Kopachcuk State Park – Gig Harbor WA

Kopachuck State Park is a state-owned recreation area on Henderson Bay in Puget Sound, about 6 miles west of Gig Harbor, Washington. The 109-acre state park includes over a mile of saltwater shoreline. Sunsets, the Olympic Mountains, and Puget Sound can all be seen from the park.

Kopachuck State Park is a publicly owned recreation area located on Henderson Bay in Puget Sound, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Gig Harbor, Washington. The park’s 109 acres (44 ha) include more than a mile of saltwater shoreline. Sunsets, the Olympic Mountains, and Puget Sound can all be seen from the park. [2] Cutts Island, also known locally as “Deadman’s Island,” is accessible by boat and is located about a half-mile from the park’s shore. [3] The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages both Kopachuck and Cutts Island.

The park’s name is derived from the language of the Chinook Tribe, a group of Pacific Coastal Indians. Kopachuck is a combination of two words: “kopa,” which means “at,” and “chuck,” which means “water.” The Puyallup and Nisqually Indian Tribes fished and gathered clams in the park’s vicinity during the summer.

Kopachuck was designated for closure in 2009 by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire as part of budget cuts made in the aftermath of the recession, prompting neighbors to band together to save the park.

Many of the park’s Douglas firs were found to be infected with laminated tree rot, one of the deadliest diseases a fir tree can contract, in 2011.

[5] Soon after, park rangers closed the campground; the closure became permanent in 2014. [6] Due to increasingly pressing safety concerns, many of the diseased trees were felled in September 2011. In response, local artists created “Intertwined — Requiem for the Trees,” which they claimed was created to document the trees before they died. For a short time that fall, the piece was on display at the Gig Harbor History Museum.

Swimming and kayaking are two recreational activities. At low tide, the normally steep rocky beach transforms into a level sandbar, making it a popular place for kids to play in the sand. The park has kitchen shelters, 16 sheltered picnic tables, and 76 unsheltered picnic tables, as well as two miles of hiking trails. The campground has been closed indefinitely.

Directions

17 min (7.9 miles)
via Kopachuck Dr NW
Fastest route, the usual traffic

20 min (10.0 miles)
via E Bay Dr NW


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