Elizabeth Nienhuis takes her daughter, Phoebe, and family dog, Rex, on a stroll down the Waterman Trail. Nienhuis says she regularly hikes the South Whidbey trail system in the mornings after dropping her older kids off at school. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Elizabeth Nienhuis takes her daughter, Phoebe, and family dog, Rex, on a stroll down the Waterman Trail. Nienhuis says she regularly hikes the South Whidbey trail system in the mornings after dropping her older kids off at school. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Parks district seeks names for new trails

Public invited to make suggestions

South Whidbey’s new hiking paths need better names than New Trail, New Loop and Campground Perimeter Path.

The public is invited to submit ideas of what to call three sections recently added to the trail system of South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District. Suggestions are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11.

District commissioners will review all suggestions from the parks staff and public and narrow the field to finalists for a review at the Feb. 20 District board meeting.

“The trails we have now are named after people, like the Waterman Loop, or natural features, like Salal Trail,” Doug Coutts, parks director, said at Wednesday’s board meeting. “We could name a new one Sword Fern Loop or choose people who have been instrumental in park development.”

Paths needing identities are one section that’s been added to Community Park trails located north of the upper soccer field and one that’s built to circle the future campground. The third new trail is a connecting loop within Trustland Trails, a 200-acre preserve near Highway 525 just off Craw Road.

The Community Park trails, lined with a gravel surface, are the most popular and offer a variety of wide paths to follow into thick woods and gently rolling hills.

Mornings, they fill with loyal hikers getting daily exercise, dog walkers, parents pushing strollers and others. The trails are also used by the high school’s cross country team for practice and meets.

“My son is in here running the trails and I’m here many mornings walking,” said Kim Brady, out strolling Waterman Loop Thursday with her enthusiastic Labradoodle named Penny. “I feel really safe here. I love what they’ve done with the trails.”

Waterman Loop is named after timber mill owner and philanthropist Bud Waterman, who donated land toward many South Whidbey community projects.

Westling Trail is named after Carl Westling, a memorable South Whidbey High School science teacher and cross country and track coach who toted around a pet python named Fire. Westling designed the Community Park trails, now considered one of the state’s top-rated cross country courses.

— Trail name suggestions can be delivered by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11:

— Via email to to Parks Director Doug Coutts at dirswprd@whidbey.com

— Posted to the District Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/South-Whidbey-Parks-Recreation-District-253748642322/

— Dropped off at the Parks and Rec District office, 5475 Maxwelton Road, Langley.

Parks commissioner Dennis Hunter, right, greets two frequent users of the trail system, Nancy and Bob Boyle and their Corgis, Willa and Pete. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Parks commissioner Dennis Hunter, right, greets two frequent users of the trail system, Nancy and Bob Boyle and their Corgis, Willa and Pete. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

This trail map will be updated with the new sections and new trail names.

This trail map will be updated with the new sections and new trail names.

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