Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Walking Ebey’s Trail System – Prairie Wayside Trail

When the Walking Ebey’s Trail System opened up about 6 months ago just outside of Coupeville, Washington (on Whidbey Island) I was very excited and walked the main trail as soon as it was open to boots. (See here for the trip report I wrote). I had been meaning to get back and do the secondary trail, but just got busy with life. Spring brings longer days, and sunny ones that just call to go hiking. We finished up our daily homeschooling, grabbed some drinks and granola bars and decided it was a good day for a hike.

The above trip report I linked to has the directions to the parking lot off of Engle Road. See here for a printable or downloadable map (great for a phone).

We were the first car there around 10 am on a Monday morning. It felt good not being the Late Family for once…..I have been working on getting us up and out earlier these days.

The trail heads into forest for the first bit, and more work has been done. Spring is just starting with the first flowers opening.

Native Red Currant just opening. It was the first of many that will open soon.

In the past 6 months the signing was definitely worked on! This was very appreciated. It is far better marked so you stay on the path, and know which way to turn, as you wander along the edges of the farm fields. And No Trespassing signs to let you know you are turning the wrong way.

Osoberry in bloom.

Osoberry is also known as Indian Plum, a name that has been falling out of favor. It is native, and is often the first to bloom in early spring. It is a bush tree that once it blooms is pretty bland in appearance. But when it is blooming? It is so eye catching.

The weather was clear and sunny, and the volcanoes were out. Mt. Baker in the North Cascades was visible, with tiny Mt. Erie on the far left (the highest bump on Fidalgo Island).,

Following the path. It was slightly muddy in a few areas, but nothing bad.

The main trail goes uphill here. We took a left after crossing the bridge over the wetland area.

This section is well marked now. The path looks straight at Mt. Erie.

Looking back.

The path comes to another bridge. The wetland is seasonal, in a low area of the farmlands. I could see frog eggs in it. Just over the rise, where the barn is, is the Olympic Mountains, floating huge in the horizon.

Looking across the water area. It will sink in soon enough and leave the land rich.

At the higher points Mt. Rainier, far south, was very visible (to the right side), rising above the island (that is the part of the island where I live). Angle my head and I could see from Rainier to Baker and the Central Cascades.

The trail comes to the top, and goes through a working farm. It then winds down quickly to meet Engle Road (the parking lot is not that far up the road where you started). The road here is 50 mph so be very careful. It’s also going uphill/downhill so drivers are not always paying attention. The road across from the trail is Hill Road. Cross over and the path continues, downhill towards the trees in the photo. In fact, if you look you can see the road sign for Prairie Wayside on the far right. The wayside has parking for cars and views of Ebey’s Prairie.

Personally, due to having the boys with me, I didn’t cross the road. It’s just a short section and I was OK skipping it. Safety first when herding cats and all.

Turn around and head back, enjoying the views twice.

I enjoyed this trail quite a bit. It offers all the views of the longer trail, and I found it more enjoyable. We put in 2.5 miles roundtrip, making this a quick hike one can squeeze in.


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