Local Adventures

Local Adventures: The čičməhán Trail in Historic Downtown Port Townsend

In historic downtown Port Townsend are 8 locations of The čičməhán Trail. I have layed them out in a path that gets the walking uphill out of the way, then downhill and flat as you finish. You’ll end in the historic downtown, where if hungry or thirsty (or need bathrooms), many options abound. These locations of the trail can all be seen quickly enough in one visit. Nearly all of the trail is on sidewalks, for easy walking. Only a short section is on a dirt path along the road, but is a safe, slow area. If your children are strong, this is a great walk for them to learn history – but is quite doable with a stroller as well.

We hit the pavement early, coming across on the first ferry of the morning, arriving before 8 am. Beat the tourists on a weekend morning, and the heat.

If coming off the ferry from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend, walk off the dock to Water Street, then walk down it to Taylor Street and head uphill to the left (yes, it’s backtracking, but you have a cliff to deal with that blocks access). It’s a 4 block walk to Taylor. You can go up Tyler a block before, but you’ll have steep stairs to go up. Either way, start walking up Washington Street. (We took the stairs, which as Alistaire pointed out were oddly short in height for the hand rail – and he wasn’t wrong. The stairs are at the end of the road, by all the dumpsters and garbage cans…yum on a hot day!)

Look for these signs on the ground, or on fence posts to follow.

Oregon Grape in bloom as we walked uphill.

More history to learn. About the Tree of Heaven that was gifted to Port Townsend, and the second one went to San Francisco in California.

First stop is:

Port Townsend Ferry Overlook, 1200 block Washington Street

Just remember this….the tribes in our nation are still treated as second class citizens. It is shameful.

The ferry dock and Indian Island in the distance (the giant blue crane for the Navy property there).

Then the farthest out is:

Port Townsend Post Office, 1322 Washington Street

The post office is the massive building you can see from the ferry dock, far above on the bluff.

Now reverse, and head back downhill, back to town about 6 to 7 blocks:

Village at Memorial Field, 550 Washington Street

After that keep walking past the field till you get to Monroe, and head uphill a short block to Jefferson. Turn right on it. There is no sidewalks here, but there is a dirt path to walk on off the road. Walk to the end of the road, where it meets Hudson, and well, the beach! There is the Rotary Centennial Beach Trail just off the road to enjoy (and great lunch spots here as well). We walked it a few months ago and have found the area to be a nice walk.

Hudson Beach/čičməhán’s Big Heart Story, 103 Hudson Street

Point Hudson, 103 Hudson Street

It’s a short distance down the trail above the beach, heading towards the RV camping area and the Point Hudson tower.

After enjoying the beach, head back out on Jefferson but take a left on Jackson, a one way street along the marina. It’ll take you directly to the:

Northwest Maritime Center, corner of Monroe and Water Streets

The Totem Pole.

After enjoying walking around the Maritime Center (if you have children, take them to the back corner and check out the pirate ship play area). Get on Water and head back towards town (away from the marina). As you leave the center, you will see a sign at the corner of Monroe:

It’s across the street from the totem pole.

Fowler Building, 226 Adams Street

This sign was not easy to find, it doesn’t stick out at all, it is set back. I will admit I used Google Maps to find it! In it’s short words, the people lost a lot to keep peace.

Union Wharf/Indian Island, Wharf at end of Taylor Street

The wharf is a pleasant walk, and is mostly covered. You can see Whidbey Island and Indian Island. There are benches to sit and watch the boats and clouds from.


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