Port Orchard Loop

  • May 9, 2015
  • 66 total miles
  • 48 total miles of cycling

It was a warm sunny Saturday, and we needed a destination. Where do I go for inspiration? The Washington beer map. I checked for a brewery across the Sound, and selected Slaughter County Brewing Company. They describe themselves as a Pirate-themed Irish pub, serve pizza, and I noticed a friend of mine recently checked in on Facebook, and I trust her beer judgement.

Seattle to Fauntleroy Ferry

The plan was to leave North Seattle by 10 in order to minimize having to ride through crowds in Alki. We got off to a late start, for no reason other than it was a Saturday. The Elliot Bay Trail was pretty empty and a great mellow start to the morning.


Getting from downtown to West Seattle was rough. There is so much construction, and we were early enough that there wasn’t much bike traffic to follow. The actual roads were not so bad, but there was not enough signage to figure out where to go. We definitely lost some time stopping to wonder what to do a few times, but we eventually made it to the Spokane Street Swing Bridge, just in time for it to open. DSCN0229

This set us back almost half an hour, but at least it was interesting to two industry lovers like us. The bridge swings open to a 45 degree angle to clear the shipping channel, and according to this wikipedia article, it is the only bridge of its type in the world. DSCN0232

The barge that came through was interesting too. It was stacked full of miscellaneous stuff, including that tractor near the front.


Finally we made it over the bridge to Alki. There was a little construction detour onto the main road, at which point a boat shaped car full of pirates passed us! Yes, you read that right. Pirates on a parade float type of vehicle were going the other way, carrying on and yelled “on your left” to us in pirate language. You don’t get to experience things like that in a closed up car! By now the Alki Trail was getting pretty busy on this warm sunny Saturday. Our plan to stop at Starbucks for breakfast technically worked out, but it wasn’t as relaxing as originally expected.

DSCN0237 DSCN0238

The ride from Alki to the Fauntleroy ferry was beautiful and uneventful. The ferry traffic was bad! For cars, that is. We got right on. Something was wrong with the beer taps though. We ordered what we were told was a Budweiser, even though the handle looked like something fancy. The beer tasted so bad, neither John nor I finished our cup. If you know us, you know that beer has to be pretty gross to be left unfinished.DSCN0239

Southworth to Port Orchard

The ferry from Fauntleroy to Vashon and then to Southworth is so confusing. John could not stop asking questions about how the ferry could make three stops, and what directions the cars will face. Luckily, local ferry riders just love to educate you on how it works.

If you want to ride this loop, do not type in your destination to Google Maps for a route because you will miss the best part! Once you get off the ferry, after the grocery store and post office, turn right onto SE Cherry St and head to this little coffee shack.


On the other side of the coffee shack, there is a gravel footpath. Walk your bike (or ride if you do not fear flat tires) down this path to SE Cornell Rd.


Come out the other side, and ride on a deserted paved waterfront road.DSCN0242

You will hug the water for almost the remainder of the whole trip!DSCN0244

It is beautiful and mellow and flat and fun.


There is a camel


Lots of time for selfies


The traffic is scarce enough to attempt action selfies


Approaching Port Orchard, there are great views of the Olympics across the Sinclair Inlet. I had to look that up on a map. DSCN0265

We rolled into Slaughter County Brewing Company right around 1 pm.

DSCN0272 IMG_0063_2 DSCN0274 DSCN0276

Shockingly, it was dead! I don’t get it. It was a beautiful afternoon. A brewery with an outside patio overlooking the water. Where was everybody? This guy got it. A beer, an iPod, and a waterfront view.


Getting Home from Port Orchard

We headed from Port Orchard toward Bremerton to catch the ferry back to Seattle. We kept going down Bay Street toward Gorst to get on State Route 3. The locals tried to tell us it wasn’t safe, but we have done it before, and it was quite comfortable on a bike. When you get to the intersection of SR 3, there is a little bike route sign to go up this path instead of an onramp. Don’t miss it! DSCN0281

The cars on SR 3 are moving fast, but the shoulder is ginormous.DSCN0284

You’re getting close when you pass the aircraft carriers.DSCN0294

The ferry was packed because there was a Mariners game that evening. But we were on bikes, so we got right on, duh!DSCN0298

After a Red Hook and a Snickers, all that was left were the 8 miles back to the house.

The day took longer than expected, thanks to a late start and a few delays on the road. But it was so worth it. It was a great day to be outside and get moving. I highly recommend this route!