Map? Check. Boots? Check. Binoculars? Check. Now grab your hiking stick and prepare to explore.
Start out in the sun on the northeast end of the island. Fay Bainbridge Park offers a stretch of wild shoreline and a fresh salty breeze. Keep an eye out for eagles, ospreys and shorebirds, and be ready to hop over driftwood to get to the beach.
Swing further south and to the west side of the island; look for the Grand Forest parking area and get set to hike. You’ll find big old growth trees and a seasonal stream—do the main loop at least and check out the side trails if you want to explore more.
If you head south toward Fort Ward Park, opt for the lower entrance, closer to the water. Watch for cormorants sunning themselves at the south end of the park; to the north you’ll see the Olympic Mountains on a good day.
When it’s finally time to head back into town, you’ll be comfortable in your khakis at the casual Harbour Public House. Dig into one of their specials and down a chilly, well-deserved local beer.
Birder bonus: add an extra stop at Schel-Chelb Estuary near Lynwood Center.