For years I had meant to walk the trails at Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park in Port Townsend, but then Covid came and it wrecked us taking the ferry to Port Townsend for 1.5 years and life got busy. With the last week of school upon us for the year, I called it a field trip and we headed to the ferry dock early. In 2021 the Port Townsend Library set up a Story Walk that features different books to read as you walk along the main trail in the lagoon, on a wide dirt trail that bikes and strollers can use.
With gas costing $5.79 a gallon as of today, and the ferry fare being high season summer rates, and only 1 ferry on the route, we opted for walking on the ferry from the Coupeville Ferry Dock on Whidbey Island. The ferry ride is pleasant in the warmer months, when the winds are low, and goes fast enough (less than 40 minutes), and pulls into Port Townsend.
The ferry pilings are where to check out birds on the Whidbey Island side.
Once off the ferry we walked the sidewalk to the newer section of town (not the historical district) alongside Hwy 20, crossing to the other side at Kearney Street, to follow the paved path alongside the highway. There is a Safeway grocery store to grab a cold drink at, a Starbucks inside and bathrooms there if needed.
To enter the Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park, you can walk into the main entrance off of 12th which has a parking area and a sketchy port a potty.
Or if you wish to follow the entire Story Walk that the local Library has set up, you will want to enter the park via Landes Street. This is about a block behind the Safeway and easily walked. If one is driving I would HIGHLY suggest you park at Safeway or at the Haines Place Park and Ride/Transit Center and not at the park. Your vehicle will be a lot safer in theory.
I will be blunt: We often would walk by this nature park and it is favored by those who might not have your best interests in mind. I had often gone back and forth on wether or not to take my children into the park. The park reeks of weed, and I would see needles littering the edges. It was a place where encampments can easily blend in. You can call me judgy, but I say what I see.
As we walked in we passed a group of men sitting on the picnic tables under a roof. For some, this might have been a reason to not do it. But I really wanted to do this walk. They were chill dudes, doing whatever those with empty days do. Riding bikes and smoking weed apparently. We had a homeless man circle around us and follow us for awhile, but he was harmless and eventually found a deer to talk to.
I say this: If your comfort zone is like mine, you will enjoy the walk. If not, I would suggest go on a weekend, with others. I carry, and that cemented my decision to ignore the guy following us.
And….I enjoyed the short hike. Once we left the parking area the beauty of the park shines brightly. It’s home to many birds and plants and a treat in the middle of the urban town.
It is also part of the čičməhán Trail. It is location 10 on the map.
It’s been great to start walking more of the “trail” and learn about the history of the land.
The main path. As you follow it there are kiosks with 2 book pages on each to read.
The lagoon, which is now more a lake due to being shut off.
The path is tree lined and quite peaceful.
A mated pair of ducks enjoying the morning.
The small lagoon to the side.
A bridge crosses it, with a bench to sit on.
A lot of Canadian Geese enjoying the still morning.
It had rained very hard the day and night before. This June is ramping up to possibly be the wettest on record.
A deer quietly enjoying brunch.
Alistaire reading the book.
Heron taking off.
It was a nice way to spend a short time, doing an urban walk.