This hike is a flat 3.3 mile one way blacktop trail that starts at The Port of Anacortes and ends at March Point near The Shell and Tesoro Refineries. The trail has great views of Mount Baker, Fidalgo Bay and lots of blue heron, especially when the tides are low.
Rarely do hikers have the opportunity to traverse a magnificent bay on an abandoned railroad trestle,but this paved rail trail offers just that. Keep an eye out for marine life. You may see a sea lion staring back at you as you stroll across the trestle connecting the eastern and western shores of Fidalgo Bay.
The Tommy Thompson Trail starts at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Q Street in Anacortes. The blacktop heads south along Q Avenue. After 7 blocks, the trail heads diagonally east and the street changes names to R Avenue. After 0.6 mile, the trail passes the access point at the intersection of 22nd Street and R Avenue. There is a restroom here.
Heading south again, the trail passes a public restroom at 30th Avenue. In another 0.7 mile from 22nd Avenue, the trail reaches 34th Street. Continuing south, the traverse the western shore of Fidalgo Bay. Looking across the bay on a clear day, there are views of Mount Baker on the distant eastern horizon.
After another mile from 34th Street, the trail passes an RV park. A majestic totem pole stands next to the trail. After crossing Weaverling Road at the RV park, there is an ADA accessible port-a-potty next to the blacktop. Beyond the RV park, the trail heads in a southeasterly direction and crosses Fidalgo Bay on a rocky causeway and then a wooden trestle.
Your turnaround point is March Point Road on the eastern shore of Fidalgo Bay. The trail crosses an additional mile between the RV Park and March Point Road.
So just who was Tommy Thompson? Actually, there were two, father and son. The father was a distinguished oceanographer, the son - who was the railroad buff - a local mechanical engineer. This article from Anacortes Now (June 3, 2014) offers a very readable account of their lives.