Building Trails For The Future
Our mission is to unite North Kitsap County with a regional system of land and water trails connecting communities, parks & open space, that promotes stewardship of natural resources and enhances our communities’ livability.
RAISE Grant Recipients Announced
$16.13 Million Grant Awarded for PS2P
U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that the City of Port Angeles has been awarded a $16.13 million RAISE Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This grant will be used to plan and design approximately 34 active transportation components, addressing approximately 100 miles of gaps, community connections, and safety improvements for multi-use trails connecting Bainbridge Island, Kingston and Port Townsend ferry terminals on Puget Sound to the Pacific Coast.
Imagine a trail that reaches from the Puget Sound to the Pacific Coast
Puget Sound to Pacific
Imagine a trail that reaches from Puget Sound to the Pacific Coast, linking the small towns, rural communities and views of our spectacular mountains and waterways with a safe multi-use trail. One hundred miles are complete after 35 years of hard work by advocates and local agencies that know the value of giving people a place to get outside. That leaves only one hundred miles to build to fill the gaps and complete the connections for all our communities.
Only 8 Board Positions Filled
NKTA Seeking New Board Members
NKTA fulfills several functions in carrying out it’s mission to improve non-motorized, multi-modal transportation in a more sustainable Kitsap County. Our most visible role is to plan and organize trail improvement projects in existing parks and open space.
However, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Our most important functions entail advocating for regional non-motorized transportation routes like the Sound to Olympics Trail and the Great American Rail Trail.
NKTA partners with like-minded non-profit organizations like the Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation, the Peninsula Trails Coalition, Leafline Trails Coalition and the Heritage Park steward groups. We also monitoring local government agencies to ensure that they include non-motorized transportation in their long-range plans.
Only 8 of NKTA’s 14 board positions are currently filled to accomplish all these tasks. If you have an interest in promoting trails in our community, please send us an email at email@example.com or talk to a board member. The main requirements are a love of trails and a willingness to help expand them throughout North Kitsap.
Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park
Community fundraiser reaches goal to preserve timber rights
DID YOU KNOW: When Kitsap County acquired Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park in 2017, the community raised funds to acquire the land, but could did not raise enough money for the timber rights on most of this “Upland Forest.” Rayonier, Inc. thus retained the right to harvest trees one time through 2042 and has so far harvested about 650 acres under the terms of the original agreement.
To preserve some of the remaining trees Forterra, in partnership with Our Forest Fund, the original Kitsap Forest & Bay Coalition, and Kitsap County launched a campaign on August 15 to acquire up to 756 acres of mature timber from Rayonier, Inc. The campaign targeted critical forest areas around valuable wetland habitat, older mature forest, existing trails, and the envisioned Sound-to-Olympics Trail. Despite having only 11 weeks the campaign succeeded in raising the almost $4 million needed from county, state, and anonymous donor. The amount includes some $500,000 required from community donors in local match. This campaign closed in December 2023 transferring 756 acres of mature forest stands to Kitsap County Parks.
Securing these forest stands through the purchase of timber rights assures that mature forests will exist in the near-term at these important locations. Nearly 450 donors and dozens of volunteers are to credit for the success of this campaign. "Clearly people place a high priority on conserving forests as crucial to wildlife habitat, quality of life, and mitigating the climate crisis."
Landscapes of Change EPISODE 3: Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park
Pacific Horticulture has just published a 15-minute video with photos and movie clips of Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park with commentary by community leaders. The history through which these 3,500 acres were conserved by visionary community fundraising is highlighted. And the amazing ecological restoration opportunity for habitat and compatible human use is featured.
Go to the video with this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWPl_xtbrwA&t=0s
After hand-building and maintaining Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park's pedestrian-only "Bluff Trail" over the past 6 years, NKTA has turned-over the tasks to Poulsbo's Crossroads Rotary and Silverdale Rotary Clubs. They have partnered in the formal adoption of these scenic (and relatively flat) trail loops overlooking Gamble Bay. This trail is being planned as the most accessible, family-oriented hike in the Park.
Rotary Club Adopts the PGFHP Bluff Trail
The Club's collaboration with NKTA for the past couple of years doing trail safety upgrades, forest restoration, installing 3 benches at waterfront overlooks and 8 new parking stalls, has helped fostered them to lead future Bluff Trail improvements with the Park's Staff and Stewards.
Did You Know...
All-terrain wheelchairs available to borrow
Parks, trails, and beaches are now more accessible with all-terrain
Wheelchairs. The Kitsap County Accessible Communities Advisory Committee is excited to announce a partnership with Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation District to provide two Hippocampe All-Terrain Wheelchairs to borrow at no charge with a small refundable damage deposit. The chairs can be transported to other areas of the county. For more information or to reserve a chair, visit the Bainbridge Island Parks Gearbank at https://biparks.org/gearbank/
100 Acres Acquired to Expand the Hansville Greenway!
GPC's newest acquisition, outlined here in orange, adds 100 acres to the Greenway, which is owned by Kitsap County Parks and maintained by the Hansville Greenway Association.
North STO Feasibility Study Update
Kitsap County Public Works Department is holding public meetings on a planning and engineering study to select a preferred route for the North STO Segment connecting Kingston and Port Gamble. This is the 3rd & final STO Port Gamble to Kingston routing study.
For more info. go to:
Speaking of the STO
NKTA board Members Linda Berry-Maraist and Doug Maraist holding new STO Wayfaring signs. Although the STO is a long way from complete NKTA has been putting the wayfaring signs up where possible to raise community awareness about the future route.
The Sound to Olympics Trail was featured in the Leafline newsletter. Leafline is a regional organization dedicated to connecting the trail networks across the Central Puget Sound to provide equitable access, health benefits and recreational
opportunities for all.
Go to http://leaflinetrails.org/ for more information on Leafline
Kitsap County partnered with the Leafline Trails Coalition, in partnership with King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and other trail advocates, to connect nearly 450 miles of trails throughout the central Puget Sound region, including the Sound to Olympic Trail. Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder said that. “Being a part of the Leafline Trails Coalition is a fantastic opportunity to partner with neighboring counties to expand awareness of non-motorized commuter routes, improve public health and increase accessibility to our natural resources.”
Public Facilities District Grant
In Fall 2022 the Kitsap Public Facilities District awarded $1,697,556 to Kitsap County for Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Projects: development of a comprehensive Park master plan, construction a mountain bike ride park, design and permitting of the Sound to Olympics Trail and installing parking, bathrooms and other amenities. Work is progressing despite the Covid-19 quarantines.
STO Construction Grant
Earlier steps in developing the Sound to Olympics trail are starting to show results. In 2018 the County completed a feasibility study for the STO route through the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park and last fall the Public Facilities District grant provided some funding for STO design work. With that foundation in place Kitsap County recently
obtained a nearly $2 million in federal grant towards construction of a northern portion of that trail within the Park. Design and permitting is expected to get underway in 2022.
REI Grant for Trails
REI has provided us with a $7,500 grant for trail improvements. Projects will include completing the trail overlooking Gamble Bay and adding safety railing, benches and a sign commemorating the area's history. Also included is work on upland trails in the Port Gamble Heritage Park and signage along the intended Sound to Olympic Trail route.