Anacortes Rotary Centennial Viewpoint & Trail at Cap Sante

Celebrating 100 years of giving to the community, the Anacortes Rotary Club is proudly sponsoring enhancements to the Cap Sante Trail System. When completed, the viewpoint, trail and signage improvements will enrich the user experience for residents and visitors alike.

  • A Trail that’s easy to find and follow
  • Safer, more accessible view spaces
  • Improved walkway along marina to a refurbished gazebo
  • More ways to share Anacortes’ history, culture and natural beauty

April 2022 Update

An improved and easy-to-navigate trail to the top of Cap Sante is taking shape as the Anacortes Rotary Club takes a big first step in the celebration of its centennial.

Working with the City of Anacortes Parks and Recreation Department, club members mapped out improvements to the existing path from the lower parking area to the crest of Cap Sante. The club is funding the purchase of gravel and other trail enhancement costs and providing some volunteer help. The Parks Department is doing almost all the trail work. 

“Our goal is a trail route that is accessible and safe, using the existing pathways,” said Anacortes Rotary President Dan Worra. “This project celebrates the spirit and one-hundred-year history of Rotary in Anacortes by providing recreational amenities for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.”

Directional trail signs are included in the Rotary Viewpoint Trail plan, along with an improved entry area just south of the Anacortes Yacht Club. Rotarians are also considering additional improvements for the paved path and gazebo along the shore of Cap Sante Marina as part of the project.

A trail grand opening and “rec fest” featuring groups such as Friends of the Forest, OARS and the disc golf community is planned for Saturday, June 11.

A key point to the trail project is encouraging walkers to use the direct path to the top in place of the existing road, Rotary project chairman Tom Decker said.  The goal is to improve safety for pedestrians by keeping them off the road and to lessen traffic through the adjacent neighborhood.

Another aim for the path improvement is to route hikers off the steep, eroded informal trails that currently cross various parts of the park. 

“Our plan will help restore some of the park’s unofficial trails to a natural state by renewing native vegetation and discouraging use,” Decker said. 

At the top of Cap Sante, the club and the city are exploring concepts regarding a new viewpoint area with space for more people to enjoy the summit panoramas. Improved public access and separation between visitors and cars are key goals.

“More and more these days, residents and visitors are looking for easily accessible, healthy outdoor activities, which is bringing more visitors to Cap Sante,” Decker said. “Our summit trail and viewpoint will be simple enrichments to create more public enjoyment and enhance connections to what is already a very popular spot.”

The Anacortes Rotary Club is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2022. The club has raised more than $220,000 for the project from club members and grants, a sound foundation for substantial investment in the project. Anacortes Rotary will turn to community members in coming months for more financial support.

“Our goal is an enhanced place for people and connections to downtown,” Decker said. “We are looking at environmentally sensitive ways to provide more public enjoyment. The goal is enhancement of the park experience for every member of the family, from kids to grandparents.”

Anacortes Rotary Club members have a long history of stewardship at Cap Sante. Through the years, the group has funded improvements at Rotary Park at the base of the headland, worked in cooperation with the city to eradicate invasive plants, provided volunteer maintenance help and helped construct disk golf amenities. 

For more information, please contact Bob Vaux, City of Anacortes Parks and Recreation Department (360-588-8233) or Anacortes Rotary project contacts: Jack Darnton (email: darntonfamily@comcast.net) and Tom Decker (email: tomkdecker@gmail.com).

Park Summary and Historical Background:  Cap Sante Park, a 37-acre City parcel, is located on a prominent headland on the northeast corner of Fidalgo Island within the City of Anacortes. The headland itself is a dedicated park (Cap Sante Park) that has a few trails. An area along the southwestern shore also is a park (Rotary Park) that has a broad shoreline trail leading to the gazebo and a picnic area, plus a disc golf course and parking.

In the 1860s and early 1870s, the area was known as Rocky Point. In 1877, Anna Curtis Bowman, wife of Anacortes Founder Amos Bowman, named it Cap Sante because it reminded her of a rocky promontory that juts into the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, where she spent much of her childhood. Originally, the St. Lawrence River promontory was named Cap de la Sainte-Famille, which means “Cape of the Holy Family” in French. The name evolved through time to Cap Sante, which means “Cape Health.” Source: Anacortes Museum

Don’t Forget to Join Us for the June 11 Grand Opening!

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