Our destination via ferry from Port Townsend was Whidbey Island. One of many islands in Puget Sound near Seattle. It is 35 miles long, unusually shaped and has a population less than 60 thousand.
We were staying with family who had a grand view of the Olympics and the shipping lanes from Seattle, Tacoma and Victoria out the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Weather was marvelous – sunny and in the 60s. Perfect walking weather.
On the first day, we visited Oak Harbor near the north end of the island. We walked along the shoreline at Windjammer Park. The park included playground, swimming hole, picnic tables and bathrooms. The path continues by condos to a yacht harbor. It’s about a mile one-way. If you have clearance, you could continue through the Naval Air Station.
Whidbey Island has several State Parks. We made a brief stops at Fort Ebey and at Fort Casey. These were once a strategic forts in the 1890s. Admiralty Inlet is a protected preserve and part on a marine sanctuary.
The next day we visited the charming downtown Coupeville, complete with waterfront and part of the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. On this day, the sunshine outside was more intriguing than the museum.
On a quick tour of the southern part of Whidbey Island we whizzed by South Whidbey State Park. Part of this trip was to see the national news landslide location.
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
Much of the middle of the island is part of this historical reserve. We stopped at the ‘Ferry House’ built in the 1860s as an inn and later used as a farmhouse. The nature of this Reserve is to maintain the rural character. It’s certainly the appeal to me – beautiful colors of farmland above the ocean. – just like home. There are trails here, but we only made a short walk to the restored building. I’ll refer you to a brochure page for NPS Ebey’s Landing.
Deception Pass is another state park of 4,100 acres, coastal shoreline, three lakes to enjoy via camping or quick gawking. We just stopped to gawk at the amazing view.
Having crossed to Fidalgo Island, we hit the mainland and went around Padillo Bay to indulge in cheese tasting at one of many farms around Edison, Wa.
On the return trip we stopped in Anacortes for lunch and a walk around the old part of town. One can stroll around the boat harbor or visit the antiques stores. We chose the latter today.
Rosario Beach at Deception Pass Park
One more stop and a short walk at Rosario Beach. Part of Deception Pass State Park. Choose beach, tide pools (at appropriate times), Samish fishing legend or just watch the water.
Us? We headed back to Whidbey Island. The next day? These bicyclists got off the ferry and we got on to continue our trip around the Olympic Peninsula.
Hey, I found a site for hikers. Click Washington Trails.
Less helpful is Washington State Parks website.
Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Mike Millar copyright 2013. Photos available on request.