. A fire during World War II destroyed the Trimble Mansion, but foundations are still visible just behind the large building that houses Tillicum Village.

If you elect to wander the trails on the island, you’ll find yourself on a wide path – enough for more than two people to walk side by side – and you may see mountain bike tracks. Most of the trails here are open to mountain bikes, so be aware of possible traffic on trail.

The trail circumnavigates the island beneath madronas and salal. About a half mile west of Tillicum Village is a small intersection with a port-a-potty. Be warned, this unit is infrequently serviced; you may have better luck in the surrounding vegetation, but look out for nettles!

Continuing on, begin to see the campsites along the west edge of the island. Because most people access the island from the Argosy ferry, you will not need a Discover Pass, but if you are visiting here via a private boat, a daily moorage fee is required, as is a camping fee, payable at one of two payment stations on the island.

If you want to add a little mileage to your day, head up and over the hill on either the Red or Blue trail. These give you a little elevation gain, but can be muddy, and there’s not much of a view from the summit.

 

Blake Island State Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5423, -122.4829 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

http://parks.state.wa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1843

Getting There

Arrange to take the Argosy ferry from the dock in downtown Seattle to Tillicum Village. If you have access to a private boat, most mooring anchors are located on the north, east and west sides of the island. A group campsite is near Tillicum Village, and another large camp area is on the northwest corner of the island.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Blake Island State Park

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