Walking Festival offers exercise, Whidbey scenery

There will be a three-day Whidbey Walking Festival Sept. 7-9 with five routes starting at Camp Casey in Coupeville.

“The purpose of our club is to encourage people to walk,” Sue Payton, trail master for the NW Tulip Trekker club said.

“It’s fun, and walking can lead to a healthier lifestyle.”

The walks start from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and finish by 5 p.m.; from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday and finish by 5 p.m.; and from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday and finish by 3 p.m.

The headquarters and registration is at Camp Casey, where walkers can pick up walking and driving directions to the starting points.

The first walk route option is “Coast to Coast,” a 6 or 11 km walk.

The 11 km walk goes from the historic Coupeville waterfront, on the east side of Whidbey Island, to the majestic bluffs overlooking Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet on the west side.

The walk is on paved and dirt paths and along country roads through Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

Walkers will be able to view expansive prairie farmlands, Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Port Townsend and beyond.

The 6 km walk is from Coupeville to the outskirts of town for a view of prairie farmland before returning to town.

The “Historic Fort Casey/Admiralty Inlet” walks are a 5 or 10 km.

“Walk by historic military gun batteries and support buildings in Camp Casey and Fort Casey State Park. Bring a flashlight to explore the gun batteries,” the event brochure states.

The “South Whidbey-Freeland” walk is also either 5 or 10 km. Walkers can pass through old growth forests saved from bulldozers by tree-hugging citizens in the 1970s.

Participants will pass Holmes Harbor and view the east side of Whidbey Island, the Cascade Mountains and the latest construction project at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and pass historic Freeland Hall, restaurants, antique stores and take a short trail through a wooded marshland.

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