Fox Island - Purdy - Gig Harbor WA

Trip Date: 10/27/2007

Features:

  • 4 Scenic Bridge Crossings
  • Fox Island
  • Purdy
  • Gig Harbor
  • Wollochet Bay
  • Car Inlet
  • Hale Passage
  • Several Small Lakes
  • Brilliant Fall Colors (Fall time)

Hazards:

  • Hyw 16 Crossing

  • Very Narrow Roads


Fox Island - Purdy - Gig Harbor Ride Video

16:9 Widescreen (400Kbps 13 MB)

Trip Details:

This was one of those fall days where the sun was out but the temperature was a bit on the chilly side. The ride I planned would take me over the Narrows Bridges, the length of Fox Island, Purdy and through Gig Harbor. There was very little wind so the ride over the Bridges was smooth with a great view of the water. Once on the other side I turned off and went under the Bridges to the other side. As I road west on 25th St. parallel to Wollochet Bay I was treated to several spectacular views of the Bay. The fall colors under the bright sunlight were amazing to say the least. This ride produced countless great views of the South Sound waters. One of which was the ride over the Fox Island bride as I crossed above Hale Passage. I haven't ridden Fox Island before and I really enjoyed it. It's small but scenic with several areas where I was looking over the water from atop bluffs and cliffs. I purposely planned to head down a couple dead ends just to see if I would get a great view and that is exactly what I found at the end of each. The little bit of back tracking was well worth it. Some of the roads were very narrow and steep. These should be avoided during extremely cold conditions as the moisture and shade would more then likely produce black ice. I stopped at the Fox Island Historical Museum for some pictures. It's nothing fancy just a small building with a cabin and Totem pole to the right of it.

As I ventured further on I came upon Kopachuck State Park. Allot of fall colors in this area. The park was deserted with the exception of one guy walking his dog. This is a good place to stop and rest for large groups of riders as there is plenty of parking. As I road up Kopachuck road I made the mistake of riding the loop around Raft Island. Don't get me wrong, the view is spectacular. I road across a small bridge with water on both sides but once I started around the Island, I was tenderized by speed bumps every 1,000 feet or so. No joke! The folks on this island, were extremely anal about the count of speed bumps. Half way around the short loop I was done! I felt like I had ridden over hundreds of speed bumps when the actual number was probably 30 or so. Like I said.. Avoid this area like the plague! After those bumps I was pretty jazzed when I saw the bridge and knew I was out of there.

As I road the 6.6 mile to from Raft Island to Purdy I weaved through evergreens and several different leafed trees that seem to explode with brilliant colors when the sun hit them. It was getting later in the day and the sun was popping in and out of a haze above. As always the the ride over the Purdy bridge and spit was very scenic. The water was like glass on the North side and slightly rippled on the South. I made my way through Purdy and soon I was riding South West parallel to hwy 16. As I turned onto Burley-Olalla rd I came to the hwy 16 crossing. This is one of the more dangerous stretched of highway  do to the fact that there are many roads that intersect hwy 16 and in all cases you have to quickly cross the highway to a concrete median only to wait for the next break in traffic to quickly cross to the other side. You may want to alter the this route and cross via a over pass.  Once I crossed the highway I made my way to Peacock Hill Rd that lead me into the Northwest end of Gig Harbor. I never get tired of riding through Gig Harbor as it's one of the coolest little towns that wraps around the Harbor. The streets are always filled with people who too seem to enjoy the quaint small town atmosphere. At the opposite end is a small Tavern named the Tides Tavern. It's been there for ever and has some of the best Pizza, Sandwiches, Fish & Chips and Clam Chowder you find in the south sound. They have a nice wood deck right on the water and is a great place to stop for food. As I passed by I could smell the food grilling and was half tempted to stop in. If it wasn't so late in the day I would have done just that. I made my way back up to hwy 16 and into the toll island. Paying to cross is something I'm still trying to get used to. A quick stop and $3.00 later I was heading east over the new Narrows bridge. The new bridge is really nice with 4 lanes and very smooth surface. I guess the $3.00 is worth it. Once on the other side I took the Jackson street exit to head home. All in all, this little 82 mile route was packed with scenic views of the South Puget Sound waters, several small lakes, view of the Olympics and four scenic bridges crossings. This time of year the fall colors are a welcomed added bonus.     

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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