Friday, February 5, 2021

Padilla Bay Shore Trail

PBST looking out at Padilla Bay and the Salish Sea

"Where the Skagit River meets the Salish Sea." This trail description on The WTA website sounds so romantic and foreign.  However, the Padilla Bay Shoreline Trail is really just about 72 miles north of Seattle.

South entrance
North entrance

The directions to the trail can be found on the WTA trail description webpage, along with a prosaic description of the trail.  The trail can be accessed from either the north or south trailheads, but the south trailhead is a little easier, since it provides a parking lot with Honey Buckets.  The trailheads are guarded at both ends by barriers to keep out motorized vehicles.  Fortunately, they are both wide and long enough for wheelchairs to fit through. 

PBST along the estuary

The trail itself is 2.25 miles each way, built of hard-packed gravel on top of a dyke.  It is fairly well trafficked by pedestrians and bikers, most of whom are wearing masks.  The southern half runs along the Skagit River estuary, and the northern half runs along Padilla Bay.  If you are a birder, you'll want to bring your binoculars.  Others will be captivated by views of water, islands, mountains ... and, of course, the Shell Oil Refinery.

As an extra treat, the route from Seattle to the trail winds through the small towns of Bow and Edison, allowing a stop or two at The Farm to Market Bakery and/or The Breadfarm.

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