Five years in the making
By KIPP ROBERTSON
North Kitsap Herald Education/Sports Reporter
August 2, 2012 · Updated 4:05 PM
KINGSTON — The North Kitsap community is adding another trail to its list of things to do. This one, however, is liquid.
On Saturday, from 4-6:30 p.m., the dedication of the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail will be held at Mike Wallace Park in Kingston.
The dedication will fall in the middle of Paddle Kitsap after the first day of the event. It’s been five years since the North Kitsap Trails Association and other volunteers of Paddle Kitsap began raising money for the water trail’s creation.
Trails association president Linda Berry-Maraist said the creation of the trail is special for the Kitsap community, and also makes Kitsap a unique destination.
“We have absolutely remarkable shoreline,” she said.
Paddle Kitsap begins on Liberty Bay in Poulsbo. The first stretch leads paddlers past Keyport, Suquamish and finally to Kingston. The second stretch, on Sunday, will take paddlers around the north end into Hood Canal, finishing in Port Gamble Bay.
The route is a total of 35 miles. It is also the water trail being dedicated and will include rest stops in Suquamish, Kingston, Eglon and Hansville. The purpose of establishing a water trail is to ensure anyone using a human-powered watercraft — kayak, paddle board, etc. — that there are frequent, safe places to rest. A portion of the proceeds from Paddle Kitsap will go to the trails association for the purpose of preserving and protecting water access in the area.
A Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails map is available online and has been distributed throughout Seattle. The map includes boat launches, overnight moorage and amenities in north and central Kitsap and Bainbridge.
The water trail is part of the String of Pearls trails plan, approved by the County Commission is November. The plan hinges on acquisition of 7,000 acres of forest and shoreline property owned by Pope Resources. The trails association, the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes, the county and many environmental organizations came together under Forterra, formerly known as Cascade Land Conservancy, to find grants and other funding to purchase the acreage by May 2013.
Shuttles will operate between Kingston and North Kitsap Heritage Park Saturday, 1-5 p.m., for guided trail tours. Shuttle stops: Port of Kingston parking lot, White Horse trail at White Horse Golf Club, White Horse trail at Indianola Road and Kitsap Street, Heritage Park entrance at Miller Bay Road, and Norman Road entrance to Heritage Park expansion property.
For more information, visit http://olympicoutdoorcenter.rezgo.com/details/21584/Paddle-Kitsap.
Contact North Kitsap Herald Education/Sports Reporter Kipp Robertson at email@example.com or (360) 779-4464.