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“Afraid of rabies? Welcome to the blake island raccoon sanctuary!”

Blake Island State Park
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Tillicum Excursion
Ranked #110 of 467 things to do in Seattle
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Owner description: Reachable only by tour or private boat, Blake Island has 475 acres of land and features views of the Seattle skyline.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

This place is overrun by raccoons. If you are in the marina you have to keep all windows closed or they will be in the cabin. No - not "only if you leave food out" - the competition is just that stiff DAY or NIGHT. If there are more than 3 on the dock they will not yield to people and the most I counted was 17 at one time.
I am an experienced boater and camper - we were lectured each night on all of the rules of the camp ground - even though we were breaking none of them. Next night, Casey is back again to go over the same lecture. I'm sure they would prefer that only raccoons came here and looking at the empty campsites in the summer - they are getting their wish.

9  Thank Ken l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 32 of 57 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2013

So, if you have a boat, or a friend with a boat, this is an excellent trip. A walk around the island is about 4.5 miles and can be done in under two hours. It is really nice and great views of Puget Sound. You can also camp here, but apparently the park ranger is bored and likes to mess with people. Highly recommended!

17  Thank kuwells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

There is new sheriff in town! Just when you thought we could not have a more authoritative ranger than Paul Ruppert, here comes ranger Casey! What a joke these two are. They can take a nature lover and magically turn them into felons!

10  Thank Happysailor2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

I have been to Blake Island a number of times now, and have always had an immensely enjoyable time there - that is until the final night of my most recent visit.

A group of us sailed out to the island, and stayed a total of three nights. The very first night we were lectured for nearly a half an hour straight about the rules (to which we had been adhering and had no intention of treading on). This was slightly obnoxious, but didn't seem outrageous - the ranger was clearly a bit overzealous but nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

That night and the few to follow, things got a little stranger as we began to realize that the ranger's only interest was in micro managing and overseeing the actions of each and every camper. He literally stood watch vigilantly inches from seemingly random campsites night after night for long hours making his presence known to the various campers, stepping in at any opportunity to remind people of the things he had already made very clear regardless of whether or not there was an infraction (typically there was not). It all felt a bit like he was punishing people for the wrong they had yet to commit, his attitude bordering on that of what I imagine a prison guard's to be. We even caught him snooping around between our tents and in our packs and bags in the dead of night. Can't think of why that would be necessary.

On our final day, while we were out enjoying the beautiful sunshine on a quick and fruitful sail, the ranger took it upon himself to remove our dinghy from the buoy that we had paid for in full for multiple days and we were clearly still using. Admittedly, there is signage that suggests buoys cannot be reserved with dinghies. However we were confident that the fact that we had consistently been using the buoy and had already paid for it would prevent someone from usurping it. Unfortunately we were dead wrong.

The ranger didn't just untie our dinghy, we learned later that he actually cut the line (likely a form of punishment in his mind) making it very difficult to use. Luckily a number of other campers offered to help ferry some of us back to shore during this ridiculous scenario while the remainder of our party called the parks department in an attempt to locate our missing boat. The ranger informed our party members of the boat's location, and those lucky enough to have been ferried onto the shore hiked to the other side of the island where our dinghy was held captive.

I might note here that a large number of other anonymous campers approached us both on and off shore to complain about the rangers attitude and lend their support. Numerous campers had voiced their opinions on the previous nights, asking if we had run into similar difficulties with the ranger.

Upon arriving at the fabled location of the dinghy, the ranger told the girls to go ahead and row it to the other side of the island if they really wanted it. Here he clearly put these inexperienced rowers in a massive amount of danger without batting an eye by suggesting that they row against the tide, against the wind, and around an island they are completely unfamiliar with - all without life jackets - to our campsite miles away. Fortunately for them, the ranger came around (with the help of an unknown female ranger who likely found the suggestion distasteful) and towed the dinghy back to the sail boat where one other party member and I remained.

At this point the two of us discovered that he had actually cut the dinghy's line, and thus we had no way to hold onto or properly stabilize the vessel. Not wanting to wait for it to get any darker, my friend attempted to load the boat while I held it against the tide (no easy task at this point). The boat turned over before we were able to load it and my friend went into the water with a bunch of our equipment (including our cell phones).

Here you would imagine the ranger on the shore (yes there are two of these fine uniformed gentlemen) would be concerned for our safety perhaps, and maybe even embarrassed of the predicament that his partner clearly left us in. Instead, as we drug the capsized dinghy onto shore, he began screaming at us to get on the ground as thought we had just committed a felony by swimming our boat back to shore. He then threatened us with all sorts of citations and consequences (including going to jail), all for flipping the unsecured dinghy. After becoming soaked, losing valuable personal property, and swimming to shore as the evening darkened, we were disallowed to change out of our wet clothes for nearly fifteen minutes as we shivered on the ground, were accused of having weapons in our pockets (?), had all of our tents checked for weapons before we were allowed to enter them to change (??), and then given ridiculous tickets and citations. These included but were not limited to two $87 tickets for operating a vessel without life jackets - which, keep in mind, were not loaded as a direct result of the dinghy being inoperable due to their initial negligence for our safety and the boats functionality. He topped it all off by telling us we were all expelled from the campsite and asked us to be gone by 9am.

I have been camping all over Washington State and have nothing but fond memories of nearly every trip. Myself and those who accompany me always act with good intentions and with safety in mind on each and every trip we take. Unfortunately for us, this camping trip had a very, very different outcome as a result of ranger Ruppert and his assistant's behavior.

A truly unbelievable and unparalleled experience.

58  Thank Sean K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 18, 2013

We were really pleased to experience this wonderful State Park island located in the Puget Sound. The island is accessible only by boat and most people visit via a local tour boat excursion that includes a Native American dancing and salmon dinner. The concessionaire building has in addition to the ticketed Dinner Show a gift shop, bar and restrooms. Outside in the State Park there are facilities including showers and restrooms, camping sites, picnic tables and cooking grills. The boat moorage dock is around 1500', so depending on the size of boats there it can accommodate a couple of dozen moorings at a time. There are 24 buoy moorings around the island as well. To privately dock, its recommended that you arrive early during the peak months of summer between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. as there is no reservation system available. Otherwise you're stuck with a short load/unload time at the visitor dock. The campground/dock hosts have always been very helpful and friendly, assisting in the docking process and making sure that everyone gets registered appropriately. To moore it costs I think about $28 if you do not have the WA State Park Annual Moorage Permit already. Electric is $6 extra. The island is covered with hiking trails, deer and raccoons, beautiful beaches and it's far away from the hubub and noise of nearby Seattle. If you like the touristy Native American dinner show stuff, I hear you'll like the tour group. If you arrive by private boat you can also purchase dinner show tickets. Personally we like the hiking trails and the peace and quiet of the picnic and camping areas. There are nice and clean facilities, a playground for the children and plenty of beach space to roam. This park is far enough away from the more populated areas so as there not to be any small watercraft activity (noisy) and yet close enough for an easy day trip from most anywhere in the central Sound. You can buy food and drinks at the concession building if you want or bring your own picnic. This is a highly developed park island so if you're looking for more rustic surroundings you'd best look elsewhere. There are many island parks to choose from. Travel time from Gig Harbor via the Colvos passage at 15 mph was 1 hour and 15 minutes. Easily half that from Seattle. All state parks require permit access if you do not already have one.

5  Thank pressonjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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