Waterfront is certainly a common term on Whidbey, but not all waterfront is on saltwater. The island has so many freshwater lakes that it is difficult to visit them all. It is also easy to forgot some, so you are encouraged to add them in the Comments below. But saltwater is the ultimate, right? Well, some have a different opinion.
Whidbey’s lakes were probably created by glaciers, whether by being carved out of rock or as a hollow left in gravels and such left as the glaciers retreated. Drive around on a rainy day and some ponds seem like their larger cousins, and some fields look like ponds. Add ducks and geese to create that image.
Lakefront has some advantages over oceanfront. It is highly unlikely currents will carry anyone away. There are no noticeable tides or storm surges, though lake levels can go up and down with the seasons. They don’t end up with being temporary parking lots for container ships. If there are fish there, they can’t go elsewhere, unless someone (including certain birds) catches them. A lake can be the center of a community.
Here is a somewhat long, and probably not complete list of Whidbey’s lakes in no particular order.
Just a mile or so up from the Clinton ferry is a lake with a park and plenty of houses around it. There’s some fishing and boating. It may be one of the few that’s handy for relaxing and commuting.
Lone Lake is nearer Langley, though it is probably better associated with Bayview because the two are hydrologically tied. Maybe fish can escape to the sea, or could before the dikes went in? There’s a park, and occasionally sailing lessons.
Goss Lake, or Lake Goss according to some maps, has park as well; but Goss may be better known for its location surrounded by hills and some very nice houses. It is somewhat out of the way, on a ridge that’s between Langley and Freeland, and that bit of remoteness may be why some prefer it.
Hancock is listed here because it is so close to the main road across from Greenbank Farm. One, it isn’t a lake, but is an estuary. Two it is ringed with lots of warnings about No Trespassing. It is Navy land, which is worth noting, and was a bombing range, which adds emphasis to Don’t Go There!
Crockett Lake looks like a lake, and is connected to the sea via an aqueduct that allows the level to rise and fall with the tides, sort of. It is over by the Coupeville Ferry Terminal, which makes the lake a natural place to watch nature while waiting for the ferry to arrive or depart, or simply be its own destination.
Lake Pondilla is easy to overlook unless you live in the neighborhood along one shore, or you’ve made it to the far north edge of Fort Ebey State Park and you’ve wondered down the trail to it. Sometimes it is nice to find a place that is private and quiet with the occasional bald eagle gliding by.
Cranberries do grow, here, you know. Cranberry Lake is possibly the lake with the most amenities. Food! And Lots Of Parking! Being part of Deception Pass State Park helps. A visit means having access to the impressive wonders of the Pass, while also having a lake for fishing, watching wildlife, and relaxing.
Whidbey has lots of lakes, but the ponds, estuaries, lagoons, and homages are just more ways to enjoy the water, whether they’re salty or not, seasonal or tidal or not, or public or private. Come to think of it, there are lot of ways to get wet on Whidbey. There’s even rain, and that’s freshwater that gets delivered everywhere, no need to travel.