Hate Hiking on Crowded Trails? You’ll Likely Have This Uninhabited Island of Ancient Cedars To Yourself

Some people hike to get away from the rest of humanity. There’s nothing worse for them than climbing up to a waterfall to discover a gaggle of people posing for selfies, and if there are more than three cars at the trailhead, they start grousing that their pristine woodland is basically a shopping mall.

For them, there will always be the ancient cedars of Long Island, Washington, a trail through 8 square miles of uninhabited forestland where you’re likely to hike for three hours along well-maintained trails without seeing another soul.

None of the trails around Willapa Bay in Washington’s lightly populated far southwestern corner are especially busy to begin with. The boggy estuary has its own understated beauty, but lacks the churning white surf and towering waterfalls that attract the selfie sticks.

Add in the need to make a short paddle, and you’ve weeded out almost everyone.

Long Island sits off the southern shore of the Willapa Bay, a salt marsh famed for its oysters, clams and birds. But, on the near side, it’s only a few hundred yards from the mainland. It takes less than 10 minutes to paddle each way in a kayak.

The trick is timing. At low tide, the water here recedes to reveal a mud flat—50 feet of slippery, sinking muck that can’t be safely or pleasantly navigated by either foot or boat. So you’ll need to consult a tide chart, and plan your trip so that you begin and end when the tide in the bay is no lower than 4 feet high.

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