Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Green Mountain: DNR's hoard of fun trails.

Last week, I took a trip to visit a biking friend who lives on the Kitsap Pensinsula.  We loaded our bikes in the truck with another rider and headed to his local riding spot.  At 1639 feet, Green Mountain is not quite the tallest hill in Washington.  However, what it lacks in elevation it makes up for in fun.  A well-developed but lightly ridden network of multi-use trails wind around and over the hill.  Green Mountain is a DNR recreation area, and is shared by motos, horsers, hikers, and bikers.  

Climbing on the roads was easy on the legs due to a mellow grade.  We were quick to reach the top, and we were greeted by benches to lean the bikes on and a map of the area.  After a quick geometry comparison facilitated by a stick, we determined that one of the guys' bikes had a blown out shock, a problem that would only worsen through the day.  In a great example of NFG riding, the shredder rode all day with little to no rear suspension and had a smile on his face the whole time.  
Black and bodacious bikes.
We started our descent on some of the best rock I've ever ridden.  It was choppy and fast, with plenty of terrain to play with.  After a rock roll to end that section, we hit the Gold Creek trail.  We gobbled up fast and loose moto corners with rocks and roots galore.  The damp sandy soil made each corner a drifty blast into a nice high catch rut, repeated constantly throughout the trail.  It was incredible to see how fast the local guys could ride it, threading through trees and blasting the turns.  We saw only one hiker and one moto on the way down.  Once we got the bottom, we hit the road and climbed back up, still stoked on the pinner turns and techy sections we'd just bombed down.

Climbing into the fog

Our second run down was on the opposite side of the hill, back towards where we were parked.  After starting down the Wildcat trail, we took a short detour to hit a lower traffic area.  As if to trump my impressions of the first rock section, the next piece of trail was far beyond compare.  It was a punchy, steep descent down bedrock that started with some precision turns.  After a short drop on the steep section, the trail took us through an off-camber chute that fed a long, loose rut full of rocks.  We were rock surfing through this bit, smelling brakes and hollering at the rowdyness.  I was bummed to leave the steeps behind, but our final descent on Wildcat proved to be just as fun.  This moto trail is fast.  Turn after turn of loose dirt on a grade that rewarded pedaling but didn't require much additional input to have a good time. 

Green Mountain has many similarities to other DNR recreation areas, but the local terrain and low moto traffic create a favorable distinction from other locations.  The underlying rock is much less brittle than in Capitol Forest, which makes the rock sections firm and technical rather than loose and marbly.  The dirt is much different than Capitol Forest as well, a sandy loam that seems to take moisture well and provide a tacky layer underneath loose dirt stirred up by trail users.  The loose over tacky combination is super fun to ride.  Although the trails were very eroded, it was in uniform fashion and the addition of cobbling has helped keep away tight ruts.  The trails were wide, but with plenty of rock and root sections to keep them interesting.  It's almost like DNR has been hoarding all of the fun parts of multi-use trails and keeping them on Green Mountain.  Maybe.


  1. I've been wanting to check this place out for years.

  2. I think you'd really like it, Jim! That is, if you rode mountain bikes...

  3. when hoarding isn't a bad thing, i'll take 1600'+ for sure!