The weather reports were calling for clear skies and a warm day (that would be above 50 by Seattle standards this time of year) on Saturday. In the coastal Pacific Northwest one should pay attention for such musings from the weather folks.
Saturday morning was indeed amazingly great looking and I wasted little time in getting packed up and headed out. The destination today was Fort Ebey State Park combined with the adjacent Kettles Park. After some nice scenery from the ferry over to Whidbey Island and a pretty ride through the countryside I parked at one of the trailheads at Kettles Park. The plan was to ride some of the trails westwardly through Kettles Park over into Fort Ebey State Park. I would try to do all of the Fort Ebey stuff and then work my way back through the rest of Kettles Park on the way back. The trails of Kettles were mostly buff goodness with a combination of quick flowliness and tight twisty stuff that required a bit of shoulder tucking here and there to avoid the trees.
The fun singletrack continued after crossing into Fort Ebey State Park. I intentionally tried to stitch together the most serendipitous route possible to get onto as many trails as I could without too many loop backs. The trails I took as I worked my way up to the west coast of the island and the Fort’s old gun battery were Grade A forested goodness that were a real cross country pleasure.
Fort Ebey’s original purpose was to serve as gun battery defending Puget Sound during WWII. Construction began in 1942 and the two gun batteries were placed in service in 1943. In 1965 Fort Ebey started being converted to a state park. Today visitors can walk through the bunkers and the foundation for the turrets now make a nice bench in which to enjoy the views.
The most popular and iconic trails here is the Bluff Trail. Its proximity to the edge of the bluff and stunning views offered of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula on clear days is truly an incredible thing to experience. Unfortunately bicycles are not longer allowed on most of the trail. There are a couple of sections to the south of the battery that are still open to bikes and they should not be missed.
I rode the open sections of the Bluff Trail in both directions just to get the full experience.
At the south end of the park is the Cedar Hollow loop which also offers more of the killer views. It is well worth some of the grunt work involved to get to the views.
After I got done looping in all the Fort Ebey trails I made my way back into Kettles Park and enjoyed some really nice singletrack through the forest. I was feeling pretty pooped at this point, but the temperature had climbed to 68 degrees so it was pretty easy to keep on going despite complaining legs. I pretty much rode all the trails of Kettles which brought the mileage up to a little over 20 miles before I called it a day. A day that I call simply awesome! Expect more information on this place the site in the coming weeks.