Paddle Kitsap rows in Aug. 1

Paddlers hit the waters

in support of community trails.

POULSBO — Calling all paddlers: The waters off North Kitsap are waiting.

Kayaks, canoes and various other man-powered water craft will be hitting the waves from Port Gamble to Poulsbo Aug. 1-2. Called the “best paddle in Washington,” the route is being organized with a double purpose: provide a safe, exciting paddling adventure and raise money to improve North Kitsap’s recreational trail system through the North Kitsap Trails Association.

NKTA board member, event director and Olympic Outdoor Center owner John Kuntz said more than 50 people have already signed up for the inaugural run, and more are welcome. Last minute sign ups go through July 30.

“We’re very excited about it. It’s going to be an awesome event,” Kuntz said. “It’s a great course for paddling.”

Beginners to the advanced are welcome. The paddlers will be near shore both days, and water safety boats will be out and about making sure things go smoothly. Every four nautical miles, or about every hour, there will be a rest stop with bathrooms and grub.

“Our purpose is to raise funds for land and water trails in North Kitsap,” Kuntz said, adding the event is one meant to benefit all the communities in the North End. “By promoting trails we’re actually promoting tourism for North Kitsap. It’s kind of a win-win for everyone, not just for the paddlers.”

Paddlers can check out more information at the event’s Web site,

Not to be forgotten is the Kingston Harbor Days event, which this year is happening in concurrence with Paddle Kitsap.

Organizer Nancy Martin said Harbor Days, which will run July 31-Aug. 2, is happy to have Paddle Kitsap join in the fun.

Paddlers will amalgamate in Kingston Thursday evening, head out Friday for a day of paddling, and camp out once again in Kingston Friday night.

The Kingston Rotary Club will host its beer garden, and food vendors and bands will be on hand to entertain not just the nautical endeavorers, but anyone from the community who’d like to join.

Even after the paddlers are gone, Kingston’s party will continue. Saturday night will mark the first of five free concerts the Downtown Kingston Association will be hosting through the month of August. At each, the Kingston Rotary beer garden will be raising funds for area parks and schools, Martin said.

“The whole community is invited to come down to the port and share in the concerts and the beer garden and to welcome the paddlers,” she added of Harbor Days. “We really want the public to come down.”

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