Avoid gas-price pains. Take Amtrak and your bike from Seattle to Camano Island State Park for a car-free getaway.
Is $4 gasoline blowing a hole in your budget? Then ditch that gas burner and go green. Here’s a summer getaway that gets you there with no time behind the wheel.
The objective: A biking/camping adventure (with a train ride).
The place: Camano Island State Park (www.parks.wa.gov).
What makes it special: A rural island atmosphere with no ferry ride required — only a bridge-crossed slough separates this narrow, 16-mile-long island from the mainland. But surrounding waters of Skagit Bay, Saratoga Passage and Port Susan offer scenery by the boatload, with top-notch mountain views (both Olympics and Cascades) and premium bird-watching, with herons, eagles and many more. The Center for Wooden Boats at nearby Cama Beach State Park rents kayaks, rowboats and sailboats (see www.cwb.org/cwb-cama-beach/visit-cwb-cama).
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What makes it tasty: Take a break from your bike ride at Camano Island Coffee Roasters, 848 N. Sunrise Blvd., at Terrys Corner (www.camanoislandcoffee.com).
Getting there with no car: Pack camping gear in your panniers, then take Amtrak’s Cascades train to Stanwood (about $13 each way from Seattle) and bring your bike aboard for an extra $5. Once through Stanwood and onto Camano Island, cycle the rural roads (about 17 miles) to Camano Island State Park’s 88 first-come, first-served campsites, near 6,700 feet of saltwater beach. If the island’s ups and downs wear you out, flag down an Island Transit bus (Monday-Saturday, always fare-free) and pop your bike on the rack. See amtrak.com and islandtransit.org.
— Brian J. Cantwell