Hiking · Local Adventures

When Google Maps Claims There Is A Trail…..

I love to look at Google Maps and see potential ideas for hikes, be short or long. I have found local trails in towns, that allow people to cut across towns or get around safely, when the roads have no sidewalks. Usually it’s a safe bet the trails actually exist, but sometimes they don’t.

I had seen this noted as a trail while out exploring a short hike nearby, in the village of Langley, Washington on the south end of Whidbey Island. Using the map I walked up the quiet Edgecliff road looking for what might be the “trail”.

I found Noble Creek as we walked up the road, so that was a start. It was well marked. I was more shocked the tiny creek had a sign. It’s a seasonal creek and a wetland-ish area. The creek sits behind the Noble Creek Transit park and ride/park.

Matching where I was to the map, I could see this was the “Noble Creek Trail” and yes, it had a “Private Property – No Trespassing” sign.

It was to me obvious this was an old driveway from long ago, and people used it as a walking path, most likely above the creek.

But I decided to be a good citizen, and not a rebel hiker, so I turned around.

All I could find was one really old article about the area having been bought for future use. So was it really private property? Or had the county/Langley just sat on it? In that article there was mention of having a trail to be part of it in the future. But that was a decade ago.

A week later we were back, with time to waste, so we walked up the main road to Sandy Point Road and up it. Following the map on my phone I came to where the trail “was”. Yes, I could see a foot path, but it was hidden under overgrown cedar branches. It didn’t say pathway at all. We went down the path, ducked under the branches. There was 2 distinct paths branching off.

What we noticed quickly was a bad smell. It just stunk down in those woods. Not like forest or decay, but more like human filth.

So we noped out and called it a day.

Some days it’s worth exploring, other days it isn’t.


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