Trails & Tides

Tristan Baurick, the Kitsap Sun's outdoors and public lands reporter, writes about hiking, biking, kayaking and everything else Kitsapers do under the sun.
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Gibbs Lake: A growing outdoors playground in Jefferson County

March 3rd, 2014 by tristan baurick

GibbsLakeBike

There’s a 300-acre park near Chimacum that’s long been a magnet for Kitsap’s mountain bikers.

By the end of the year, Gibbs Lake Park could become an even bigger draw thanks to a plan that would tack on another 300 forested acres. The expansion area, which is managed as timberland by the state Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), borders yet another park – Beausite Lake – on its east side. The three properties together would form a 665-acre recreational area.

Read more about the deal here.

GibbsMap

Gibbs is loaded with seven miles worth of singletrack – some of which already spills over into the DNR property.

I spent a little over an hour exploring Gibbs by mountain bike on Thursday. The trail network is varied, with wide, well-maintained sections closer to the lake. The more challenging sections, including a few jumps, are on the trails with names like Roller Coaster and Impossi-bowl along the park’s northeast edge.

The expansion is a “no-brainer” for Brain Kilpatrick, president of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance’s West Sound Chapter.

The alliance, which draws most of its members from Kitsap, joined with Olympic Peninsula equestrian, fly fishing and environmental preservation groups in endorsing the expansion deal.

The alliance is also working on joining Gibbs Lake to yet another park – Anderson Lake State Park – via a trail easement through private timberland. The roughly 2-mile easement is only in the discussion stage between the alliance and the timber company, but the prospect of trails linking a state park to a vastly expanded county park is an exciting prospect, Kilpatrick said.

Head down below for more photos and a trail map of Gibbs Lake Park.

Gibbs Lake, Jefferson County.

Gibbs Lake, Jefferson County.

Gibbs3

Photos and map (above): Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun

Gibbs Lake Park Trail Map

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