Above photo: The paved trail at Hoypus Point.
by Jack Penland
Although we all hope to be active and robust throughout our lives, the reality is that many of us, at least temporarily, are going to need some help getting around. Unfortunately, as amazing as today’s mobility devices are, taking in nature requires a bit of advance planning and insider information.
So, with considerable expertise from Island Transit mobility Specialist Maribeth Crandell and Tom Eisenberg of Friends of Camano Island Parks, here is our very brief guide for those who need help getting around, but still want to enjoy time on Whidbey and Camano Islands.
Some of Our Favorite Outdoor Places for people with mobility challenges.
Clinton Beach Park
Right off the ferry dock is your first waterfront option, the Clinton Beach Park. A wheelchair mat is put on the beach from May 15 to October 15 and the restrooms are ADA compliant. Paved parking is very close to the beach. Although it’s a small park, it offers nice views of the mainland and the ferry traffic. Reachable via Island Transit’s Route 1 or Route 57 Bus.
Fort Casey State Park
There are great views of Puget Sound from Fort Casey, and picnic tables are within 20 feet of parking. The restrooms are ADA compliant, as well. The open lawn by the fort is flat and a rather easy walk. The fort, itself, however, has steep hills and narrow stairs. Go to the left of the park office for access to the gravel service road that goes by the gun emplacements, but you’ll want to check with the office before you drive in. Accessible by Route 1 or 6 Bus, but there is a steep hill and some distance before you reach the main park.
Located just off S.R. 525 about two miles from the Clinton ferry is the Trustland Trail. It’s a flat 1/2 mile gravel forest loop that is ADA compliant. There is ample parking and picnic tables. There is no restroom. The southbound Route 1 Bus can stop 330 feet away at Highway 525 & Craw Road.
The wide open grounds
at Fort Casey
The Trustland Trail
Getting out on the Coupeville Wharf is easy, and the flat wooden surface is good for wheelchairs. Those on crutches will need to watch their tips, but otherwise it’s level all the way. The gangway out to the boats, unfortunately, is narrow, and at low tide can be quite steep. Routes 1 and 6 take you within one block of the wharf.
The City of Oak Harbor’s signature waterfront park is under construction, but the waterfront trail remains available. When the entire park reopens later in June 2019, the waterfront trail will be an excellent way to get out and enjoy the scenery. There will be a sheltered picnic area as well as new restrooms.
This is one of the Deception Pass Hikes that we called “Pure Magic.” You can read about it here. It’s a flat paved road that has some of the best views of Deception Pass. The parking and trailhead restrooms are ADA compliant. The only headache is there is a 33 inch wide opening around a gate at the start of the trail. There is a park bench along the way for those who don’t want to do the whole trail.
The Coupeville Wharf
The View from Windjammer Park
Do you or someone you know have mobility issues that confine you to a car? Watch Craig Johnson’s video “Birding by Car!”
English Boom County Park
With great views of the mainland and the mountains and a raised ADA wheelchair trail, English Boom is very accessible. There are no restrooms, however. The parking lot is kind of small.
Cama Beach State Park
With shuttle bus service from the parking lot to the main part of the park, the area is easily accessible. One of the deluxe cabins is ADA accessible.
Iverson Spit Preserve is a County park with about 2 miles of level trails. It offers very pretty views of the mainland and mountains. There is at least one bench for resting, as well.
Right next to the Camano center is an enchanting trail that is well maintained and easily reached by those going to senior activities at the center. You can read more about the center activities here.
The Trail at
Camano Center Walking Path