Newcomers to Camano Island often have a hard time finding a public beach that they can enjoy. Juniper Beach is one of Camano Island’s public beaches. For Jodi Ruggenberg “it’s magical.”


Join Tim, Jodi and I on a walking tour of Iverson Beach. But first grab some coffee because this will take a few minutes.

Tim and Jodi Ruggenberg moved to Camano Island in 2008. They lived on the north side of the Island, close to where Tim ran a non-profit car donation lot near Camano Marine.  They didn’t know the Island at all and wanted to go swimming so they and asked around “where can we go to get out on the beach?” An Islander told them about English Boom and Iverson Beach. They visited Iverson and were amazed at what a nice beach it was.

To get to Iverson Beach you drive along a long road with charming beach homes.

A boardwalk leads to the beach.

Iverson is an amazing combination of many kinds of ecosystems. It has lots of driftwood, and because of the tides the driftwood is always moving, shifting, changing. Jodi, who is in her 60’s, but looks like she is in her later 40’s or early 50’s loves to run on the driftwood. Then there’s the ½ mile of sandy beach and the cool rocks to look for. At Iverson, the tide goes way out, and the water is shallow and warm. Kids build their driftwood tepees and palaces in the warm sand among the driftwood. Then there’s the wetlands and the Hobbit trail and the walk on the top of the levy from where you can see Mount Baker covered in white and glimmering across Livingston Bay.

There’s lots to do at Iverson. In the summer kids ride their skinboards along the shore for hours and on a blustery day in the fall when the water is rough there will be four or five wind sailers shooting across the water.

People ride their horses along the water. Bird watchers come to watch the 325 different kinds of birds that have a home at Iverson.

For a few years after they moved to Camano Tim and Jodi had Iverson to themselves. Not many people knew that Iverson was public. But that has changed they told me. Iverson has become a popular place for the public. I asked what had happened. They told me that an Everett paper did  a big write up about fun destinations that were not far away in an Everett paper and Iverson was featured. The State Parks started to charge people to use them. Jodi, smiling, told me that she said to herself “No! They’re ruining my beach!”

Still Tim and Jodi keep coming back to Iverson again and again because its magical, because Jodi loves to run and the logs, because they love to take their grandkids on the Hobbit Trail…

that winds through a forest where the trees bend over and form a bent canopy and over a wet land with little ponds.

Cattails blow in the wind.

The trail winds up into a dark forest, then along the levy  with Madrona trees and wild roses.

From the levy one has an amazing view of Livingston Bay, Juniper Beach, and the mainland.

According to Tim and Judi 90% of the people who use Iverson don’t know about the Hobbit trail.

Iverson beach is Tim and Jodi’s “happy place.” They are thankful for the donation of the Beach for public use. They are thankful for the Friends of Camano Island Parks who volunteer their time to maintain the trails and build the boardwalks over the marshy land.

All Islanders and newcomers to our Island should be thankful for Iverson Beach and Preserve. It is truly a jewel on our Island and a magical place for all.

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