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You’re at Battle Point Park for the millionth time anyway. Why not see something different? Fairy Dell Trail offers a pleasant hike through a wooded ravine and respite from the summer heat, with a little slice of island history in the mix. Leave the island’s busiest park for a few minutes, and try a path less traveled.
The easy, half-mile trail crisscrosses the long furrow of a seasonal stream via a series of stout, Eagle Scout footbridges. Throughout your descent to the water you never get too far away from it all, as various private homes loom high over the ravine through the trees. The ecosystem is a mixed affair, alternately sublime and blighted; you’ll be flanked by a glorious sea of ferns on one slope and a bleak ivy desert on the other, then 20 yards farther along they’ll have swapped sides. Ancient fir and cedar stumps are your waypoints.
Trail’s end down a flight of stone steps is a bit of a miasma, mucky and sometimes acrid. But duck under the low-hanging overgrowth to find a tide flat sprawling endlessly before you at low water. Keyport lies ahead in the distance, the jagged rim of the Olympics to the left, and you can make out the Agate Pass Bridge to your right for a panoramic view indeed. Just don’t wear your good shoes.
Here’s another reason to go: to say you’ve been on one of the island’s oldest dedicated public trails, maybe the oldest. Fairy Dell was staked out around 1909, when today’s Battle Point was platted as a vacation community calle
Battle Point Park, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
ALBUQUERQUE LITTLE THEATRE