News

Kingstonites seek path less traveled

KINGSTON — While it’s getting mucky, cold and wet outside, plans to develop some of Kingston’s old logging roads and county easements as hiking trails are receiving some much needed sunlight.

Walt Elliott of the Kingston Parks, Trails and Open Space committee said the idea to make Kingston a trail-connected community is taking shape.

The KPTOS is a sub-committee of the Kingston Citizens Advisory Committee, a county-appointed group of Kingston citizens who keep an eye on development in the area. The group’s walking trail efforts include seeking out old logging roads, county right-of-ways and easements as well as citizen support.

This past summer, KPTOS worked with Kitsap County, the Department of Natural Resources, the Eglon community and Parcel Road residents to connect Eglon and Parcel through a former logging road that is being illegally used as a walking path.

The idea is to turn the quarter-mile stretch of land into a legal easement for citizens to use, Elliott said.

The Department of Natural Resources, which manages the property, is willing to provide Kitsap County an easement that will allow the public to use the old logging road for pedestrian and bicycle use only, he added. The state agency is also working on an agreement with the county to restore the Eglon end of the trail, Elliott said, explaining that the first 300 feet has been washed out.

KPTOS spearheaded a series of meetings earlier this year with Eglon and Parcel residents to collect public input on how the trail should be developed.

Initial feelings from both communities was that trailhead development should be minimal, such as installing signage about the trail and parking restrictions.

“We have to see when people start using it to see what other trailhead development (could be done),” Elliott said. “The current idea is to make (it) more legal and usable. The future development is based on what the community wants and needs.”

For the past year, KPTOS has also been developing a Kingston trails map to be used in conjunction with the county’s proposed Greenway plan, Elliott said.

At Kingston’s town meeting in April, KPTOS accepted public input on what areas could be developed as trails to interconnect the community neighborhoods.

One pathway the organization is working on is a trail between the neighborhoods on Parcel and Lindvog roads.

“We found connecting those two neighborhoods advantageous,” Elliott said, noting there is neither motorized nor non-motorized access between the neighborhoods except State Route 104. Right now, the organization is working to facilitate neighborhood groups that would like to use the trail. County officials plan to map out current easements that could be used for hiking.

While the county decides on which trails to develop, the clearing and upkeep will be the responsibility of the neighborhood groups, Elliott said.

The goal of the trails plan for Kingston is to have something ready for the county when it is ready to adopt the Greenway plan.

“We anticipate the county parks department in the future will be developing an off-roads plan, so we wanted to make sure the trails in Kingston were factored into that,” Elliott said.

As for the much anticipated North Kitsap Heritage Park, an environmental assessment and appraisal is currently taking place on the 400 acres of land owned by Olympic Property Group near South Kingston Road.

Earlier this year, the county proposed to purchase the parcel for a mixed use recreational park using Conservation Funds. The purchase is expected to occur in early 2004.By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

KINGSTON — While it’s getting mucky, cold and wet outside, plans to develop some of Kingston’s old logging roads and county easements as hiking trails are receiving some much needed sunlight.

Walt Elliott of the Kingston Parks, Trails and Open Space committee said the idea to make Kingston a trail-connected community is taking shape.

The KPTOS is a sub-committee of the Kingston Citizens Advisory Committee, a county-appointed group of Kingston citizens who keep an eye on development in the area. The group’s walking trail efforts include seeking out old logging roads, county right-of-ways and easements as well as citizen support.

This past summer, KPTOS worked with Kitsap County, the Department of Natural Resources, the Eglon community and Parcel Road residents to connect Eglon and Parcel through a former logging road that is being illegally used as a walking path.

The idea is to turn the quarter-mile stretch of land into a legal easement for citizens to use, Elliott said.

The Department of Natural Resources, which manages the property, is willing to provide Kitsap County an easement that will allow the public to use the old logging road for pedestrian and bicycle use only, he added. The state agency is also working on an agreement with the county to restore the Eglon end of the trail, Elliott said, explaining that the first 300 feet has been washed out.

KPTOS spearheaded a series of meetings earlier this year with Eglon and Parcel residents to collect public input on how the trail should be developed.

Initial feelings from both communities was that trailhead development should be minimal, such as installing signage about the trail and parking restrictions.

“We have to see when people start using it to see what other trailhead development (could be done),” Elliott said. “The current idea is to make (it) more legal and usable. The future development is based on what the community wants and needs.”

For the past year, KPTOS has also been developing a Kingston trails map to be used in conjunction with the county’s proposed Greenway plan, Elliott said.

At Kingston’s town meeting in April, KPTOS accepted public input on what areas could be developed as trails to interconnect the community neighborhoods.

One pathway the organization is working on is a trail between the neighborhoods on Parcel and Lindvog roads.

“We found connecting those two neighborhoods advantageous,” Elliott said, noting there is neither motorized nor non-motorized access between the neighborhoods except State Route 104. Right now, the organization is working to facilitate neighborhood groups that would like to use the trail. County officials plan to map out current easements that could be used for hiking.

While the county decides on which trails to develop, the clearing and upkeep will be the responsibility of the neighborhood groups, Elliott said.

The goal of the trails plan for Kingston is to have something ready for the county when it is ready to adopt the Greenway plan.

“We anticipate the county parks department in the future will be developing an off-roads plan, so we wanted to make sure the trails in Kingston were factored into that,” Elliott said.

As for the much anticipated North Kitsap Heritage Park, an environmental assessment and appraisal is currently taking place on the 400 acres of land owned by Olympic Property Group near South Kingston Road.

Earlier this year, the county proposed to purchase the parcel for a mixed use recreational park using Conservation Funds. The purchase is expected to occur in early 2004.

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