Picnic perfection at Obstruction Pass

Ten good-as-new tables await you and your picnicking crew on Orcas Island

— By Jenny Burns, Digital Media Strategist

What memories have you built around the picnic table at your favorite state parks? Picnic tables are a place for family meals, card games, sharing stories, studying maps, resting after a full day of exploring, and more.

As you have no doubt noticed, wooden picnic tables eventually succumb to the effects of weather, use and time. Earlier this year, the Washington State Parks Foundation awarded more than $2,200 to repair ten such picnic tables at Obstruction Pass State Park. This grant paid for lumber, table frames kits and table boards to repair tables around the park so campers and day-use visitors can enjoy safe, clean and functional tables at this popular destination in the San Juan Islands.

Located on the southeast tip of Orcas Island, Obstruction Pass State Park encompasses 80 acres and features a unique pebble beach, three offshore mooring cans, nine first-come/first-serve primitive campsites, crabbing, fishing, picnicking, restrooms, wildlife viewing and a self-guided interpretive trail. This state park is a very popular day-use and camping destination. The park is also a part of the Cascadia Marine Trail, a network of more than 60 watercraft-accessed campsites throughout Puget Sound.


The picnic tables in Obstruction Pass State Park were in dire need of repair. Ranger Al Nickerson and Obstruction Pass volunteer campground hosts worked with a group of volunteers to hike heavy new picnic table boards and legs down to the camp areas, where these competent crews built the picnic tables on site.

The lumber for this project was supplied by the Friends of Moran State Park, whose mission is to support park staff, enhance the visitor experience and provide educational opportunities nearby Moran State Park. In the end, an investment of about $3,000 and 100 volunteer hours means that all of us can enjoy fabulous picnic tables in a gorgeous setting. Hopefully this improvement project will also result in return campers who appreciate such stewardship and facility renewal in their parks.

A special Thank You to Andrew Stephens; Ranger Al Nickerson; camp hosts Harvey Clayton, Jeff Steward, John Maas and Mike Puccio; helpful USC Alternative Spring Break students; Boy Scout Troop #265; and YMCA Camp Orkila Volunteers. Great work everyone!


What’s your favorite Washington state park? Want to make it better? Then join us today!

The Washington State Parks Foundation awards grants directly to individual state parks for improvement projects across Washington. Our work includes habitat restoration, trail improvements, benches and picnic tables, historic building repairs, educational programs and more.

Volunteers at Obstruction Pass State Park pose with their repaired picnic table, funded by the Washington State Parks Foundation.
“Obstruction Pass State Park,” a wonderful aerial shot by Chris Teren. See more of Chris’ photos at http://www.terenphotography.com.
The picnic tables at Obstruction Pass State Park were rotting and splintering.
Park staff and volunteers, ready for action.
A beautifully restored picnic table!