Possession Sound Preserve is brand new to the vast collection of hiking choices thru the Whidbey Camano Land Trust on Whidbey Island. Located just a few miles from the Clinton Ferry Dock, it makes a perfect first stop to stretch the legs if you are spending a weekend on the island.
This short hike (1 mile round trip to the beach) is a sweet spot to enjoy.
The land for the preserve had been slated to have houses built on, with a long history behind that. What it meant is the land had a long road into it, to the beach, meaning building a trail system wasn’t as hard. The forest is open, letting breezes blow thru, with many options for views. But, it isn’t the best land to build on, with a bluff that is actively eroding. Lucky us hikers!
To find the trailhead, turn onto Humphrey Road which is the last road before you head down to the ferry dock. Simmons Garage is the landmark of where to turn off of Hwy 525. Follow Humphrey for about 2 miles. This isn’t a heavily used road so slow down and keep an eye out for the small sign on the road, by the new trailhead parking lot. It will be on the left. If you miss it, just go to the bottom of the road to Glendale Park, and turn around. It’s a pretty drive and Glendale Beach Preserve is a free public access to the beach as well, so bonus. (Look on the map for Ohana Lane, it’s just before that. You can see the start of an old road on Google Maps in satellite view.)
Park in the lot, and head for the trailhead sign.
At the trailhead.
The trail follows the old road, the first half has been turned into an easy to walk on path, of crushed rock.
The trail is smooth and wide. The upper half is pleasant to walk thru as the side vegetation isn’t too heavy, but the forest gives shade.
Alistaire ahead of me, with Walker and Kirk ahead in the shade.
The trail turns back into old country road, but it is still smooth to walk.
As the trail continues downhill, views start to happen of the beach, the water and the Cascade Mountains.
Looking back uphill. There was a park bench in the shade about 2/3 the way down to enjoy views. The lower half of the trail can be muggy in the morning, as the day heats up and the thick vegetation dries out for the day. Daisy flowers line the trail and blackberries are just starting to get ripe at the bottom. The canes will be loaded in the coming weeks.
As the road reaches the end you can see from Mount Baker (Kulshan) to the left, about a 1/3 over in the photo) to the Central Cascade Mountains.
Directly across the water is the small city of Everett, and to the right is the town of Mulkiteo. The ferry dock is visible from the beach, as is the Lighthouse Park and Beach there.
What I wasn’t expecting to see was Glacier Peak! I zoomed in and was quite happy to see it. Glacier Peak is so hard to see in general from the mainland due to it being back so far in the mountains.
The road/trail ends at an open field/meadow to wander, to the right. Feel free to wander here, this is public property. To the left however the property ends quickly. If on the beach and you go that way, stay below the high tide line to be “legal”. Beaches are a testy area on Whidbey Island, and the Richy Riches of the world can often get very angry if peasants are wandering across their sand/rocks. I mostly stay off those beaches, but if you do, just walk quietly, and stay below the high tide line and you are good to go, outside of a rare occasion where one of them feels the need to scream at people.
If the sky hadn’t been so hazy, Mount Rainier (Tahoma) would have been visible in the notch where there is no land over the water.
The beach continues on as well to enjoy.
The field area above the beach would make for a great place to sit and enjoy a picnic or a nap. Or both.
To the right at low tide there was some sandy areas exposed past all the rocks.
Watching the ferry leave the island, at Clinton, heading to the mainland.
Then it is all uphill to get back to the car.
That 220 feet of elevation gain isn’t bad though. It’s a smooth 1/2 mile and goes fast.
WCLT lands are free to use, with no parking permits required. Please leash dogs, and the park has a poop bag dispenser and garbage can for dog waste, just a bit down from the trailhead.