What motivates you to get out and run? Is it the challenge of beating your best time, the rush of pushing yourself to the limit, the peace of the open road, or just the love of being outside?
For many in this area, the surrounding beauty is enough to get you out and to move. Poulsbo has plenty to show off; from beautiful neighborhoods to waterways, to vast stretches of green pathways.
We asked one of our well-known and loved runners of the area, Suzie Banzar, to give us a few of her top areas to run.
Fjord Drive; One of her favorite routes would have to be along our downtown route; through downtown Poulsbo, onto Fjord, with stunning views of the water, and turning into Lemolo. This route has it all and can be as long or short as you wish.
Liberty Bay Boardwalk; With plenty of parking around our Poulsbo Rec Center, it’s a perfect starting point. An easy run along Front Street, or cut down through Nelson Park to run the boardwalk, which follows the shores of Liberty Bay. Stunning views of the mountains, water, and our Poulsbo Marina. Past the Marina, head back up to reach Fjord for more waterfront views. Fjord turns into Lemolo, and along with it brings the trees and some shade.
A local neighborhood, which the locals lovingly call Skittleville, is stunning this time of year. The colors of the changing of the leaves can be breathtaking. Add this neighborhood onto your Fjord/Lemolo route for a lengthier run.
Our local Clear Creek Trail, as you head into the Silverdale, is a fun 3-5 mile run. It winds through pathways of wooden bridges, over the wetlands, and beautiful open field spaces. These trails are perfect for all ages; many moms with strollers and children on bikes, in tow, can be found on these paths each day.
Poulsbo’s Fish Park provides a perfect little jaunt through Liberty Bay Estuary and viewing spots of Dogfish Creek, over the wooden pathways. Add on some mileage along the wide sidewalks of Viking Way.
Port Gamble Trails provides fun for everyone. Mountain bikers and horse-riders share the paths with runners, and provides some of the best trail runs around! On any given day, you will find groups of all sorts enjoying nature out there. But be careful, downloading a map is a must, or you may get lost.
For more serious runners, check out the Roots Rock Racing series, sponsored by our very own Poulsbo Running. From the Spooky 12k on Halloween to a 5k and trail half marathon race, there is always a great race to join in on!
In addition to Suzie’s love for running, she has a passion for her volunteer work with Girls On The Run (GOTR). GOTR sessions run through Spring and Fall; building girls’ self-confidence and a love of running.
It’s Halloween weekend…and there are many frightful things to do!
We’ve compiled some pretty fun stuff, to help you along your way…
Kitsap Haunted – the area’s best haunted house. Lights on for kids from 5-6p and full scare from 6-11p: Fri, Sat, and Halloween
Poulsbo Farmer’s Market – enjoy the outdoor market, filled with local farmers and crafters, live music, and on many weekends, enjoy special events! The market happens from 9a – 2p every Saturday through December 17.
It’s that time of year- join us at the Poulsbo Fish Park for the viewing of the salmon returning upstream. Activities and information for kids of all ages.
Plants from the Dark Side (part of the Spirits and Spirits Fest event series) – Dan Hinkley, founder of local botanical garden Heronswood, will introduce you to plants that evoke the spirit of Halloween. Prior to the lecture, take a self-guided tour at the Garden. This all happens Saturday.
A few costume contests and family fun events are taking place this weekend: Saturday morning join the fun at the Halloween Extravaganza, at the Kingston Crossing Complex. Join in for some face painting, massages, music, and more! Then, ON Halloween evening, Café Cocina in Poulsbo, will host a family evening with an opportunity to get a family photo and a costume contest.
Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay Books will be hosting George Lakey, an Author Event. Stop in at the store to listen to him, as he will be talking about his new book, Viking Economics, How the Scandinavians Got it Right and How We Can, Too.
Saturday evening brings more Spirits and Spirits fun – in Kingston! The Halloween Glow in the Dark Treasure Hunt is sure to be a blast! Kiddos from ages 5 – 12 should dress up and head into Downtown Kingston for glow in the dark fun!
If that dancing didn’t do you in for Sunday – then get your run on! At the Roots, Rock Run Spooky 12k – there is a kids 1-mile run too! Everyone dress in their best and get ready for some fun through the Port Gamble Trails!
Monday’s Halloween – and that means there are so many great places to go for some Trick or Treating. Historic Downtown Poulsbo’s merchants will be waiting with lots of treats for your kiddos from 4-6p!
BONUS event! If you are 16+ and haven’t had enough of a scare, join in on one of Port Gamble’s Ghost Walks. Begin at the Port Gamble Museum; learn highlights of the town’s history, hear about the paranormal activities, and tour some haunted buildings in town!
Day Trip to Poulsbo – Absolutely! Poulsbo is centrally located in the heart of the Kitsap Peninsula and practically surrounded by water, making for great fishing, crabbing, sightseeing, mountain biking and kayaking.
Wildlife is plentiful throughout the shores of Poulsbo’s own Liberty Bay where one can view seals, otters, blue herons, and salmon returning to their natal streams to spawn during the fall in Dogfish Creek.
Kayaking in Poulsbo is an excellent day trip adventure and you can spend a day slowly sightseeing your way around Liberty Bay. The Olympic Outdoor Center, operates a kayak rental facility waterside in downtown Poulsbo. Grab a donut at the famous Sluy’s Bakery on front street – you won’t be disappointed – then stroll over and rent a kayak to burn off those calories!
July 1st kicks off crabbing season in the waters around Poulsbo. If you are visiting by boat, Poulsbo has a full service marina to tie up at. Crabbing isn’t far off, just outside Agate Pass there are some excellent options to drop a crab pot. Just look for all the other crab buoys!
Visitors interested in bird watching or sightseeing can also take in numerous picturesque views on the waterfront in downtown Poulsbo. Seals, otters, ducks, geese and blue herons all make a presence at one time or another.
The surrounding freshwater and saltwater of the Kitsap Peninsula is plentiful with fishing options, and make for a great day adventure if you are visiting the area.
Try your luck at Buck Lake in Hansville for some feisty rainbow trout, or perhaps one of the many nice sized bass that lurk in the shallows. Situated about 25 minutes from downtown Poulsbo, Buck Lake County Park offers a large grassy area, playground, boat launch and nature trails. Small boats and personal watercraft can easily access Buck Lake.
Visiting Poulsbo for a weekend stay?
Well, there’s no shortage of options to plan a great itinerary!
Plan a morning mountain biking trip to the miles of trails off Stottlemeyer road, just five minutes from Poulsbo. Riders have ample trails to choose from ranging from beginner to advanced levels.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Poulsbo without being involved in some type of water activity, so finish the day off paddling around Liberty Bay on a kayaking adventure.
Day two of your adventure might include fly fishing adventure on the majestic waters of Hood Canal. Poulsbo and the surrounding area boasts some excellent saltwater fly fishing opportunities for the visiting angler. Fly fishing for Sea-Run Cutthroat trout has become quite a hit lately around Poulsbo.
These are hard fighting, wild sea trout that live in the waters surrounding Poulsbo and the Kitsap Peninsula. Sea-Runs are very aggressive and a fly-fishing excursion makes for a great day trip experience while visiting.
Fjord Fly Fishing is a saltwater fly-fishing guide service based in Poulsbo that offers guided fly fishing by boat. They offer full day 8-hour trips, and half day 5-hour trips for up to two anglers. Check out www.fjordflyfishing.com for more information on this great experience. Anglers new or experienced to the art of fly fishing can choose to chase these wily game fish in the waters of Hood Canal or Puget Sound with Capt. Chad Gillespie of Fjord Fly Fishing.
The outdoor options are limitless in Poulsbo and the surrounding Kitsap Peninsula, come visit us to get a Norwegian taste of this unique town!
Guest Blog, written by Chad Gillespie Owner and Captain of Fjord Fly Fishing
[vc_row no_margin=”true” padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″][text_output]Our day started early at the Stottlemeyer Trailhead on the southern side of the Port Gamble Trail System. We geared up and after a few circles around the gravel parking lot, we were faced with the first of many similar decisions that would pop up all day — should we do it the easy way (turn left and start up the Red, un-technical service roads) or should we do it the hard way (turn right and ride up the Blue intermediate trail).
In a frenzy of Coffee-induced optimism, not unlike that of the early explorers of these great lands, we turned right onto the “Hyper-Space” intermediate trail.
We soon learned that the designers of this trail system cut a pretty wide swath with the term “intermediate”. To us, a couple of casual weekend bikers, the “Hyper-Space” trail and the “Lite Speed” (blue) trail that followed it were…quite pleasant. They were very well maintained and the designers did a great job of carving relatively straight paths through the hillside. The air was cool and we had just broken the first sweat…We felt good.
Armed with a slightly misplaced optimism in our ability to conquer any trail that came our way, we hopped on the Red Service Road heading east, in search of some heartier trails that could satiate this newfound confidence. Why fool around with these Blue and Green (easy) trails when we can really prove ourselves to the Mountain Bike Gods (both old and new) by taking down the Black (most difficult) trails? We set our sights on the “Mordor” trail by way of the “Upper and Lower Mirkwood” trail (Tolkien nerds rejoice!).
SINGLE TRACK ABOUNDS!!!
After a long and life-affirming downhill portion on the 1800 service road, we climbed back up and met the southern end of the “Upper Mirkwood” trail. Another breezy blue, right? Wrong. This trail and its companion “Lower Mirkwood” were technical in the best sense of the word — tight turns, minor jumps, and plenty of opportunites to test our ability to navigate the root, rock, and log systems of Port Gamble. Some folks are all about going fast and free but, for my money, I love these types of technical trails in which the path is laid out in front of you like a maze and your job is to get out without losing too much skin.
The “Mordor” trail, although it presented similarly technical problems, had a much steeper incline and as a result really took the wind out of us. Tired and satisfied with the work we’d put in so far, we decided to map out an easier end to our day. We hopped on one of the Red service roads that bisect all of the single-track trails and headed north with the plan of taking the long way home, following this green-heavy route:
Hitting all of these green trails one after another was an absolute blast! Dipping in and out of the forest, dodging the highly invasive Scotch Broom, and even navigating the occasional technical section, we couldn’t be happier. This route was the perfect way to end a perfect day of biking.
We got back to the car, cracked a few post-ride cold ones, lazily cleaned the yellow remnants of Scotch Broom off of ourselves, and chatted about how lucky we are to have such a vast and diverse trail system in our little corner of the country…Next trip we’ll definitely be hitting up the northern section of the trails, which we barely touched on this outing.
A few tips:
If you’ve never been on this trail system, take a map, and whenever you see a posted map (they’re at most major trail junctions), get your bearings straight. Several times we got caught up in the ride, neglected our maps, and ended up missing some of the trails that we meant to go on.
If you know how to read contour lines on the map, think about planning out a path for yourself that fits your physical abilities.
Go in the morning. We didn’t see many folks out there but when we left the afternoon crowds were really starting to roll in.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure to dose up on your favorite anti-histamine before hitting these lush trails.