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The bluff at Ebey’s Landing is a windswept headland laced by one of Western Washington's most popular coastal trails. The trail offers stunning views: on a clear day, one can look west to the Olympic Peninsula and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, south to Mt. Rainier, and east over historic farmland and prairie to the Cascade Mountains. In addition to the coastal habitats and rare plants found on the preserve, the surrounding area is protected by the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, which offers many scenic, interpretive, and recreational opportunities for visitors.
On the western shore of Whidbey Island near Coupeville
This site’s ecological treasures include Perego's Lake, on the beach below the bluff, one of the least disturbed coastal wetlands in the state; the rare and threatened golden paintbrush plant; and prairie habitat, which is virtually gone from Western Washington. The core of The Nature Conservancy’s preserve was a generous bequest from Robert Y. Pratt.
Nature Conservancy scientists are working with researchers from the University of Washington, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington State Parks, and other partners to restore golden paintbrush and other prairie plant species in the Ebey’s Landing area. The Conservancy is also focused on removal of non-native species such as gorse, Scotch broom and English ivy. Conservancy volunteers serve as docents along the popular bluff trail, informing visitors about the area and monitoring the preserve for appropriate use.
The trail at Ebey’s Landing skirts the edge of a mature lowland Douglas-fir forest, with some gnarled, wind-shaped trees estimated to be more than 200 years old. A robust population of golden paintbrush, a globally rare plant known to exist in fewer than a dozen sites, is also found here. Another unusual species found on the bluff is brittle cactus, the only cactus native to western Washington.
Bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, coastal seabirds and shore birds like scoters, hooded mergansers, and harlequin ducks abound in the nearshore and on Perego’s Lake. The alligator lizard is an unusual inhabitant of this area as well. Gray whales can be seen in the offshore waters during the spring and summer months.
The bluff trail is about a 3-mile loop hike. Much of the trail is level and in good condition, but there are steep, sandy sections. A restroom is available at the trailhead.You may be greeted by a volunteer at the trailhead; please feel free to ask them questions. Dogs are permitted on this preserve, but must be leashed at all times to respect wildlife, sensitive habitats and other visitors.