We arrived at the trailhead near the Sunnyside Cemetry at 9am, and were only the third car to arrive. A chorus of birdsong welcomed us, with countless birds in the bushes, trees and foraging in the fields. It was well worth taking this longer route (rather than parking by the seaside), since we were able to enjoy the very pleasant and easy walk between the fields to the bluff, and saw plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds, Starlings and more.
Bald Eagles were soaring at level with us as we arrived at the bluff, making for magnificent profile views of the birds. It’s much easier to appreciate just how sharp their beak is from the side than it is from underneath!
We followed the trail counterclockwise, walking along the bluff first before heading down the switchbacks to the beach. The loop trail was more busy, and the seaside parking lot looked pretty full at a glance, however the trail itself was still plenty quiet enough to appreciate being in the outdoors.
Some of the bluff trail is quite narrow with a long, steep fall all the way down to the beach, but the view is clear enough that you can easily see whether anyone is coming, and when to find a passing place.
The switchback down to the beach was well maintained and easy going. We saw plenty more wildlife on the way back, a highlight including a Northern Harrier, which would hover very low, gliding over the grass.
There is a picnic bench down by the seaside parking, where we sat for lunch, but there’s plenty of driftwood to sit on too. We got back to the parking lot near 2pm, and by then it was completely full. Though not surprising given how pleasant the weather was!
A visit to Coupeville made for a great end to the day: ice cream at Kapaws Iskreme, a wander around the shops, and finishing up with a drink at the Penn Cove Taproom.