The port is deep enough to accommodate migratory grey whales and the occasional pod of orcas. It’s shallow enough for those whales to happily feed along the banks of Kayak Point, where they gorge themselves on krill that they rouse from the banks of the cuspate foreland.
And, significantly, Port Susan is too shallow to accommodate deep-hulled oil tankers. This proved to be important -– at one point the 670-acre forested waterfront park was slated to become an oil refinery. When the refinery didn’t work out the oil company planned to turn the 640-acre are into a residential community with 4,720 residential that would house nearly 15,000 people.
The county bought the waterfront parcel of land from Atlantic Richfield in 1972 for $1.4 million, using state and federal dollars.
It’s one of those stories that reads like an environmental parable; one of those rare occasions where the public good triumphs over corporate profiteering. And now we can all go check out the whales, thanks to the actions of legislators and the public who rallied for the creation of Kayak Point County Park.
Today, Kayak Point is a destination for crabbing, windsurfing, birdwatching, fishing, SCUBA diving, hiking, and stand up paddle boarding. It has a yurt village and a house that groups can rent. It also has a yurt village and several forested hiking trails.
Kayak Point is one stop on the Cascadia Marine Trail – a trail system with 66 campsites and 160 day-use sites visitors can kayak or paddle board their way to the shores of Kayak Point and camp out, before hitting the water trails to other destinations in the Salish Sea.
Wherever your summer plans take you, be sure to visit Kayak Point at least once. You'll get the best saltwater park experience that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.