It’s interesting to rehike trails you once hiked, long ago. The previous time I hiked The Wilbert Trail in South Whidbey State Park my oldest son was maybe 3.5 years old. He’s 21 now, and had zero memories of hiking this trail. So maybe it is like hiking a new trail? I’d like to think that. It was like new to me. These were trails I cut my hiking teeth on, long before I started hiking what I deemed as “real trails” in the mountains. I see it differently now. Short trails fit into a busy life, and the boys enjoy these outings. They are not hard, and they are building strong legs.
The trail starts across Smuggler Cove Road, from the main parking lot after you turn into the park. A Discover Pass is required to park.
So lets talk about the concept of “easy” when herding cats, er, I mean children. While this trail is easy, with children it can stretch alllllll day if they are little squirrels that like to read the many informational trail signs along the way. Which isn’t a bad thing in my view, but it can drive people batty. The trail follows most of the length of the park, but you barely hear the road, if at all, due to how it twists back and forth.
Some of the ripest Salmonberries I have ever foraged.
The forest has lost a number of trees over the years, but it is leading to healthy nurse logs. The trail is often raised, with hardware cloth on it, so it doesn’t get slippery.
First Red Huckleberries.
The Wilbert Trail is well lit.
Hemlock cones, from a very tiny tree.
Walker working on his trekking poles.
A tiny Hemlock sprouting out of a very old Douglas Fir.
Alistaire leading the way.
At the end of The Wilbert Trail is a short side trail to the Ancient Cedar, with a bench to rest on while looking at the tree.
We crossed the road and came back into the park (there is a crosswalk there). Then follow the road back to the start to make a loop. It is the old campground road and easy to follow.
And maybe just enjoy the carved out log bench that sits there.
We did about 1.4 to 1.5 miles round trip with some elevation gain and loss, but nothing big. While not a hard hike, for younger children, the many roots in the trail can be harder to navigate. Just take it slow, and little ones will be fine.
PS: One thing about this hike is that during weekdays, the South bound Island Transit bus 1 goes by the park. The bus stop is in front of the park entrance. The bus is free to ride. However, to get back, you must grab the bus going south, and transfer in Freeland to the Northbound if you are going that direction.