Bike Route Testing: Manchester State Park via West Seattle

I have wanted to go bike camping for a really really long time. I finally found a group of like-minded crazies to go with me, AKA Team Mama Bears. Several of these mamas have been to Brainbridge Island to camp with Familyride as part of a Kidical Mass Family Bike Camping.

First, I think you should all be so glad Madi test these routes. She puts a lot of thought and it's not easy. So, thank you!

In any case, I have had Manchester State Park on my top places to go. The trees and beach are really appealing. Most recently Madi went bike camping with her kids. Her route was to take the Bremerton ferry from downtown Seattle and then hop on the Port Orchard pedestrian ferry and then bike to Manchester. I had followed her journey on Twitter and noticed one thing, an elevator or 8 steps at Port Orchard. While Madi was able to squeeze her Surly Big Dummy in an upright position, I can't do that. My Metrofiets is 9.5 feet long. It's long!

So, the other option was a route that Marley had outlined in her blog. I love her routes and am eager to see if they would work for me and my kids.

After making my way from my house to downtown, let's not even bother with that mess, I was curious to see if I could manage maneuvering my long bike on to the West Seattle Water Taxi

I was the first one in line
Important detail, electric outlets on the Water Taxi, charging my phone
TADA! It fit!
None of the staff blinked when they saw me and my bike. In fact, we have plenty of room for more. I told them about the Team Mama Bear camping trip and all our bikes and they said, NO PROBLEM! You say that now, hahaha. Just wait until you meet us.

I made it up the wacko ramp in West Seattle. In fact, the staff were very nice and tried to help but I've got it covered.


West Seattle is gloriously FLAT (edit: the path is flat the rest is one monster hill) and has this nice multi-use trail.

The trail ends here. Interestingly enough, it's a buffered trail with parking to the side. I wonder if people ever drive here but not today.

The trail ends, sad 

Beautiful views of the beach and if the kids in the group want they can bike on the sidewalk. I am totally okay with that too. 

This says road closed but it is the flattest best way to get to the ferry with the least amount of traffic. 

On Google Maps you see how this ends but goes right into Lincoln Park. It's amazing!

I have always dreamed of biking on a road next to the beach without cars. It's so magical until...

until... you get to the people playing Pokemon Go and zig zaging all over the place like their is no tomorrow. Fine, it makes me happy you are out and about but that game is distracting you from tripping on a rock or crashing into the jogger. 

There is the ferry!

The ferry system is new to me so here is what I learned. You walk your bike to the toll booth. Wait in the bike spot to load you bike. You will tap on with your Orca card. Make sure you have money loaded on that thing. Luckily I had just loaded it and so it was fine. 

I also saw the dead whale. It smelled like death. It was so smelly. 

At some point I made it across to wait with that guy. We were the only two bikes on the ferry. 

Premier bike parking with views


There is my bike loaded with bike gear so I could bike with the gear for practice or just in case I had to camp. 

Bring your own candy. This was too much TOO MUCH!


I took romantic pictures of this couple. She was too cold to reach out and touch his butt but that didn't stop him.


 Possibly the scariest part was watching the people drive off the ferry to Vashon. Please oh please go slow around my bike.
Finally we made it to Southworth where I am to find my way around. I'm excited. 

As you can see, it's a shoulder with gravel but very few people driving passed me. 

Something you don't see on Google Maps. Right where the road goes up some wacko hill you can cut through this path and get instant fun. Nobody is driving here. Sure, people live here but nobody went down this road but me. 

All by myself!! It's so beautiful.

My daughter is going to enjoy this part.

After a bit more biking on the shoulder I made it to the park. Tada! I was too pooped to go in so this is as good as it's going to get. It kinda pissed me off that you can see this great road fenced off but can't ride there because it belongs to some government entity. It's would be way nicer I could go that way! UGHH!

I know, you saw this, beautiful!

This looks like a good pit stop. It was some weird cafe with cat art and lots of stuff for little fingers to touch. 

Can you see that, rolling hills. Up and down, up and down. 

Stuff I learn. If you walk on to the ferry from Southworth it is FREE to Faunteroy. What what? I know, hard to believe. 

Once again, my bike but this time we didn't stop at Vashon to drop off passengers so I got to ride off the ferry. 

Aww, Seattle. You are nothing like an island but I love you!

I made it home without bonking but this is the face I make when I'm really close. Candy helps! So, that was my test ride, hopefully the biking and camping with kids goes well.





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