Trail is very confusing as others have noted. The only way we stayed on course is by using the AllTrails map/app. Gets super confusing when you get to the water. Coolest part was adventuring out onto the old gravel equipment (see pics), use caution if you do walk out.

Did this hike last Sunday! Gorgeous views and easy access to trails. A great Easy Sunday afternoon stroll

Beautiful view of the ocean! Just be careful and know which route you're taking, there's many different turns and routes on the trail for bikers and if you've never been, it's confusing!

Great trail. The hike down to the beach was easy peasy. The hike up got the heart going. We’re not super fit by any means and we all made it with a 6 year and and 10 month old in tow. Our stroller made it through parts of it. Some areas we definitely needed to carry littles. Plenty of shady spots to cool off. The path was clear and even had a few porta potty’s along the way.

9 days ago


Very beautiful view of mount rainier and puget sound. The trail was nice and beautiful especially right now during spring/summer. Lots of wild flowers and cool wildlife.

Loved it, nice elevation change, beautiful vistas, gotta watch out for poison oak and nettle but it is what it is.

Nice views, wish it would’ve been a little more clear out to see Rainier! Got our heart rates up a bit on the climb back up from the beach.

Really fun trail!! The beginning the was a few Mtn Bikers enjoying the Multi-use trails, made me want to get a Mtn Bike! The real high point for me was the amazing view points of the water, the bird watching was on point and the mossy trees.

4 months ago

Excellent trail. Slightly muddy. 10/10 recommend!

6 months ago

Nice walk around the pond

One of my all time favorites! The views are too die for

7 months ago

Phil’s trail and Shinglemill trail are combined in the AllTrails map. The trail continues up towards Vashon Hwy where there is new construction for a paved accessible trail system. This trail is shaded the whole time and usually very green with ferns and moss. Watch out for nettles in the spring and fall.

9 months ago

Easy little trail to the beach. Looks like it’s been recently worked on as there are a some improvements. The trail begins right next to the sign by the road. The bench at the beach is beautiful! Kudos to whoever built it. The beach is great for low tide exploration or just sitting and watching the Southworth Ferry come and go.

10 months ago

Nice nature walk. Tide was way out with lots of slippery seaweed. The trail is marked with one wood sign. A little further up is another sign for the trail but looks more like a driveway, which it is, but also a nice walk to the cove as well.

What a wonderful loop trail. If I was an islander I would make his a Sunday morning tradition. Absolutely beautiful. And it was easy enough for my 8 & 10 year old to enjoy with us.

Fri May 24 2019

Thigh Buster's on the return.. this is not an easy trail. it's lovely and delightful walk but I wouldn't say this is young kid friendly unless they are up for long steep inclines. this is a moderate trail. DOGS ARE ALLOWED

Beautiful spot

Mon Mar 25 2019

Short hike but beautiful all around. Hike through old growth to the beach and get the best that Washington has to offer.

Mon Mar 18 2019

The loop utilizes “Bill’s Trail” which starts from the road from the upper Fern Cove parking area, then picks up the Shinglemill Creek trail. Good uphills and downhills, plus stream views and nice bridges. I would rate this route as “Moderate” given the climbs, but it’s still fairly mild.

Mon Mar 18 2019

A little beyond the average “easy” rating, given the couple steep inclines when traveling from the Fern Cove area. A great trail running trail or just a quick hike to get out and enjoy the island.

Sat Feb 02 2019

Worth the time spent getting there, didn't spend as much on gas while taking the ferry. We enjoyed most of the trip, even the way up, some of which spent walking backwards. The blackberries were ripe if not worth watching your step on the hill. Thanks for the good times clean people of the island, we all can do our part... horses included. We took the kids and visiting family- adjusting back to the city was not a wake up but not a bad idea. Here lay good times awaiting personal awakening. Keeping it real for the good people of Tacoma, the view is great. Let the wind blow your hair on the sandy hills. If not a day trip a week's va action.

horse poop and ZERO TRAIL MARKERS. Nice enough walk but frustrating to stop every 100 yards to consult with gps. Never got a good pace going. Won't bother doing it again.

Sun Dec 23 2018

Really cool trail, takes you to the sound. Beautiful creek where salmon spawn. Dogs love it. Just make sure you can handle the steep incline on the way back. Great day hike for the family. Bills trail which goes higher up also ends at the sound also.

I hike in the Dockton nearly every day and have discovered amazing ant hills, loads of birds, other hikers, and, on Sunday, the Gasping geezers cyclists.

Beautiful view!

Wed Sep 05 2018

My husband and I walked this trail four times during our 9-day visit to Vashon because it is so magical. The first six-minutes include a steep descent, my flat sneakers worked, but a day hiking boot would be better.

Beautiful views of Tacoma and Seattle . trails are not marked well.. lots of horse poop so watch your step . nice hike overall but needs more sinage .

It is a very scenic hike lots of great views on clearings and beach was a great place to stop and have lunch. only draw back is not well marked. enjoyed the hike with the elevation change.

There are great views on this hike but the trail map provided here is very inaccurate. There are many, many trails that cross over each other and are either poorly marked or not marked at all. Still worth exploring but you should understand very basic land navigation.

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