Tucked just off Hwy 525, south of the village of Bayview on Whidbey Island is the Trustland Trails, run by South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District.
The history of the area: “This 200-acre property has been in State ownership since 1895 as part of the State’s “trust lands.” In 2004, Whidbey Camano Land Trust, a local non-profit organization, coordinated an effort to place this property on the DNR transfer list. Public support was gathered from all over Whidbey Island. The transfer was approved in 2006 as part of a package of properties in Island County. The property was appraised by DNR at $3.8 million in May 2007. Funding was approved by the legislature in early 2007, and the property was officially transferred to the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District June 30, 2007. The ADA trail and picnic shelter along with a paved parking lot are accessible from Craw Road.”
We finally had a chance to go hike the trails last weekend. I went in with the map that is on the website (and which is on the trail reader board) but know that map is not correct and is out of date.
After doing the hikes, and using Google Maps to see where I was in a maze of trails and trees while hiking (not that I ever felt lost, just that I knew we were on newer trails), I found this map online which explained it.
So yes, new trails have been added, creating a larger loop, which I will explain a bit more.
To get to the trailhead, turn onto Craw Road, and quickly take right into the well marked parking lot. From the lot are 3 trailheads. The first one is signed for the ADA Loop, and the next trail over is the end of the loop. Across the parking lot is a third trailhead that is for the Multi-Use Trail. Take the first trail.
The ADA Loop is well graded and smooth.
At about a third of the way in on the loop is an unmarked trail junction (a theme here, there are NO junction markings), going to the left. We took this and the trail turns to a well groomed standard trail that has up and downs.
It meanders through sunlit forest, with one steep section going downhill. A jogger stroller could do it.
The trail curves and comes to a junction. This is the Multi-Use Trail. Take a right to make a loop and head back. A left finishes that trail, which is an in and out trail.
Alistaire and Walker goofing off.
As the trail heads back you will pass a junction to the left, that heads uphill sharply. Ignore that, it goes out to private property. At the next junction take a right and the short connector trail will take you to the ADA Loop and you can finish it. If you want to finish the Multi-Use Trail stay straight. The trail will have a junction to the lot, otherwise it ends at the Montessori school’s land.
The Trustland Trails are easy, and family friendly, for a quick hour or two adventure in the woods.