Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Pratt Preserve

There is something about the foggy mornings on Whidbey Island that make the world just that much better. It’s cool and maybe a bit misty. My friend Linda joined me for a quick hike in the early hours. Being it was a holiday weekend, I wanted an early start.

I took her to the Pratt Preserve, in Coupeville, on the island. We parked at the main lot, which doesn’t require any parking passes. To find it, go up Cemetery Road, pass Sunnyside Cemetery on the right, then passing the Ebey Lookout parking area on the left. Follow the narrow road and quickly find yourself at a parking area. The trail starts by the pit toilets.

The trail is an old road, that follows the field on the right, and the hedgerow on the left. This is both the Ebey’s Prairie Trail and the Pratt Loop Trail.

Native Nootka Roses in bloom. A wall of them.

Ebey Blockhouse. The blockhouse and the Ebey house are open again for visits on weekends when volunteers are there.

We left the loop trail to walk along the prairie to where it connects to the Bluff Loop Trail, at the end of the bluff.

Native White Campion.

Native Red Campion.

Looking across the Ebey Prairie, a mix of farmland that is still actively farmed, Nature Conservancy, State Park and National Park lands, all done to protect what was left of this important area. It is one of the few areas left that Camas Bulbs still grow in. The old Ferry House, which was preserved in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s is to the far left in the photo.

On the edge of the bluff. The beach below is on the west side of the island, and faces Port Townsend, across the Salish Sea. Looking south down the island is Fort Casey State Park, Admiralty Bay and where the ferry leaves to cross to the Olympic/Quimper Peninsula.

Look farther and eventually the island runs past where I live. From a local beach to us I can see the edge of Admiralty Bay.

Looking across the Salish Sea as ships ply the foggy water.

Looking up the hill, where the Ebey Bluff Loop continues. We turned around here and headed back.

My go-to daypack for local hikes is a Deuter AC Lite 22 SL (a women’s cut). They have changed the pockets in this years version however, and there isn’t a berry/wine color anymore. I have a larger version for off-island hiking, but this holds all I need when hiking locally. I have worn nothing but Deuter for a very long time, I have a permanent lower back injury and only Deuter women’s packs do not make it hurt. I think I currently own 4 Deuter packs, and both our younger children wear them as well.

Linda had not done the Pratt Loop, so we jumped back on the loop trail and it cuts across the field. Heading to the forest on the other side you can look back at the blockhouse and the Ebey home.

While walking the loop trail, it comes to a junction. There is an extension trail that comes in from the paved Kettle Trail that follows Hwy 20. I took Linda down the trail so she could see it. It is mostly flat, with a little elevation loss at the end. It’s a pretty hike in spring.


Woodland fungi.

We did the side trail in and out, then reconnected to the loop trail. We headed back out into the edge of the field, and noted the fog was starting to burn off. Time to get done, and then it was latte time – and watching the local Memorial Day Parade in town.

Dogs are allowed but must be on leash. No bikes. There are map boards at the trailhead you can snap a photo of, although the area is visible on sat view on Google Maps. And it’s central Whidbey – if you get lost you will hit a road or the water.


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