Between the county seat of Island County, Coupeville, and the Coupeville Ferry is Engle Road. Most people driving it are in a rush, annoyed by the low speed limit. Yet, if they slowed down, they might see things they had missed. As one leaves the town of Coupeville, Engle Road is farm fields, wide and open. The views across Ebey Prairie to Ebey’s Landing are so very soothing to the eyes. Cow Town is a beautiful place, rich in hiking and protected land. And it is also the second oldest town in the state of Washington.
As you leave the farm land, and the road starts to head uphill, on your right is a marked turnoff for the Prairie Wayside Park. Take a chance and pull in. It’s not a busy place, but now that it is the current terminus for the Ebey’s Walking Trail secondary trail, it is seeing more visits.
Once you park, look for a kiosk:
Maybe not totally up to date, but you can learn a lot about the area from it, and other places to visit.
More to learn about the area, with how agriculture and people learn to coexist.
Much of the area around Coupeville sits in the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, and is why the prairie isn’t nothing but a wall of multi-million homes of people who visit 4 times a year. There is a lot be grateful for this existing now for 45 years. It’s prairie that still gives, and is so peaceful due to it.
Behind the kiosk is the trailhead for this section of Walking Ebey’s Trail.
It crosses an access to the fields that is gated, to the right. Cross it and keep walking…till you get to Hill Road. And you have completed a short section. See the link at the top if you want the hike the rest of the system.
However, I noticed what seemed to be an 0ld road/path leading off unmarked from the parking lot. I could see an old trail kiosk in the distance, so we went to explore it.
This path starts near the kiosk mentioned above, the only “park” amenity is a picnic table, and this path takes off behind the table.
It is a sheltered path and the views get better by the step.
It ends at the kiosk I could see – with no sign on it. A bench awaits though. The view is looking towards town.
Now then….the end goal of the Ebey’s Walking Trail is to keep going and have an easement on the field in the distance. It’s just a short distance to town limits where sidewalks await. This section is what keeps it from being a massive loop. Someday soon I hope.
On the way back the views across the prairie to Ebey’s Landing were very pretty.
It was frosty back there today, where the sun doesn’t hit till come spring once again.
Round trip from the picnic table and back was .17th of a mile. Not exactly long, but a pretty walk.
The park is free to use, and free to park at. Don’t be a jerk and leave dog poop like some people do. Dogs on leash to keep them out of the privately owned farm fields.