On your way up the bluff, look around you. The landscape is beautiful and timeless. Forest and field and farm blend together in peaceful coexistance with no hint of the suburban blight that has devoured so much of America.
What you are seeing is no accident. This timeless view is the result of hundreds of dedicated individuals who knew that this was a magical place deserving of protection and fought tirelessly to bring that protection about. The NPS website below describes in detail a classic battle between environmental protection and private property rights that began in 1970. (I hope I won't spoil the story if I tell you the good guys won!)
No trip to Ebey's Landing would be complete without a stop at the Knead and Feed in Coupeville. While you're there you should take a stroll down Front street, walk out to the wharf and pop in at the museum. This well preserved town is the perfect compliment to the well preserved natural settings in the National Historical Reserve.
See my Coupeville page for more details.
Fort Ebey State Park is not normally thought of as one of our destination parks. Just on Whidbey Island you've got a better gun battery at Fort Casey and better beaches at Deception Pass. But this little gem might offer the most breathtaking views of all the Whidbey Island parks. It's well worth the short drive from Ebey's Landing.
Drive to the gun battery and take a walk out on the little meadow -- you'll forget the rest of the world exists.
Hike the beautiful coastal bluff that rises 250 feet above a rare coastal lagoon. The views from the top are spectacular and include vistas of Mt. Baker, the Cascades, Rainier, the Olympics and the great, open Pacific. Below you, the protected farm fields of the National Historical Reserve give the place a timeless feel. And don't forget about the plants and animals! The Nature Conservancey recently purchased this place for it's ecological significance.
For us, Ebey's landing is synonymous with the first hike of spring. Whenever there's a February weather window we hop in the car and head out to Whidbey for this lovely hike. It's a three mile round trip that even the youngest will enjoy with awesome views, great birding and plenty of beach play for the kids.
See my travelogue for a description of the hike.