On the northern end of Whidbey Island sits a lovely (but small) preserve of 50 acres, under the watch of Whidbey Camano Land Trust. The Del Fairfax Preserve is a great way to while away 20 to 40 minutes of your day while getting in a little exercise and fresh air.
Bought as an investment property, it was never built on. The 18 acre field (meadow) in the center of the lollipop loop is still actively done as hay.
The trailhead can be a bit hard to find, as it is very tucked in. Look for the tiny Zylstra Fire Station to park nearby (the trailhead is to the far right of it, where you park). Be sure to not block the fire station or the 2 other driveways in the general area (and the rural mailboxes!). There is plenty of parking though.
Head for the obvious gate and go around to start the hike, which enters the woods quickly.
The hike in goes through sunlit second growth, much of which is Douglas Fir. The area is studded with ferns heavily.
Soon enough you come out to the field. There is a dog poop can, along with bags.
The meadow is a gorgeous area, even on a cold late Fall day. The path goes around the edge of the field, gently rolling. The native plants along the edge are plentiful. Some carry signs, letting walkers know what the plants are, and what is edible when in season.
Across the field sits a bench. The bench is where a homesite would have been fantastic. Probably better it was protected 😉 Just the farmer in me!
After we took a break at the bench and enjoyed the views (and bracing cold wind), we headed back onto the trail, to the far end of the field.
The low sun reminded me how few hours of daylight we have in November. The other day we slipped under 9 hours. We finished the field, and headed back into the woods, with the trail quickly walked back.
Whidbey Camano Land Trust lands are free to use. Parking is free. Be sure to NOT block any of the driveways nearby, especially the fire station.
Dogs MUST be on a leash. No bicycles allowed.