About the Area
Joseph Whidbey State Park
The Joseph Whidbey State Park is small in size, but large in opportunity to view wildlife, waterfowl and marine birds. The perfect park for a day trip, it features a half mile trail through a freshwater marsh that is home to all kinds of migrating and nesting waterfowl.
Guests of Oak Harbor's the Coachman Inn on Whidbey Island have easy access to this state park that is jam packed with beautiful birds and wildlife.
The park's marsh features pigeon guillemots, black oystercatchers, tufted puffins, and plegic cormorants, among many others.
The day use park is a 112 acre area on the west side of Whidbey Island, with 3,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on the Strait of Juan De Fuca. It is in the northern part of the Puget Sound, and features a beach that many call the most wonderful on Whidbey Island.
With magnificent scenery and sweeping views, the park is worth the visit. It is open seasonally, from April 1 to Oct. 1. There is no staff in other fall months, but visitors can still come to the park.
A group can reserve a kitchen shelter and cook for a large group, or smaller groups can use the four sheltered and nine unsheltered picnic tables on a first-come, first-served basis.
With two large grass fields in the park, it is an ideal place for enjoying volleyball, kite flying, or field games. It's also perfect for crabbing or beachcombing for unusual shells and driftwood. There's clearly a great deal of opportunity for bird watching, and a chance for using a personal watercraft in the saltwater.
Wildlife you may see in the park include chipmunks, deer, elk, rabbits, raccoons, and squirrels, while offshore, you may catch a glimpse of crabs, a variety of seabirds and seals.
Besides the specific birds already noted, bird watchers might catch a glimpse of ravens, doves, pigeons, ducks, eagles, geese, gulls, hawks, herons, hummingbirds, jays, owls, woodpeckers, and wrens.
Plant species on the island include several types of pine such as cedar, Douglas fir, and hemlock. There are also alder, lupines, rhododendron, rose, berries, ferns, moss, lichens, seaweed, and thistle.
During the George Vancouver exploring expedition of 1792, Joseph Whidbey circumnavigated Whidbey Island, so Vancouver named the island in his honor.
Visitors enjoy having such a beautiful beach and wonderful views so close to Oak Harbor, providing a natural get away from the Naval Base and accompanying business of the small city.
While the trails can be a bit mucky after a good rain, the walk on other days is rewarding and provides gorgeous views. There is a long walk along the beach, and a short climb on a grass hill that accesses the trails through the woods.
The friendly Coachman Inn front desk staff will gladly tell you more about Joseph Whidbey State Park and other great Whidbey Island parks during your stay with them.
Before you check out Joseph Whidbey State Park, check into the nearby Coachman Inn, where we have been voted Best of Whidbey Island for two years running and awarded the AAA Three Diamond rating, their highest rating for vacation lodging. To check availability, call the Coachman now at 800-635-0043 or click here.