hiking · Trip Reports

Trillium Community Forest: The Level Loop

Trillium Community Forest was one of the many reason for Kirk and I moving back to the island I called home for many years. As I have talked on our homestead blog quite a bit, Kirk and I wanted to raise the boys in a more rural setting, and continue to farm, but in a much bigger scale. Our new land sits near Trillium Forest, and the Olympic Mountains across the water float above the ridge of the forest on a sunny day. The forest is a ridge that runs between the water and the inland of the island. It is being developed into an outdoor recreation area, which welcomes hikers and more to enjoy the miles of trail.

Recently a new trail opened up to the public, in the forest, on a new side of it. The parking lot has both handicap parking spots and regular ones. It is accessed off Hwy 525, down Mutiny Bay Road and on the corner of Bounty Loop (the south end).

The Level Loop is about a quarter of a mile long, and is a well maintained hard pack trail. Most will be able to navigate it, as the grade stays below 2%, with only 15 feet gained in elevation, and is wide.

The trail is open, airy and full of native plants such as salal, evergreen huckleberries and red huckleberries. In coming months it will be an eating hike.

The water issues have been well thought out, so the trail will not get washed out or bogged down. As the trail curves, and heads back, where it turns into Bounty Trail, the water has led to a healthy crop of Stinging Nettles and Salmon Berry plants. Both of which are quite edible! Tip of course: don’t go off trail. Your legs will appreciate it.

Looking up where Bounty Trail continues. I will wait for a week without torrential downpours before hiking this mud pit.

The trail map online isn’t as up to date as the one at the trailhead kiosk, which has the new trail inked in (it’s the pale green one). One thing I like about the forest is the color coding: the color on the map is also the color used on trail marker posts for each trail.

It’s not along trail, but it is perfect for letting most enjoy a quiet time in the woods. In particular, little children will love this trail. Should you happen to be visiting Whidbey Island, carve out a few minutes to stretch your legs. And be sure to listen for the Bald Eagles. They soar above, looking for unlucky wild rabbits to take home….

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