July 22, 2009
Island Hoping to Washington Island
Julie Summers Walker, Managing Editor of AOPA Flight Training, wrote a great article about 10 "Island Hoping" destinations in the United States. She writes "'Island hopping' may bring to mind Caribbean blue water, but in the United States, there are a number of island escapes, each with its own personality and hue, best visited in a small airplane. Your newly minted private pilot certificate can get you access to places few people get to see."
She recommends ten great island destinations to fly to and even provides some tips for planning an trip to an island based airstrip. Here list of ten Island destinations included:
- Tangier Island Airport (TGI), Tangier, Virginia
- Mackinac Island Airport (MCD), Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Catalina Airport (AVX), Catalina Island, California
- Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK), Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
- Put in Bay Airport (3W2), South Bass Island, Ohio
- Ocracoke Island Airport (W95), Ocracoke, North Carolina
- George T. Lewis Airport (CDK), Cedar Key, Florida
- Friday Harbor Airport (FHR), Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
- Jekyll Island Airport (09J), Jekyll Island, Georgia
- Katama Airpark (1B2), Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Missing from the authors list was one of my favorite island airports, Washington Island, situated six miles of the northern tip of Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula. If you are planning on visiting Washington Island you will need to arrive by boat, bring your bike or car by ferry or fly into Washington Island Airport. Flying to Washington Island from anywhere south of the Island provides a scenic flight along the Door County Peninsula. The Peninsula is 75 miles long and 10 miles wide and narrows as you travel northeast and culminates with the quaint Washington Island. You will enjoy viewing corn mazes and beautiful bays and lighthouses along the route. On Washington Island there are several great places to catch a bite to eat.
For the 56th year the Lion's Club of Washington Island hosted their Annual Fly-In Fish Boil this past weekend. Typically the event draws planes from all over the Midwest and Canada. The island airport features two runways, one of which was recently closed to be expanded from a 1,300 feet to a more manageable 2,250 feet. When completed the airport will feature two turf runways each with a length of 2,250 feet which will surely make this airport more accessible on those windy days.
Below are some of my photos from a visit to Washington Island Airport last year. If you are looking for a fun place to fly to this summer, I recommend you check out Washington Island.