hiking · photos · Trip Reports

Along A Bluff

Kirk and I had headed up to Whidbey Island this morning to do a hike at Fort Ebey State Park.

Coming into the ferry dock at Clinton:

We drove up to Ft. Ebey State Park and went to the Gun Battery area to jump up on the Bluff Trail. The Bluff Trail is one of the few trails in the area that is hiker only, much of the rest of the vast Kettles Trail System is bike friendly. When Ford was little we walked every trail numerous times with him in his jogger stroller. There is well over 30 miles of trails in the area not including beach walking so it is a not-so-well-known gem.

It had been I realized way too many years since I walked on the Bluff Trail – so long that now the trail bears Pacific Northwest Trail signs, as the PNT goes through here.

Walker in his pack with me:

Looking South down the Island with Perego’s Lagoon in the distance (and Ebey’s Landing just around that corner!)

Another view:

Kirk coming down the Bluff Trail at its other end, going North near Point Partridge:

We headed onto the trail to Lake Pondilla, a lake set in a kettle (a kettle here being pockets left by the glaciers of long ago – the area is riddled with them, some quite deep that to stand above they are dark even in the sun, though most don’t bear water). Lake Pondilla is a treat though – a lake set just feet from a bluff, the trees bowed over from years of raging winds in the winter. It is a neat windbreak to hide at the lake.

A quick hike uphill takes you through coastal forest to the bluff:

Walker and I on the bluff above Pt. Partridge. A lonely cargo ship was cutting through the water, the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Port Townsend sits directly across the water, on most days you can see the lighthouse of Ft. Worden blinking. On sunny days the view is of a surreal bigger-than-life view of the Olympic Mountains.

I lived on this Island for nearly a decade and half and when I visit on a cold summer day I remember why I loved it so much. You just have to hope that a jet from NAS Whidbey doesn’t fly over and break that spell though. Of which it did….so we knew it was time to go warm up and head home once again.