Having two hours between volunteering at the boys’ school, and it being blue skies, I took a break and went hiking. I left the car behind and started walking.
As I walked along the road, lost in my thoughts, with the sun in my eyes, I walked into South Whidbey Community Park (Castle Park) (down on the south end of Whidbey Island), and walked up the road, not sure of where I was going to hike. As I rounded the edge of the South Whidbey High School, I noticed a trailhead I had not hiked before. It has an awkward spot to park in front, but just a bit farther up the road is a nice pullout big enough for multiple vehicles.
This is Falcon Trail, a newer trail in the park’s trail system.
Falcon Trail follows the school’s border for a bit, hence the name Falcon. You also get a good view of the back part of the school farm, where the greenhouses and orchard are tucked in. As with all the trails in the system, they wide and smooth, making the walking mostly easy.
The trail meanders through the forest, often in sunlit areas. Two trees making a “K”.
The trails are often very quiet and I saw no one.
This park is a great place for families with children – especially if you have a jogger stroller.
I wasn’t quite sure where the trail was leading me, as it isn’t on the trail map, but I wasn’t worried. It’s not like you can get lost here.
The second half of the trail definitely gives a nice workout as it chugs uphill to a higher level of forest. The area is pretty though and you don’t feel rushed to hike it fast.
The trail ends at a junction. The end is signed so you will know you are changing trails. The trail in front goes both left and right. This is Windfall Ridge but isn’t signed. Take a left to make the loop. Shortly after you will encounter another trail junction. Head straight to stay on Windfall Ridge.
However, one warning. This section of Windfall Ridge is very steep, although short. I do not recommend it on wet days or if you feel uncomfortable going down steep slopes. If you want a gentler path, I suggest taking a right onto Westling Loop at the last junction and then a left onto Water Tank Way (you can see the water tank through the forest). This will get you back down below with a gentler grade.
Once you complete Windfall Ridge, it drops you onto the road just a bit above Falcon Trail. An easy walk takes you back down.
The park is free to use and no parking permits are needed. Dogs must be leashed and animal waste picked up. There are a number of areas in the park with free poop bags and garbage cans all over. See here for a trail map (although Falcon is not on it – it would be connected to Windfall Ridge down at the bottom of the map).