HIKE DESCRIPTION: Key Pen Parks’ 360 Trails near Purdy is a good place for a walk or to catch a view of wildlife such as racoons and deer, but it’s best experienced on a mountain bike.
The 360-acre park is packed with trails, including a 2.5-mile dirt road that circles the park and central meadow, multipurpose trails throughout and a trail for bikes and pedestrians along the east side of the property. But the trail that’s proved to be a magnet for mountain bikers is a flowing circuit called Ticket to Ride.
Ticket to Ride is undulating trail snaking through the trees with options both challenging and relatively easy on its 3-mile course. The trail is one-way and closed to pedestrians for safety reasons. Surface includes dirt, rock, soft surfaces and a few wood features.
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DIRECTIONS: In Purdy, follow state Route 302 west over the Purdy Spit bridge. Exit the road onto 144th Street Northwest and find the parking area and trailhead on the right. A sign at the trailhead warns of car prowlers.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 3 (1 easiest, 5 most difficult).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 5.5 miles with options for much more.
ELEVATION: 500 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year round.
MAP: Maps, including one designed for smartphones, are available on the the Key Pen Parks website. A QR code on the trailhead sign allows visitors to scan and download the map with their phones.
ALSO: A mountain biking event Sunday (July 26) means the trails will be closed to the public 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The park hosts several mountain biking, running and volunteer trail maintenance events throughout the year. A meadow near the middle of the park has picnic areas and is the confluence of several of the park’s multipurpose trails. With so many trail users, signs remind visitors that cyclists must yield to hikers and horseback riders. Dogs are permitted if they are on leashes. A series of geocaches are hidden along the trails.