I can’t claim to know all the hidden spots in Washington, but of all the hikes I’ve climbed and towns I’ve explored this one spot sticks out in my mind for a single reason: picnics. I first visited in April, on a brisk day when the greenery was just starting to revive itself after a cold winter. Even so, the potential for an amazing picnic to come was there. Aside from us, there was only one other party enjoying the grassy hillside. Though it may get busier in the summertime, there’s so much space and rolling hills to explore to find just the perfect nook for yourself and whomever you decide to share it with.
So where can you obtain island views, grassy hills and even a glimpse of the Olympics? I asked Instagram, and they were spot on!
It’s less than a mile walk through Sharpe Park and Montgomery Duban Headlands in Anacortes, WA to arrive at this sunny oasis. Perfect for families with small children, romantic lunch dates or a moment to yourself, the park offers a respite from the two popular attractions that bookend it. Both Washington Park (by the ferry terminal in Anacortes) and Deception Pass (a state park that spans between Fidalgo and Whidbey islands) are a stone’s throw away.
For a quieter, but just as scenic, excursion you can find this hidden park off a busy road. I had driven past it dozens of times, and never actually saw the sign. Now, I can’t help but notice how wonderfully concealed it is. Dedicated and deeded in 1977 the park holds a timeless sentiment in that it was donated to the county by Kathleen Sharpe in memory of her late husband.
Dedicated to the memory of my beloved husband, Wallace J. Sharpe, and his father, Thomas J. Sharpe, who were the settlers on this property. It is my desire that for all time this property shall provide a respite for mankind’s body and soul to reflect upon the beauty of God’s creation.
Regardless of your beliefs, when you reach Sares Head Overlook you will bask in the beauty. If you’re an avid hiker like me, you can take the long way home and explore some other trails. The interconnected system will lead you back to the parking lot eventually, but take a map until you know your way. The best part about this hidden park? You can make of it what you like! Do a lot of hiking, or do a little. Have a picnic on the bluff, or at the trailhead. Bring your significant other, or bring your family.
The overlook is on rocky terrain, though I suspect the grass will give it padding in the summer. A blanket is recommended. Children and dogs should be carefully watched, as some areas can be steep at the edge—though it’s easy to choose a spot far from hazard. The trails are well marked and good for most capability levels.
You can download a digital version of the park trails map and information on the Skagit County website here. Printed copies are available at the trailhead, which has a small parking lot, restrooms and picnic tables. I hope this hidden picnic spot in Washington state brings you as much joy as it does to me. Just don’t tell too many people, or it won’t be the best hidden picnic spot anymore.