Out of all the trail running opportunities in Kitsap County, Green Mountain stands out as the top area to get in a long and challenging workout. As local ultra trail runner Tabatha Collins says, “If I had to pick a favorite place to run TO during a long run, it would be Turtle Rock. Some folks know it as School Rock. It’s just a steep slog up the side of Green Mountain, but there are so many little trails up there – best to go in May when the Rhodies are blooming!”
Green Mountain State Forest is a working forest, which means timber sales lead to constant logging throughout the area. These timber sales help fund recreational activities and trail maintenance. Besides hiking, these activities include offroad vehicles, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and target shooting.
One of the prime trails is the Gold Creek Trail that summits Green Mountain. The Gold Creek Trailhead is one of four in Green Mountain. The other three are Wildcat, Green Mtn. Horse Camp, and Green Mountain Vista trailheads. A Discover Pass is needed to park at these trailheads. Green Mountain has several trails and roads for miles of running.
A couple of runs to do in Green Mountain are the Green Mountain Long Loop and the Dirty Turtle 25k course. The 12.4-mile loop is pretty easy to follow. Start at the Wildcat trailhead and head south to the Horse Camp Trailhead. Take the Beaver Pond Trail until it meets the Plummer Trail. The trail meets Gold Creek Trail to start heading back to the other side of the loop. Make sure to take Vista Trail to summit Green Mountain. Head back on the trail or the road and continue on the loop via the Wildcat Trail. Once back at the Horse Camp, continue back on Wildcat to the finish.
The Dirty Turtle 25k course uses trails, roads, and a scramble to Turtle Rock to complete the beastly course of 15.6 miles with 3789ft of gain. It starts and finishes at Green Mountain Horse Camp.
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