We are supporting the Washington Water Trails Association (WWTA) this #GivingTuesday because we view them as an indispensable asset. If you want to travel the waterways of Washington under your own power, this organization makes it possible. Campsites are for non-motorized, beachable watercraft craft only, and arranged so that you can travel from one to the next in a day. Traveling long distances by kayak is much easier and less stressful knowing you’ll have a place to camp when you’re done paddling for the day.
The first time I camped at one of their campsites was at Kopachuck State Park. Several years ago, all the campsites at Kopachuck closed except for the Marine Trails site, so the park closes at dusk for virtually everyone. During the day, my wife and I paddled from Steilacoom to Kopachuck. We landed in the afternoon, set up a campsite with our “kitchen” under a covered area and our tent nearby. We cooked and ate our dinner, did a little exploring in the park, then returned to our campsite and got ready for bed. As the sun set and it became darker, I suddenly became aware of how quiet it was. We were camping by ourselves in a state park in the middle of summer… this was a first for me. I’d camped many times at State Parks, but always surrounded by other campers, especially in the summer. I woke up early the next morning and took a picture of the view from our campsite at sunrise. I set out to find a Ranger later that morning and happily paid for the privilege of camping there before we set about breaking down the campsite.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed camping at several other Water Trail campsites – we’ve used WWTA campsites during training paddles and during the race itself both years of SEVENTY48. Sometimes we’ve had the campground to ourselves, sometimes not – but I’m never worried we won’t find a place to camp. Most of the campsites are $12 a night, a few are $14, and some are free. Without The Washington Water Trails Association’s commitment to accessible public lands for human powered travel, we wouldn’t have the accessibility to the water that we cherish so much.