Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: The Hobbit Trail

The boys and I went over to South Whidbey State Park to finish the trails in the park. Our goal was The Hobbit Trail, which is hidden down in the old (and closed) campground. But we made it a bit longer by picking up other trails along the bluff.

We parked in the lot by the front entrance, and headed across the lawn to the Discovery Trail.

The North Discovery Loop trail junction is marked “Picnic Area”. For a trail marked “easy” do expect a bit of a rolling trail. If you are feeling unsure of your balance, trekking poles go far.

The boys found an old stump to climb.

The trail crosses a tiny creek, that was running from the rain the night before.

The North loop runs along the bluff, passing picnic table areas (some are missing tables). One note is this trail section is often quite narrow with a straight drop off. Keep dogs on leash and a tight hand on small children.

Peek-a-boo views of the water and the Olympic Mountains. The trail ends at the amphitheater and comes out to the main picnic area, and the large parking lot. Just past the amphitheater is the trail to the beach, which has been closed since at least 2014, when the lower portion washed out. However, one can walk the upper part of the trail.

On the first section of the beach trail is this gorgeous carved bench, with a view through the trees of the water. It’s a steep trail, so unless you are doing steps, well…..go for the view and then turn around.

At the top we crossed the parking lot (btw, the flush bathrooms in this parking lot were open and heated!) and headed down the paved road (you will go around a metal gate right away). This is the campground road, closed since May of 2015. There are 3 loops, which make for great hiking. It’s quiet and no one is back there overall. We took the first loop and walked downhill, it is paved but long covered with leaves, moss and pine needles.

At the bend in the corner you will come across this.

And the trailhead to Hobbit Trail. While not long, it does have steep sections. It is in however amazing shape for a trail lost to time in an extinct campground.

The trail quickly drops down the bluff, but unlike many trails the corners are really well built steps. No feeling fearful of muddy switchbacks. The forest is well lit, with views through the forest.

The boys can always find old growth stumps to climb on.

Not long after that, the boys found a geocache.

Turns out we know the ranger who signed off on this cache back in 2013!

All the goodies inside. However as a bummer we didn’t have a pen or pencil on us to sign the log. Oh well! Lesson learned and to be added to their packs.

The Salish Sea.

The boys hanging out under a massive branch.

Near the end the trail levels out and crosses over a sturdy bridge.

The views at the end of the trail are very satisfying. There is a wide area with a bench to rest on.

The views go all the way to Port Townsend and I could see the tip of Fort Worden, all the way to the far right. The Salish Sea was so pretty. We could hear the waves below us (you are still a bit above the water), and even see a bit of the beach.

The return trip goes fast and we completed a loop in the campground. On the way back we took the unpaved road to the right, which also passes through camping and it parallels the campground road. It comes out by the bathrooms at the top.

The Hobbit Trail is a must do if you are visiting the other trails in the park, on the other side of Smuggler Cove Road. I wouldn’t suggest it for dogs however. For more trails in the park see: Wilbert Loop and Ridge/Fern Loop.

Discover Parking Pass is required, or buy a pass in the large parking lot from the machine.


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