Green Mountain: Wildcat Trail

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Wildcat Workout

An exhilarating trek to the top of Green Mountain

Astounding scenery, an exhilarating workout and some great single track trails is what you get when you do the Wildcat Workout to the top of Green Mountain just west of Bremerton.

photo: The view across Puget Sound to Seattle and the Cascades

The Wildcat trail is part of an extensive trail system that runs through the Green Mountain area. Open to hikers, ORV's, dual sporters and mountain bikers this multiple-use trail system, constructed with Non-highway & Off-road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) money, is one of the finest in the state.

The trail begins in the parking lot to the north of Green Mountain near Wild Cat Lake. Here you can park your car if you brought one, or simply enter the trail system if you're pulling up on a dual sport.

The trail winds its way around trees, rocks, over streams and upward to the vista point atop Green Mountain. Pick a sunny and clear day and you'll be rewarded with a view that looks east across the Puget Sound to Seattle and all the way up to the Cascades. It's stunning, so remember to pack your camera.

Your ride up will absolutely get your heart pumping as you maneuver the various aspects of the trail. This is a workout any health insurance provider would be proud of. The ride up takes thirty minutes to an hour depending on your ability, and the ride back down about the same.

                                       Photo: A look at the type of terrain you'll find throughout the trail system along Green Mountain

Concerning your ability? How skilled are you at single track riding? If you're not, you might want to first visit here with a mountain bike and get a feel for the lay of the land, then return with your motorcycle. If you ride a larger bike, such as a BMW 11 or 12 series GS this type of terrain is not advisable for the less-than-skilled. If your bike has side boxes or bags you're better off detaching them and leaving them at home, the narrowness of some of the trails does not lend itself well to the width some cargo boxes require.

A favorite way we like to approach this ride is by dualsport, utilizing 250 cc bikes. We take a 10 a.m. ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and ride the paved back roads out to the Camp House Grill near Seaback. After to hearty lunch there we check our tire pressure, gas up and head over to the trailhead parking area arriving early afternoon.

Photo: Our arsenal of 250 dualsports which we ride over from Seattle. Even with 80/20 dual sport tires we negotiated the trails well. No broken bones yet.

Remember you'll be sharing the trails with hikers, mountain bikers, horses and other ORV users. This is a very intricate blend of users and the highest courtesy from all is appreciated. Hikers are good about stepping aside, when you see a horse get off the throttle and negotiate a safe pass, don't mow down mountain bikers (they can typically beat you on the downhill stretches). At the trailhead you'll find the code of ethics for each type of user. Read it and respect it. In our experience everyone gets along pretty well here. ORV tagged users must remember you're not allowed on the gravel roads that the trail crosses from time to time. See the link below for the Department of Natural Resources road usage rules in this area.

An area such as this is a rare find. The trails need regular use from all types of users to keep them open and trail maintenance volunteers are needed regularly. If you're so inclined, write a letter to Doug Sutherland, Commissioner of Public Lands (DNR) and let him know you're riding and enjoying this area which enriches your quality of life as a motorcyclist and is a reason why you live in Washington state. You can also contact groups like the NMA to volunteer your time for trail maintenance in this area and many others.

                                       Photo: The Brothers in the Olympic range as captured off the west vista viewpoint of Green Mountain

Whatever you're doing on the next sunny day – bag it and get out to do the Wildcat Workout!

TM/Spring 06

Special thanks to Jim Palms and Dave Hiatt for their assistance in this article.

Resources for the Green Mountain area

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