TBT – Ebey’s Landing June 2011

Throwback Thursdays seem like a good opportunity to share the outdoor adventures I had before I started this blog!

For this week’s TBT I want to talk about the first hike my husband and I ever took with our daughter. She was 3 years old and we decided the roughly 3 mile hike was a great one to get her started.

Ebey’s Landing is in the middle of Whidbey Island, near Coupeville. The historic preserve is a great place to explore – the forest and prairie along the bluffs remain as they were when they were settled in the 19th century, and some of the old buildings from those settlements remain on the site. The landing itself has public parking, restrooms, and beach access, and the trail head for this hike.

Between the rocky beach along the western side of the island, and the steep bluffs that rise above it, a saltwater lagoon forms called Perego’s Lake. The trail follows the bluff over the lake, then winds down the sandy cliffs, and finishes along the flat beach back to the parking lot. Despite a bit of elevation gain (240ft) this is a great hike for children, and anyone looking for a greater challenge can work the other nearby trails into their hike.

We picked a beautiful day for our trip – cloudy and not too hot! We drove down from Coupeville where we were staying, and started up the prairie trail to the bluffs. Wildflowers were in full bloom and we ran into all kinds of insects that were interesting to the little one – big bumblebees, large red ants, and wandering ground beetles.

Ebey's Landing Hike June 2011

Once we reached the top of the bluff I was a little nervous about walking along such a steep ridge with a small child, but she kept chugging right along and did just fine. The path down to the beach was a little more tricky – she scooted down on her bum for part of it, and had to be picked up on a few of the steeper bits. This trail would have been no problem for older children, though.

From halfway down the bluff, Perego’s Lake:

Ebey's Landing Perego's Lake June 2011

The beach was a great mid-point to our hike to stop for a snack and play for a while. Kidlet occupied herself with throwing stones into the water and looking for seashells.

Ebey's Landing June 2011

We rested for a little too long, however, and the little one fell fast asleep. That’s how you know it was a good hike! After 20 minutes there was no waking her, so she was carried the last 3/4 mile to the car.

Ebey's Landing June 2011

Amusingly, she did not remember having fallen asleep and insisted she hiked the whole way by herself.

Overall this was a nice little trip for us. It took about 3 hours with a toddler, but if I were on my own I think it would have been under an hour. For this reason I’m not sure it warrants a ferry ride and long drive on its’ own, but if you were already staying on the island (as we were) and were looking for a good excuse to get outdoors, I’d recommend it. Also, the mild temperature and blooming wildflowers of June made this trip extra special, which is something to keep in mind, and there were few other hikers, which allowed us to take our time on the narrow trail.

Areas visited:

Perego’s Lake, Ebey’s Landing.

Species observed:

Very few that we paid attention to! Red-Tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, a variety of insects.

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