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Port Madison

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The Port Madison community consists of the northeastern section of Bainbridge Island and is home to Port Madison Bay, Fay Bainbridge State Park, and West Port Madison Nature Preserve (just to name a few). The eastern side of Port Madison is generally what locals deem the “real” Port Madison (which was founded in 1854 by George Meigs when he moved his lumber mill here from Kingston) [1]. Properties in this area can cost top dollar. If you are looking for anything here with a view, you can be fairly certain to pay at least $1,000,000; that is, if anything is on the market. Once residents settle into their homes, they tend to hold on to them which creates low market availability and feeds into the high costs. “What is so great about this place?”, you might ask. Well, in addition to the unique historic flavor, according to one local quoted in a Seattle Times article, “It’s a special spot… it’s tucked away and feels very protected. This isn’t an area that’s apt to change too much” [2]. He also comments about the strong sense of community, the big trees, and the little traffic. But if you are not looking to spend top dollar and you want plenty of options, the western portion of Port Madison has similar features. Of course, this isn’t to say you should abandon east Port Madison altogether. During the current economic changes, you may be lucky enough to find a great home in the eastern side for less than you might expect. East or west, wherever you choose, you will have access to some wonderful assets.

Fay Bainbridge State Park has camping spaces, 1,420 feet of shoreline access, a kayak launch, and picnic shelters that can accommodate upwards of 50 people for a rate of $60 for a 4 hour time block. Port Madison Bay provides some wonderful views and water recreation. Hidden Cove Park features a small picturesque grassy area, a 100 foot long doc, a small .25 mile trail, and access to a 2 mile trail network (just outside the park itself). The 2 miles of trail connect Hidden Cove Park to Hidden Cove Ballfields with two Little League baseball fields and a soccer practice area [3]. Perched on the edge of Port Madison Bay, the Port Madison Yacht Club can be considered the hub of activity for nearby residents. Members can benefit from sailing classes, sail boat races, regattas, and even social events such as salmon bakes and visits from Santa Claus [4]. The West Port Madison Nature Preserve offers protected habitat to native species; the majority of which is unaccessible to humans. However, it does have a small park with a couple picnic tables and a ¼ mile trail to the water [5]. Nearby are also several beach access points, so in case you do not have beach access of your own, you can still enjoy the shoreline. And of course, last but certainly not least is Point Monroe, a small projection of land on the northern tip of Port Madison that features one-of-a-kind homes with two waterfronts (see our Point Monroe article for more details).

Frog Rock, one of Port Madison’s secret landmarks, is proof of the small and quirky joys throughout the area. It is exactly as it sounds– a large rock painted like a frog, slightly hidden from view; a monument for over the past 40 years. Simple and secretive, little hidden gems like this add so much character to the area.

In terms of accessibility, most parts of Port Madison are approximately a 30 minute bus ride, a 45 minute bike ride, or a 10-15 minute drive away from the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry terminal. Filled with big trees, recreation, and a strong sense of community, Port Madison is great for prospective home-buyers with many different interests.