Key Peninsula Loop

Trip Date: 4-28-2007

Features:

  • Narrows Bridges
  • Gig Harbor
  • Purdy Beach
  • Flucy Bay
  • Taylor Bay
  • Several Small Land Locked Bodies of Water
     

Hazards:

  • Rough Pavement Near West End of Peninsula

 

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Key Peninsula Loop
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Trip Details:

Have you ever looked at a route on the map and thought it could be a decent route but you just never work it into your ride schedule? Last summer I was searching the map for a "off the beaten path" ride that was somewhat short and I could ride after work. I have done allot of boating in the Puget Sound and one of my favorite boat rides was through Nisqually reach and back around to the Narrows. My map shows a road that loops around the end of the land mass that extends out toward Nisqually reach. For some reason I just never got around to it last summer. I got off work a couple hours early today and thought it's about time I ride this route.

I loaded my route onto my Garmin and got my camera gear and set off for a brief fuel stop and then my planned route. If you have read some of my other trip logs that cross the Narrows, you will notice I tend to jump off hwy 16 and take the back roads through Gig Harbor. I do this because there is allot more scenery then riding hwy 16. I rolled through Gig Harbor at a blazing speed of 25 mph and then made my way up Peacock Hill Rd. I never get tired of the great views of the water and boats. Peacock Hill Rd intersects with 144th in 3.3 miles and then it's a left turn onto 144th. Within 1.6 miles I approached Purdy Dr Nw. Along with this road came mega traffic!  I should have know that this time of day folks were rushing home. The wreck nearby didn't help things either.  The .6 miles south bound on Purdy Dr Nw was a slow mover. As I approached the Purdy bridge my luck changed for the better. The traffic jam was south bound on Purdy Dr and not on the bridge heading west. Crossing this bridge is always a pleasure as you get a water front view from both sides. It's very refreshing on a hot summer day. Once across the bridge I forge onward on hwy 302. This hwy turns off in 5.2 miles and I veered left and was riding on the Key Peninsula Hyw. The next 14.1 miles were a combination of shaded road with sun breaks, wide open areas. I enjoyed this stretch of road as I got brief views of  Flucy Bay and several views of Car Inlet. This really is a good ride for a hot day. In this area there were some fun twisties. Not allot of them but some are always better then none. The roads were pretty good until I neared the end of Key Peninsula. At that point, the some what smooth concrete surface transitioned to coarse. My next turn was right on 76th St KP S. This road took me over a small bridge and gave me a great view of Taylor Bay. The tide was out so the mud beds were exposed. I took this opportunity to stop, stretch my legs and snap a few photos.

76th St KP S was  only 1.7 miles in distance and it just became Whiteman Rd which extended 4.3 miles with very few turns. At the end of this it just turned into the Key Peninsula hwy heading East. I rode this for 3.3 miles where I turned off onto Lackey Rd. It wasn't long and I was riding down hwy 302 up and over the Purdy bridge with another spectacular view of the water. This area is very popular with the locals so if you ride this route in the summer time parking along this road is tight. This is a great place to stop and walk down to the beach. Parking is allowed right on 302 and your walk to the water is only approximately 35 yards.

I won't bore you with the remainder of the trip as it was just another ride up hwy 16. With the exception of the great view of the Narrows when crossing the Narrows bridge. I should say Narrows bridges as the new East span is almost completed. And I would like to point out that after mid July your return trip over the east span will cost you $4 as tools have been set up.

A short 72 miles but allot of scenery. Not a bad little ride. 

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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