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Originally published Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM

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Family camping: Orcas Island

A longtime Washington outdoors writer offers up some of his all-time favorite places and adventures. See the related links below for a list of outings.

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To me, there’s no better sense of escape than boarding a Washington State ferry and setting out on the magical passage through the forested jewels of the San Juan Island archipelago. Views of 2,409-foot Mount Constitution soon emerge, as does the rest of Orcas Island.

Much of what you see is 5,200-acre Moran State Park which, with five freshwater lakes, four campgrounds and 30-plus miles of hiking and biking trails, is family-fun Nirvana. An added plus: If you have youngins who favor rolling about on concrete, there’s an epic 20,000-square-foot skatepark about 10 minutes from the Moran gate.

Location: About 3¼ hours north of Seattle, which includes an hourlong ferry ride.

Mike McQuaide is the author of six guidebooks including “75 Classic Rides: Washington” (The Mountaineers Books).

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