When transportation, expert guidance, even lunch are provided, everyone can relax and explore Blake Island.

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Summertime in Seattle offers families looking to ditch the screens and share some quality time outdoors a bounty of options. A little expert guidance and the opportunity to see some wildlife or enjoy a water adventure should help banish any lingering resistance to putting down the phone.

A cruise to picturesque Blake Island covers all the bases – including keeping everyone fed – so everyone can enjoy their day out with a minimum of effort. Argosy Cruises Evergreen Excursion is an easy local sail that focuses on the colorful history of the island, which is only accessible by boat.

There are three different ways to enjoy this Blake Island experience. The Heron Bundle features a kayak run with a 45-minute guided paddle. Both young adventurers on their first paddling experience and more experienced kayakers will have fun exploring this unique habitat.

The Fern Bundle is for landlubbers. It features a 2.4-mile hike, which is between an hour and an hour-and-a-half. The guided hike includes an interpretation of the forest’s beautiful flora and fauna. There’s also a break for s’mores on the beach.

The Cedar Bundle allows guests to enjoy lunch, a docent-led demo of how fire-roasted fish is prepared, and some free time, so families can explore and discover their own favorite spots. There is also a choice of two activities, either a Culture Walk that includes information on the history of the island’s Native American masks, or a short History Walk that focuses on the storied Trimble Estate and details about the island’s unique history.

Habitation of the island goes back to 1786 when it was documented as an ancestral camping ground of the Suquamish tribe and where it was rumored that Chief Sealth played as a child.

In 1841, Lt. Charles Wilkes of the United States Exploring Expedition dubbed the locale Blake Island after George Smith Blake, the officer in charge of the United States Coast Survey. During the mid-19th century, the island was logged for its wood. During Prohibition, it was used as a refuge for bootleggers smuggling alcohol from Seattle.

Seattle millionaire William Trimble bought the island and renamed it Trimble Island. The Trimble Family owned the island from just after the turn of the last century to 1936. Their magnificent estate burned to the ground during the 1940s. However, the foundations remain visible. In 1959, the state of Washington made the entire island a state park. Blake Island, 1,127 acres, includes five miles of shoreline with majestic views of the Olympic mountains and the Seattle skyline. You’ll be forgiven for pulling your phone out if it’s just to capture a photo or two, especially if it’s of happy kids taking in their surroundings.

An array of wildlife calls the island home. You might see black-tailed deer, raccoon and mink. Or at least their tracks. Kids can play “wildlife detective” trying to identify signs of the islands furry residents.

Blake Island is heaven for birders. Bald eagles, ravens, great blue herons, song sparrows, black-capped chickadees, spotted towhees, dark-eyed juncos and other feathered friends live on the island. And many varieties of migratory birds visit with the change of season. Binoculars are recommended.

Each trip features a pleasant trip across Puget Sound and lunch is provided. You can build your own burger or substitute a vegetarian option. Fire-roasted steelhead trout is also on the menu. A field greens salad, a fresh fruit salad and an apple pie are also included.
No screens required.

The Evergreen Excursion can be booked by contacting Argosy Cruises at www.argosycruises.com or 206-623-1445.