Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hiking the Kitsap Peninsula

The Kitsap Peninsula juts north into Puget Sound like a big arrowhead. Named after a Native American chief and meaning “brave” or “great,” Kitsap is attached to the mainland by a narrow isthmus making it feel more like an island.
Despite its geographical isolation, however, its proximity to Seattle and Tacoma has led to it being heavily developed. Second to King, it’s the state’s most densely populated county.
Even so, all of Kitsap isn’t covered in urban and suburban development. Large expanses of the peninsula remain fairly rural and undeveloped. The Great Peninsula Conservancy, a Kitsap County Land Trust and the Kitsap County Parks Department have been instrumental in protecting thousands of acres of key shoreline, forest and lakefront.
Hikers, especially, will be pleasantly surprised to find that just beyond the suburban sprawl radiating from Bremerton, some fine destinations await them. And one of the best times to explore the Kitsap Peninsula is now when Washington’s state flower, the Pacific Rhododendron, is abloom and painting the region’s shorelines, ridges, and forests in brilliant shades of pink.
And for more details on hiking on the Kitsap Peninsula pick up a copy of my Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula book which devotes an entire chapter to the Kitsap Peninsula.
(photo-Guillemot Cove on the Kitsap Peninsula)

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