Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Freeland Wetland Preserve In Early Spring

As spring is starting my mind has been thinking about places I hiked with the boys in the first years of returning to Whidbey Island. This spring it has been 5 years since we returned to the island. We had last been to this trail in early October of 2020.

There is in town a short hike to do, that is easily over looked. The best time of year is in spring, when there is still water, but the mosquitoes haven’t woken up yet.

To find the Freeland Wetland Preserve on Whidbey Island:

Take Highway 525 to Freeland, turn onto Main Street at the light by the Shell station, go by Payless Foods, go through 2 4-way stop signs, and the road will turn into Scott Road on the east end, near Frontier Building Supply. From Scott Road turn left onto Newman Road. Look for the Freeland Wetland Preserve sign on the right, just past Southern Cross Too espresso stand and the teriyaki food truck. It is JUST past the turn onto Newman.

The driveway is marked with a sign. Go slowly, as the road is steep (an old road down into a farm field). Plenty of parking and a picnic table await. Google Maps in the past has not been accurate.

The trail starts to the left of the barn:

The trail now has signage, which really helps.

The boys noticed a bird nest above us.

Every trail needs this sign.

The forest in this wetland has had many trees at the end of their life cycle. The winters have definitely helped bring down a number of them.

We found a cute painted rock and rehid it.

The short trail here is a loop, though you can walk it either way. We went counter clock so went though the cedars first.

Still chilly in the early morning, but so pretty out.

The meadow holds a lake, especially in the wet seasons. No mosquitoes yet, so well enjoyed. A few Salmonberry blooms were opening.

Lots of like on the rotting logs in the forest.

It’s not a long hike, about 6 tenths of a mile round trip from the parking lot. It’s not wilderness. But it is relaxing and overall is a quiet place to stroll when you have a short bit of time.

Free to use, no parking permits needed. Is dog friendly, on leash.


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