Bikepacking on a Tuesday: Seattle to Faye Bainbridge Park

Mappy Hour Seattle athlete Gina Strickland, works around her busy schedule with a midweek camping adventure.

#1 Ride Downtown to the Seattle Ferry Terminal

There is nothing quite like a quick weeknight bikepack! This route is recommended after work in the summer because of the extra daylight but can be ridden year-round. The ferries depart every hour or so for Bainbridge so it’s easy to catch one after work.

Tip: Make sure to go through the car tollbooths rather than the walk on terminal – as a biker, you will be directed by employees to ride onto the ferry before the cars. 

#2 Ferry Ride to Bainbridge Island

The ferry ride is stunning on a clear day! 360 degree views await you as you enjoy the city, Rainier, Olympics, Cascades, and sea life.

Taking the ferry to Bainbridge

A short 20 minutes later you will land at the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal and begin the ~7 mile ride to Faye Bainbridge State Park. We recommend stopping at Miguelitos Cocina Mexicana for burritos which, is about a 5 minute ride up the road before continuing on to the park. To get to burritos, take the great bike path next to WA 305. Turn left of High School Road NE, followed up a quick left onto Hilebrand LN NE.

Biker enjoying beer

#3 The Final 7 Mile Stretch

There are multiple routes to the Park. Google Maps Bike Mode will take you straight up highway 305. The shoulders are very wide, but there is high-speed traffic. Instead, we highly recommend taking the side roads around through Manitou Beach for a mellower ride along the water with views of Rainier and Seattle. From Miguelitos Cocina Mexicana, go straight through the light to cross WA 305 and turn left onto Ferncliff Ave NE. Take in the lush green trees and fancy houses along the way! Turn left on NE Lofgren Road, followed by a quick right onto Moran Road NE, with another right onto Manitau Beach Dr. NE.

Biking on Bainbridge Island

You’ll enjoy stunning views of Rainier along the bay! Take the road along the Manitou Beach and turn right onto Sunrise Drive NE – a rolling heavily wooded road that will lead you straight to Faye Bainbridge. There are no shoulders on this road, but light traffic. A few miles later you reach the Park!

#4 Camping at Faye Bainbridge Park

Map of Fay Bainbridge Park

An excellent PNW perk for bike camping is hiker/biker sites. These sites are open to all hiker, bikers, kayakers – anyone who came to the campground under their own power. While there are no reservations for these sites, remember to bring $7 a person a night. The hiker/biker sites are located down the steep hill right by the water.

Camping at Bainbridge Park

Make sure to pay your campground fee at the self-pay kiosk! If you are a planner, there are also reservable campgrounds available further up the hill with much more privacy.

Camping at Bainbridge Park

Pitch your tent and take your burrito and drinks down to the beach for a lovely evening looking at the Mountain! If you are lucky, you will see the sea otters or seals playing in the surf!

Day 2 – Off to Work!

Calculate the approximate time it took to bike from the Ferry Terminal to the Park for your return journey. With the rolling hills, the ride out is similar to the ride in. There are many ferries leaving for Seattle in the morning as well.

Enjoy the sunrise across the Puget Sound before your ride home!

Biking to Seattle

While it is quite exhilarating rolling into your morning meeting right on time, I recommend giving yourself a little wiggle room so you have a minute to grab a coffee and wipe your brow before jumping into work.

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