Old Fort Townsend State Park to Potlatch State Park

Port Townsend, Washington

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Weaving south through the byways of Puget Sound country, the Inland Route heads across a peninsula, dividing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Puget Sound, then climbs the side of a steep mountain before descending to the shores of Hood Canal. The canal (a spur of Puget Sound and a popular for area for scuba diving, clam digging, sailboarding, boating, shrimping, and fishing) is followed for the final 34 miles of the ride to Potlatch State Park. Very little of the area’s abundant scenery is visible from the road. Occasional glimpses of the Olympic Range highlight the pastoral areas and river valleys. Along Hood Canal, the hillsides rise steeply from water’s edge, climbing steadily to the crest of the Olympics Mountains. Vegetation is rich and abundant, growing with such enthusiasm it creates nearly impenetrable wall and riders catch only an occasional glimpse of sparkling waters through the trees. The most entrancing views occur when the highway dips into coves and the forest is replaced with low scrub at the edge of the mud flats. Birds abound in these tidal zones, and heron and cormorants are common sights. To really see the area, you must take a 5-mile side trip to the summit of Mount Walker. From the mountain’s top you can look down on the bays, islands, and large cities of Puget Sound. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult ride on a steep, gravel road and simply not for all bikes or all riders.
Bicycling the Pacific Coast

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Bicycling the Pacific Coast

by Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall (The Mountaineers Books)

Weaving south through the byways of Puget Sound country, the Inland Route heads across a peninsula, dividing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Puget Sound, then climbs the side of a steep mountain before descending to the shores of Hood Canal. The canal (a spur of Puget Sound and a popular for area for scuba diving, clam digging, sailboarding, boating, shrimping, and fishing) is followed for the final 34 miles of the ride to Potlatch State Park. Very little of the area’s abundant scenery is visible from the road. Occasional glimpses of the Olympic Range highlight the pastoral areas and river valleys. Along Hood Canal, the hillsides rise steeply from water’s edge, climbing steadily to the crest of the Olympics Mountains. Vegetation is rich and abundant, growing with such enthusiasm it creates nearly impenetrable wall and riders catch only an occasional glimpse of sparkling waters through the trees.

The most entrancing views occur when the highway dips into coves and the forest is replaced with low scrub at the edge of the mud flats. Birds abound in these tidal zones, and heron and cormorants are common sights. To really see the area, you must take a 5-mile side trip to the summit of Mount Walker. From the mountain’s top you can look down on the bays, islands, and large cities of Puget Sound. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult ride on a steep, gravel road and simply not for all bikes or all riders.

©  Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Road Biking
Nearby City: Port Townsend
Distance: 64.3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Year-round
Driving Directions: Directions to Old Fort Townsend State Park to Potlatch State Park

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Apr 2018