Purdy is a small unincorporated community north of the city of Gig Harbor, on the northern boundary of Pierce County, Washington. It is located on the shores of Burley Lagoon and Henderson Bay of the Carr Inlet. The two bodies of water are separated by a sandspit and the Purdy Bridge. Purdy is the gateway to the beautiful Key Peninsula and is known for its warm, friendly people.
The area was settled in the 1880s. Isaac Hawk purchased the land from the Washington Territorial Government. Horace Knapp purchased 19 acres (77,000 m2) of this land from Hawk in 1884 for the price of $23.75. These acres were made into the town of Purdy (with lots and blocks). In 1885, Josephine Fuller, the first white woman in the area, married Horace Knapp. In 1886, the mill in Purdy secured the first contract to provide lumber for nearby Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. This put Purdy on the map. The mill's success also brought conveniences to the area like a grocery store, and a post office. There was a long chute along present-day 144th Street that brought the logs down the hill to the water.
Purdy is located north of Gig Harbor and has two exits off of highway 16. Both exits loop back onto highway 16 making Purdy a convenient place to stop on your way through the area.
The Purdy Sand Spit is an unimproved waterfront public area that runs right along SR 302. It's 7.5 acre area includes a boat launch.
By airport shuttle
- Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter, ☏ . provides scheduled ground transportation to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to various locations on the Kitsap Peninsula.
- Pierce Transit, ☏ , toll-free: . operates local routes on buses that run on natural gas and connect with other regional transit systems. Pierce transit can also be tracked with a free smartphone app from One Bus Away that provides easy access to real-time transit information for the Puget Sound region and beyond. adult $2 youth .75 and is part of the regional Orca payment system..
- Eagle Island State Park, ☏ . 10-acre marine park with 2,600 feet of saltwater shoreline. There are 2 mooring buoys on the west side and 1 on the east side of this remote island accessible only by boat between Anderson Island and McNeal Island and Purdy is a good place to launch from to go see this park, there are also trails and camping spots and the area is known for the many seals that come to sunbath. The park was named after Harry Eagle, a member of the Wilkes Expedition.
- Purdy Sand Spit (an unimproved waterfront public area that runs right along SR 302). It's 7.5 acre area includes a boat launch. A great place to see water fowl such as sea gulls and blue heron. An occasional seal can be spotted too. "The Spit" as it is called by locals, divides Burley Lagoon from Henderson Bay. It's a popular spot due to its easy beach access, just steps away from the parking spots along SR 302. More of a gravel spit rather than sand this beach is none the less full of sea shells. Every variety of clam can oyster shell can be found easily, moon snails and sand dollars can be found with a little more looking.
- 1 Joemma Beach State Park, 20001 Bay Road KP S, Longbranch, WA 98351. on the Key Peninsula south of Purdy, is a 122-acre marine camping park with 3,000 feet of saltwater frontage on southeast Kitsap Peninsula. Aside from the natural beauty of park and surroundings, the area is an excellent place for fishing, boating and crabbing. Provides a boat launch and water trail campsites, 5 buoys and 500' dock footage.
- Penrose Point State Park, 321 158th Avenue KPS, Lakebay, WA 98349 (16 miles SW of Purdy). Check-in time for camping is 2:30PM, and check-out time is 1PM, Quiet hours are from 10PM to 6:30AM. is a 152-acre marine and camping park on the shores of Puget Sound. The park has over two miles of saltwater frontage on Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet. Wildlife, birds and forested terrain make this a beautiful park. The camp provides 82 tent spaces, (No hook-up sites) one dump station, three restrooms (two with showers). The campground is in the woods, and all sites are shady or partly shady. None of the campsites are on the water, but the beach is only a short walk away. Typical campsites accommodate a vehicle or combination of up to 35 feet. A few sites can handle longer vehicles or combinations, but the campground roadways are narrow and winding. For reservations please see the state reservation website.
Enjoy the fabulous Purdy Spit where beach access is easy. Beachcomb or sunbathe on this mile long stretch of beach that includes a public boat launch. The Purdy Spit and Henderson Bay are popular with jet skiers and wind surfers as well.
Purdy does offer a long sand and gravel beach along the spit. Oysters, clams and moon snails are common sites and seals, otters and eagles are not uncommon.
Be warned that sea shells and driftwood are considered part of the natural environment and should not be removed, however the often rocky and wild shores are havens for creating and revealing beach glass and anything artificial found is fair game for removal. Be respectful of private property and gentle with sea creatures. Keep a wide distance away from nesting birds, seals and other shore animals and always put back anything removed from the shoreline.
The Kitsap Audubon Society has been actively meeting since 1972 and has a broad coalition of birders actively tracking and sharing sightings since then. They also maintain an active website with updates of the latest sightings, suggestions on areas for birders and even a regular newsletter. They also developed a checklist of birds likely to be seen birds in the area.
The state Audubon society developed 'The Great Audubon Birding Trail' which includes key migration flyways. Flyways are major north-south routes of travel for migratory birds and likely areas to see birds along the route extending from Alaska to Patagonia. The nearby Penrose Point State Park south west of Purdy is one of only a handful of locations in the area along the trail and an excellent area for birdwatching. The calm protected waters around Purdy are also popular with birders and many water foul migrate through the area.
The Purdy boat launch is located on an protected bay with a wide variety of birds near Gig Harbor and one of the main launching points for the Key Peninsula Kayak Trail making it an excellent place to start a Sea kayaking adventure and a rewarding way to explore the Kitsap Peninsulas nearly 400 miles of coastline allowing the paddler a closer and slower look at their surroundings and making Kitsap one of the most popular areas to kayak in Puget Sound. Thick forests of majestic pine and deciduous trees and hundreds of creeks and estuaries dot the coastline. Or just explore Kitsaps many harbor towns that cater to kayakers with shops and restaurants accessible from the water. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites while the occasional viewing of an Orca or Grey Whale is not out of the question.
Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate lengths and scenic travel destinations.
- Key Peninsula Marine Trail. Purdy is located at one of the starting points for this forty mile Peninsular Marine Trail with fourteen legs between fifteen points of interest during a paddling journey around the Key Peninsula which includes several state parks and islands.
A fresh food market offering local produce and seafood is located at the north end of the spit that is a great place to stock up on fresh local produce, oysters, and clams are on your way to exploring the area.
The boat launch at the south west end of the spit is small but adequate place to launch an exploration of the area. Fox Island is nearby as well as Eagle Island State Park and Anderson Island. Lakebay and Gig Harbor have the closest marinas offering fuel or just take some time to admire the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from below.
|Routes through Purdy|
|Bremerton ← Burley ←||N S||→ Gig Harbor → Tacoma|