Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Noblecliff Trail

I am a firm believer that all trails matter. Far too often the big trails are lauded and praised – as if the only hiking that matters is long distance, or in a National Park. Sure, I have hiked many of those trails – high in alpine, winding through mountains, deep in jungles and dense forest, or along wind swept coast line. I have been a humble bragger about the lakes and peaks I have bagged.

But the other side is I sometimes go wandering on Google Maps to find the (very) unknown local paths that are actual trails. Hidden in towns and villages, that are there for locals to walk along off the roads, to cross back and forth.

With time to spare (45 minutes to burn) in Langley, Wa (on the south end of Whidbey Island), I wandered to check out a trail I had noticed long ago. But never got around to.

Parked at the South Whidbey Community Center (the old historical high school from 1935), we crossed the main road into Langley, Camano Ave. Just beyond Edgecliff Road is the trail start. It sits next to a utility box painted in owls.

If one closes their eyes a bit, and narrows their side vision you could imagine you are in a forest.

The trail ends at a cul-de-sac of homes that cost far too much for most of us mortals (if it can see the water, it shall be pricey). The trail exists solely for them to be truthful. So people can walk into the village and avoid the road they live on, and then pop onto a sidewalk and walk to the library, the brewery, the store and such. I mean, it’s a good life if one can afford it. I won’t deny that.

We turned back and repeated the trail.

It was .04 a mile one way and 6 feet elevation gain.

It might be one of the shortest trails ever walked, but it was a trail. It was dirt under my feet, and the smell of evergreens. Wild roses offering rose hips to forage. And I got to stretch my hips and back instead of sitting for just a few moments.

There are more quiet spots I intend to visit to explore more of them. Tiny, nothing online about them, yet worthy to be talked about.


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