The Beach View Farm Trail is one of the 2021 additions to Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s many public lands on Whidbey Island. I had been waiting for this one to open, not so patiently. Covid bumped it back quite a bit. Yesterday I carved out the time to go walk it with Kirk in the morning. It only opened up a couple weeks ago. It’s a conservation easement, and these are so important.
“A conservation easement on the Fakkemas’ 315-acre Beach View Farm (170 acres of farmland and 145 acres of ridgetop forest) permanently protected this iconic North Whidbey landscape. All but two existing homesites were removed. A walking trail takes visitors from the west edge of Oak Harbor to Swan Lake, West Beach and the nearby state park.”
Now then finding the trailhead can be interesting, but I will provide clearer directions (because photos help so much more than words!) The trail has 2 trailheads to choose from. Both are free to use. We opted for parking on West Beach as it was a Sunday morning and I didn’t want to be a pest at the other trailhead, which is at a church (very generous of them, and there are 8 dedicated parking spots). In theory one could walk Swantown Road to the trailhead if one loved walking, and lived in the Oak Harbor area. If I did, yes, I’d be walking there. To see the directions via Swantown Road, see here. It also includes a map of the trail.
So anyhow, the key is getting onto West Beach Road. The trailhead is just above Swantown Lake (which isn’t a lake, but rather a tidal area mixed with fresh water). The parking area is just as the road starts to head uphill, going south. Where you park to get to the beach, where the concrete walls are spray painted and all. Once you park, walk up the side of the road (it’s wide) and take the first driveway on the east side of the road.
The parking above the beach is visible. This is the driveway you take.
Walk to the end of the road, and the trail starts.
Now then…there is actually about 3 parking spots at the end of the road. But, this section is Island County owned, Swantown Park. The main trail starts straight ahead, at the large white sign. To access the loop section, it is next to the car’s bumper in the photo.
And nothing like walking and thinking about when the next full rip earthquake hits….and you couldn’t pay me to live here in tsunami alley…..
While walking we could periodically see Mt. Baker, peeking its top over the forested hills. It’s there in the photo, but hard to see.
In this first section the prominent flower is the thistle, a noxious weed. I’d highly suggest long pants here, as it hangs over the trail in some areas.
The Whidbey Camano Land Trust section starts here, and quickly crosses a bridge to enter the farmland.
Hedgerow that was full of Nootka Roses.
We walked the trail to the end. It’s easy road walking to the church for the other trailhead (it’s not a busy road).
As we headed back.
After we crossed the bridge, and entered the county park land, we took the loop trail to the left. It wanders closer to Swantown Lake. Looking across to the houses that line the narrow strip of land that sits between Swantown Lake and West Beach.
Kirk ahead of me. The loop trail winds through the trees and grass areas, and is worth doing.
As you can see, the elevation gain is minimal. It’s not a long hike but just enough to stretch the legs. Pretty views, a balmy breeze off the ocean and it’s free to use, no parking permits needed. Should you want a longer hike, the beach awaits, and Joseph Whidbey State Park is just around the corner.
No bicycles and NO dogs. The trail is through active farm land and cows are out. Dogs are dangerous to farm animals.