4228 Saratoga Rd., Langley
Directions: Highway 525 to light at Bayview Road, turn North onto Bayview Road, travel approximately 3 miles to De Bruyn Avenue turn left. At the stop sign turn left on Saratoga Road. The park is approximately 3 miles on the left side of Saratoga Road.
Amenities: Trails for Equestrians, Bikes, and Hikers, Parking Lot, Picnic Area, Porta Potty (in season)
GEOLOGY OF SARATOGA WOODS
AND WATERMAN ERRATIC
Courtesy of Grant Heiken
From the parking lot, take the Wood Nymph Way trail to the Bent Tree trail, which reaches an abandoned airstrip. Continue across the airstrip for 200 feet, dropping down to your encounter with the Waterman Erratic.
This unassuming, attractive, wooded park has a complex geologic history that has been revealed through the geologic field work by the Washington Division of Geology and Earth Sciences. The park overlies between 650 and 3300 feet of glacial and non glacial sediments, mostly unexposed. Exposed are uplands composed of deposits left during the last glaciation, when the Puget Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet arrived about 18,000 years ago and covered the area with about 4000 feet of ice. During the end of the last glaciation, glaciers retreated, depositing (calving) ice blocks into what was then a large freshwater lake.
The north-south ridges that dominate eastern Whidbey Island were left during the southward ice flow. These ridges are overprinted by marine land forms (after sea water flowed into the region) such as wave-cut terraces and glacial outwash deltas.
The Saratoga Woods are located on the edge of a north-south drumlin.
Upon entering the parking lot at Saratoga Woods you are on one of the terraces that were left high and dry as the island rose (rebounding from removal of the overlying ice). Following the trails (Indian Pipe, Bent Tree, and Pacific Yew) you are following relict valleys that were cut by meltwater from the uplands.
Continuing west and north to the Old Airstrip, the trail takes you to the Waterman Erratic, a large boulder left by receding ice. The erratic is a big guy—38 feet high and 60 feet long. It is believed to be the second largest glacial erratic in Washington. It is a foliated greenschist and, during the last glaciation, was likely to have been broken from outcrops on Fidalgo Island about 30 miles northwest of here .
The Waterman Rock glacial erratic