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    Seattle to Sequim - which ferry?

    Hi,
    Planning on doing a 3-day tour: Seattle-Sequim, Hurricane Ridge, Sequim-Seattle. It'll be a daypack tour, staying at a friend's place. What's your preference on the resulting route between taking the Seattle ferry to Bainbridge or the Edmonds ferry to Kingston? Which is the safer route of the two?

    Probably heading to Sequim on a Friday, return on a Sunday. Starting from the CD (Jackson & MLK).
    Last edited by ceedubx; 06-10-14 at 11:43 PM.

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    It's been a long time since I was out that way but I think you'll find less traffic if you take the Kingston ferry and take back roads as much as possible. Not sure how you'll get over the Hood Canal bridge though, can bikes just ride the shoulder?
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    I have not taken the Kingston ferry on a bike tour, but I did take the Bainbridge ferry on a trip to Port Townsend. Here is the route we took:

    Seattle to Port Townsend

    The hood canal bridge was fine and I did not feel unsafe. There is a huge shoulder on the bridge. I think, many moons ago, it was not so good, but it is fine now. Here is a view from Google Street View.

    The return route we crossed over from Port Townsend to Whidbey. The one thing I would have changed with this route was the route from Mukilteo to the Interurban trail. The route we took was not good.

    Port Townsend to Seattle

    I realize the routes I included above are not exactly what you are looking for, but maybe they will help.

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    Edmunds - Kingston ferry and hood canal bridge works fine - you avoid the Poulsbo traffic and the scenery across the Kitsap Peninsula is cool. (Really, you could take any of the ferries, depending on where you're starting from. I did a trip to Port Angeles last fall going from Mukilteo to Whidby and then across to Port Townsend. I've ridden from Southworth to Bremerton and getting up to 101 from there wouldn't be bad...)

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    I live in Sequim and normally take the seattle to Bainbridge ferry because of the wide shoulders all the way to Sequim.
    If you take the Edmonds to Kingston ferry you will have to deal with about three miles of narrow shoulders coming in to port gamble and also the heavy traffic on the Edmonds side .
    The hood canal bridge has wide shoulders all the way across and is no problem at all , from the bridge to sequim there are very wide shoulders the whole way and once you get to blyn ( about four miles east of Sequim ) you have the railroad trail ( paved ) all the way to Port Angeles.

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    Thanks Seattle, cwar, geronimo, vt for the helpful responses! Might take one way up and the other back. I'll let you know how it goes.

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    cwar, that return idea looks good- maybe stay east on Bothell-Everett Hwy and work down to the Burke-Gilman trail? I've no experience with the B-E hwy.
    Last edited by ceedubx; 06-11-14 at 11:33 PM. Reason: mention member

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    Quote Originally Posted by cwar View Post
    The return route we crossed over from Port Townsend to Whidbey. The one thing I would have changed with this route was the route from Mukilteo to the Interurban trail. The route we took was not good.

    Port Townsend to Seattle
    I think the best way is to come off the ferry and then work your way over to W. Mukilteo Blvd. Take that all the way over to Colby Ave and then come down to the Interurban. It's a little further but less traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ceedubx View Post
    cwar, that return idea looks good- maybe stay east on Bothell-Everett Hwy and work down to the Burke-Gilman trail? I've no experience with the B-E hwy.
    Taking the Burke-Gilman instead of the Interurban is somewhat out of the way from the Mukilteo Ferry, but it depends on where your final destination is. The downside with the Interurban is there is a lot of stop and go.

    Our mistake was taking a non-paved trail shortly after leaving the ferry (off of 5th St). I wouldn't recommend that route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I think the best way is to come off the ferry and then work your way over to W. Mukilteo Blvd. Take that all the way over to Colby Ave and then come down to the Interurban. It's a little further but less traffic.
    Yes, that would be a better route than the one we took.

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    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwar View Post
    I have not taken the Kingston ferry on a bike tour, but I did take the Bainbridge ferry on a trip to Port Townsend. Here is the route we took:

    Seattle to Port Townsend

    The hood canal bridge was fine and I did not feel unsafe. There is a huge shoulder on the bridge. I think, many moons ago, it was not so good, but it is fine now. Here is a view from Google Street View.

    The return route we crossed over from Port Townsend to Whidbey. The one thing I would have changed with this route was the route from Mukilteo to the Interurban trail. The route we took was not good.

    Port Townsend to Seattle

    I realize the routes I included above are not exactly what you are looking for, but maybe they will help.
    That bolded bit is the problem with that route. I used to live on the north end and have ridden in that area a fair amount and there just isn't a good way to get from the Mukilteo Ferry to the Interurban. It's a bummer.

    Conversely, Bainbridge offers either a scenic route (mostly following the eastern shoreline, I can sketch it out for you if you want) or a straight shot across the island on the highway. That road has a huge shoulder and good grades.
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    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwar View Post
    Taking the Burke-Gilman instead of the Interurban is somewhat out of the way from the Mukilteo Ferry, but it depends on where your final destination is. The downside with the Interurban is there is a lot of stop and go.

    Our mistake was taking a non-paved trail shortly after leaving the ferry (off of 5th St). I wouldn't recommend that route.
    If you are talking about that gravel road that runs to the backside of Boeing from there, it's okay for south to north travel, but I wouldn't attempt to go from Mukilteo to the south on it. It's uphill that way and that gravel is railroad ballast - fist sized or better jagged rocks. We did okay on it (even loaded down with gear) the one time we had a chance to take it, but didn't even consider it for the return trip. I'd take it again northbound, it's a nice quiet wooded area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    If you are talking about that gravel road that runs to the backside of Boeing from there, it's okay for south to north travel, but I wouldn't attempt to go from Mukilteo to the south on it. It's uphill that way and that gravel is railroad ballast - fist sized or better jagged rocks. We did okay on it (even loaded down with gear) the one time we had a chance to take it, but didn't even consider it for the return trip. I'd take it again northbound, it's a nice quiet wooded area.
    It's the one that follows the railroad tracks. It sounds like the one you are talking about, with railroad ballast. We also had loaded touring bikes and as you mentioned, it's uphill coming from the ferry so it was tough going. I have 32's on my touring bike. It would have been easier with slightly larger tires.

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    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwar View Post
    It's the one that follows the railroad tracks. It sounds like the one you are talking about, with railroad ballast. We also had loaded touring bikes and as you mentioned, it's uphill coming from the ferry so it was tough going. I have 32's on my touring bike. It would have been easier with slightly larger tires.
    That's the one. Yeah, having done it downhill, I'd do that again that way, but wouldn't attempt it the uphill/southbound. We were on converted mountain bikes, running excellent 1.5" tires (nominally 1.75" Vittoria Randoneur Pros and Panaracer T-Serv Protex's) and those did great. It'd be tough on smaller tires. Entering and finding the trail from the Boeing side was tricky though, we had to ride on the freeway for a short way, get into the left lane (in rush hour traffic) then go through Boeing's parking lot. If it weren't for Google maps and satellite photos I don't know if I would've attempted it from that side.
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    Well, had a good 4-day tour! I realized I had some friends in Mt Vernon/La Conner, so I took Whidbey Is back from Pt Townsend. Hwy 20 was ridiculous - had planned on doing a quieter route up to Anacortes then down, but was a little shagged from the previous day up Hurricane Ridge so just took the shortest way. :-p Centennial Trail was fantastic (and fast), and the busier sections in between trails/quieter roads were manageable.

    I should probably take some time to stitch together all 4 days in one map, but here's each day of the tour:
    Day 1: Bainbridge-Sequim
    Day 2: Sequim-Hurricane Ridge-Sequim
    Day 3: Sequim-La Conner
    Day 4: La Conner-Seattle

    My instagram profile with some shots: Instagram

    Thanks to the community for the help!
    Last edited by ceedubx; 06-23-14 at 12:01 PM.

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