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May 30, 2016

Solo Bicycle Tour, Fort Ebey State Park

whidbey island, bicycle touring
rest stop at GreenBank Farm on the way to Fort Ebey

The Solo Bicycle Tour

Last May in 2015, the idea to do a solo bicycle tour popped into my head. As 2016 came around, I started seriously considering the trip and began planning in February. Learning how to do simple bike repairs, mapping a safer route, and getting back into shape after a lazy winter were checked off my list.

In the beginning, staying one night was my idea, but riding nearly 37 miles to sleep in a tent and then riding home the very next morning didn't seem fun, so I booked two nights. Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island is a beautiful park with loads of hiking trails and beautiful ocean vistas.

camping at Fort Ebey State Park
camping at Fort Ebey State Park

There is a hiker/bicycle campground with a communal campfire and outhouse, but I wanted a private campfire a real bathroom with a shower, so I booked site 49 in the car camping area. The next day, just beyond where I camped, I discovered some walk-in campsites with their own campfire pits that look good for a future bicycle tour.  (skip the route part unless you're thinking of doing this trip)

The Route

I worked my way via side roads to highway 525 at Bayview road. I am on the Highway 525 until Newman road. Newman road took me into Freeland from which I caught Main Street Road. Traveling down Main Street until the highway, cross the highway 525 and now it is Fish road. Fish Road connects to Mutiny Bay road then onto Bush Point road which turns into smuggler's cove road.

I turned off on Lagoon Point road which turns into Day road and then Bakken Road. Bakken road will meet the Highway 525, and you travel for seconds on the highway until you meet N. Bluff road. I wanted to cut out as much of the Highway as I could, so I added North Bluff road which turns into Houston road. These roads run behind GreenBank Farm.

Heading north on Houston road, before it meets up with the highway, there is one major, steep hill that goes on forever. For me, walking the bicycle up that hill and the added time was worth it as I cut out two-thirds of the highway portion between GreenBank and Coupeville. Plus, in the morning on a weekday, there is not much traffic on these roads.

view from W Wannamaker Rd

Now I'm on Highway 525 for a brief time again until I come to E. Admirals Drive which takes you through a neighborhood. Stay on E. Admirals Drive until you reach S. Bryd Drive. Take S. Bryd Drive to S. Halsey Drive to Perry Dr up to W Wannamaker Rd. Continue on W. Wannamaker rd until you reach Fort Casey road. Take Fort Casey road to SE Terry road to Main st and now you are almost there!

Heading North from Coupeville to Fort Ebey State Park, there is a dedicated bike/pedestrian trail that takes you all the way into the park. How amazing is that! Once you get to Kettles Gate, kettles trail continues into the park all the way to the car and walk-in campgrounds. The hiker/biker campgrounds are in a different area just beyond the car campground. See my last year's blog post for more information on the kettle's trail.

This by no means is the shortest or quickest way to get to Fort Ebey.  My goal was to be off the highway and away from 55 - 70 mile traffic zooming past me.  Most of 525 has a wide bike lane, but that doesn't seem wide enough when you have cars texting on their cells as they pass you or semi-trucks and other large vehicles passing even when they are obeying the traffic laws.

view Houston road route on Map My Ride and a portion of the park trail to the campground.  Also, view my post from last year for more photos of the kettle's trail.

kettles trail map

Camping, Hiking at Fort Ebey

The second day I did several hikes in the forest and along the ocean view trails.

beach hiking trail, Ft. Ebey
beach hiking trail, Ft. Ebey

Fort Ebey, Strait of Juan de Fuca
looking out at Strait of Juan de Fuca

water tower, fort ebey hiking.
remains of an old, water tower

water tower, fort ebey hiking.
water tower, Fort Ebey hiking

jets flying overhead

Fort Ebey State Park, sunset over Strait of Juan de Fuca
Fort Ebey State Park, sunset over Strait of Juan de Fuca

Fort Ebey State Park, camping
on my way home

Thanks for coming along with me on this solo bicycle journey!

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Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful thing to do.
traveling alone can truly introduce us to ourselves in a way only being alone can do. It sounds like you enjoyed your trip and the beauty you saw. I feel proud of you for having a dream and doing it.

Tracy said...

Oh, such wonderful images from your travels, Juana! I think you are VERY brave to take these solo bike tours, and camp out... You should be proud for going for it, and doing it! :) Wishing you many more happy trips on two wheels! ((HUGS))

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