Hartstene Island

Trip Date: 2-17-2008


  • Narrows Bridges
  • Purdy Shoreline
  • Great Views of the Olympic Mountain Range
  • Rocky Bay
  • Car Inlet
  • Case Inlet
  • Lake Spencer
  • Hartstene Island
  • Jarrell State Park
  • Pickering Passage
  • Dana Passage
  • Gig Harbor
  • All the fun twisties along the way!
  • Deer
  • Narrow Roads (Hartstene Island)

Hartstene Island Video

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Trip Details:

This winters has pounded the northwest with rain storm after rain storm. Not to mention high winds and a bit of snow. A day like today has been long over due. Actually this ride was suppose to take place the previous day but the weather man got it wrong again. With all  that new state of the art Doppler Radar to let the meteorologists see what's coming long before it gets here, they still can't seem to get it right. That's OK because I got this ride in anyway. We left Tacoma around 10:50 AM after a stop at my favorite Espresso stand. If your ever in the Tacoma area it's down by the Point Defiance park in the Bargain world parking lot. Great place to meet other riders when riding in a group. Once my 20 oz. Mint Mocha on Ice was cradled in my cup holder we headed for the gas station and fueled up. Riding across the Narrows bridge is still weird to me as I have not yet become used to the new bridge. The bridges provide one of the great views of Puget Sound. We followed hwy 16 for 8 miles and took the Purdy exit. This took us up and over the short Purdy bridge and across the Purdy spit that almost separates the north end of Car Inlet. As we crossed Car Inlet we enjoyed the great waterfront views on both sides of the road. This is a great place to stop for pictures or to take in the scenery. I would recommend you make the stop on the way back as there is road side parking on the east bound lane. Once across we made our way another 9 miles through a few fun turns and on to the tip of Rock Bay. The next 7.4 miles took us through nice twisting roads that paralleled both sides of the tip of Case inlet. TakeRoad-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Car Inlet Washington it slow and enjoy the scenery in this area. It's well worth it. The next 9 miles of hwy 3 was fairly straight road but it did have some dips and rises. At the end of the 9 miles was the left turn on to E Picklering Rd. This took us past Lake Spencer and 3 miles on to the Hartstene Island Bridge. This bridge has a pretty good arc to it as small boats need passage beneath to gain full access to the waters surrounding Hartstene Island.

Once across it was left on E North Island Dr. for 4.4 miles. The Island is not big at all but you will be surprised how much time you spend riding it. The speed limit for most of the island is 35 mph and some turns are 20 mph. E North Island Dr. took us right in to Jarrell Cove State park. As I plan these back road rides I some times come across a really cool place that I never new about. This was one of them. I have lived in the Northwest for over 40 years and I just found a gem of a state park. There are some camp grounds with restroom facilities and trails with stairs leading down to the water. You can walk the beach if the tide is out or walk out on to the docks and chat with some of the boaters who moored for the weekend. The cove is breath taking to say the least. BackRoad-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Deer at  Jarrell State Park Washington up the trail near the parking area is a open field with picnic tables. We stood at the edge literally 15 yards from 4 black tail deer. They didn't seem to worried about us as the grazed in the field. We took some photos and then started up our wings and made our way past the deer and out the gate to the road. Once out to the main road we turned left and rode another 2 miles to the west tip of the island. The road leads down to the water where there are a couple water front homes. There is some road side parking but it's limited. Its well worth it as this stop has one of the most spectacular view of the Olympics as we looked over the water of Case Inlet. The view was so good we decided to hang out a while and chew on some beef jerky and drink a bottle of water. I would have to say the last two stops were the high points of the ride. We still had plenty of scenery to go but man, the views were spectacular to say the least. We made our way back down E North Island Dr. to South End Rd. where we turned left. We followed this road for about 4 miles to our shock the road was closed. It appears they are replacing an old bridge. We were hosed! No way to get to the southern tip of the island that I knew of. We turned our Wings to the north and made our way back the way we came.

Once across the Hartstene bridge it was the same roads we had ridded and they took us all the way back to the Purdy bridge. I have to mention it again. The view here is great. Once on the other side of the bridge we turned left on to Purdy Dr. and shortly after we went right on 144th St. NW. Nothing fancy here just better then hwy 16. Another 1.7 miles and we made a right on to Peacock Hill Rd. This is one of those straight tree lined roads but it has a nice end to it. After about 3.4 miles it dropped us down in to Gig Harbor. One of my favorite little towns in WA. We made our way around the west side of the harbor at a blistering 25 mph. On the weekends this little town can get pretty busy. We made our way up Soundview Dr. which turns into Olympic View Dr. In this area look to your left to see some awesome views across the water with Rainier in the background. Another mile or so and we were riding east on hwy 16 to enjoy the last scenic part of the trip as we crossed the East bound span of the Narrows Bridges. Not a bad end to another great day ride. 

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