Where can I launch my boat?

At the South entrance of Birch Bay State Park is the boat launch.

Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following:
• An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit; or
• An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or
• A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit.

Annual permits may be purchased at State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff is available. Additional information can be found in the Boating Program.

Nearby Marinas

Semiahmoo Marina – Located just inside Drayton Harbor this full service marina is open to the public and is located within walking distance of Semiahmoo Resort and has an active yacht club.

Blaine Harbor – managed by the Port of Bellingham this full service marina has more than 800 feet of visitor moorage. It’s located a short walk from downtown Blaine and just across the harbor from Semiahmoo.

Birch Bay Village Marina – this private marina is reserved for home or lot owners in Birch Bay villages and also has a yacht club.


Birch Bay is usually a calm and tranquil place to kayak, especially on warm summer days. Being on on the water during one of our famous golden or red sunsets is something you’ll never forget. If the weather gets windy then perhaps you’ll want to try catching some small waves at Birch Bay State Park!

Where can I launch my kayak?

The majority of Birch Bay is at sea level and there are tons of access points and open areas to launch a kayak anywhere around the bay. We can have some pretty low tides so it’s always best to make sure you launch at the right time.

Where are some interesting places to kayak in the bay?

While kayaking anywhere in the bay is amazing many people choose to launch at the south end of the state park and paddle along the tall cliffs of the Point Whitehorn (sound end) of the bay. There are often large boulders that stick out of the water and once you round the point you can see Lummi Island and down towards the BP Cherry Point tanker station. It can also be fun to kayak by the State Park or in the Birch Bay Village area.

Is there anyplace I shouldn’t kayak?

If you aren’t an experienced kayaker we suggest not venturing out to the edge of the bay where it meets the Strait of Georgia. Wind out in the open water can be many times stronger than in the protected bay and waves can be much larger. Additionally, if you round Point Whitehorn and go south do not get too close to the tanker filling station at BP. There is security in the area and they don’t like boats getting too close to the tankers being filled.

Ride the Historic Plover Passenger Ferry

A ride on the MV Plover Foot Passenger Ferry is a popular tourist attraction. The Plover is Washington’s oldest foot passenger ferry, operating from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Docking Locations: Blaine Boating Center Visitor’s Dock & the Semiahmoo Resort Wharf Dock. Suggested donations of $5 per adult and $1 per child to help offset the cost of the amenity.

Click here for more information on the Plover Ferry