Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sharpe Park - Montgomery -Duban Headlands 10-25-2013

Located on Fidalgo Island located 'between' Deception Pass and Anacortes, you can find a hidden gem of a park.

This is actually a Skagit County Park with a number of trails that will lead you to a beaver pond and a couple viewpoints of Oak Harbor, Deception Pass State Park, Lopez Island and other Rosario Strait lumps.

My route covered most of the trails here, but not in a very organized manner.  Total hiking distance was about 3 miles and included about 700 feet of total elevation gain.  The elevation gain results from hiking down to the headlands, then back up and back down to other headlands, and then up to an unremarkable high point and finally over to Sares Head.
 Lots of large mushrooms in a state of decay... lots of mold along with them.

My specific route went from the parking lot to the beaver pond where I found a dead-end to the right.  Backtracked to the left and made my way down in the most direct manner to the northern most point closest to the water.  This point is actually a fair bit above the water at some cliffs.  Water access is not possible (or not wise).

From here I headed south for a ways before the trail headed uphill and back toward the north where I followed it up to a high point over the beaver marsh before circling back to the main trail, resulting an a figure 8 route.

Some neat Madrona Trees in the area too.

From here I made my way back down to 'near' the water before heading back uphill and finding (finally) Sares Head.

By all accounts, Sares Head is the highlight of this park.  Bring a camera and a picnic lunch.  Enjoy!

The name is a bit of a mystery.  Is it Sharpe Park?  Montgomery Headland?  Duban Headland?  Or is the whole combination the actual name of the park?  Another mystery is what did Sares do to get excluded from the park name?

Feel free to post your informative (or gibberish) answers in the comments section.

Directions (from WTA):  From Interstate 5 at Burlington, take Exit 230 and head west on Highway 20. After 12 miles, cross the bridge to Fidalgo Island, and in a few more miles, turn left at Sharpe's Corner to follow Highway 20 south toward Whidbey Island. After driving by Pass Lake, turn right on Rosario Road, and the park is on the left in 1.7 miles

Happy Hiking!


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