Orcas Island Bicycling
Orcas Island is fit for experienced cyclists due to narrow, hilly, winding roads, and an absence of shoulders for the most part.
You’ll likely start off your tour in Eastsound, right in the center of the island. From here you can enjoy a short and easy (compared to the rest of Orcas) loop of six miles out to North Beach, Buckhorn Beach and Crescent Beach.
To the southwest of Eastsound you can travel through some beautiful farmland at the base of Turtleback Mountain along Crow Valley Road. Stop to take a hike up the mountain, or stop by Orcas Island Pottery off West Beach Road to view ceramics and sometimes even potters at work.
To the southeast of Eastsound head through Moran State Park, passing alongside Cascade Lake, which offers some fabulous views. You’ll be able to cool off under the canopy of the forest’s trees or take a quick swim. During part of the year trails are open for mountain biking.
For the intrepid cyclist, try Mount Constitution -- all 2,409 feet of it. You can take the five-mile ride to the top by following a small, paved switchback road that sometimes gets as steep as a 15 percent grade. When you see the views from the top of the mountain, all the effort will be worth it.
Continue south of the park to Olga, a sleepy hamlet where you can check out Orcas Island Artworks co-op, eat a gourmet lunch in Cafe Olga, and rest your weary legs by the water. (Due to a July 2013 fire, the co-op has temporarily moved into Eastsound, and the cafe is closed.)
Slightly further south is the 80-acre Obstruction Pass State Park. Leave your bikes for a while and enjoy some hiking -- or just leave them temporarily to follow the half-mile trail to the beach, which is one of the island’s best.
Continue around the island to Doe Bay, and you’ll notice there’s less traffic on the roads. Here you’ll find the charming Doe Bay Resort's café, which appears to sit on top of the water and offers not only great views but also an exciting selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. There are also cabins, yurts and camping if you choose to spend the night.
Escape with TerraTrek on a two- to six-day bicycle and multi-sport vacation through the San Juan Islands. Only a short drive from Seattle or Vancouver B.C., the San Juan Archipelago is an ideal getaway because of our long days of sunshine and plenty of activities. Enjoy cycling along quiet two lane country roads lined with wildflowers that wind down to spectacular vistas of neighboring islands and snowcapped mountain ranges, hiking around lakes that lead down to waterfalls, and kayaking past pebble stone coves and rocky islets in orca whale territory! [more...]