North Kitsap Heritage park is a not-so-secret gem

It’s easy to forget what we have in our backyard when the Olympic and Cascade mountains seem to be so close for a hike.

But there’s drawbacks. Crowded trails, the headache of fighting traffic or trying to catch a ferry are a few reminders a weekend or day-trip escape isn’t always the most relaxing. Not to mention the expense.

That’s why sometimes it’s a better option to stick close to home. But where?

A rescue marker shows the way for visitors at the North Kitsap Heritage Park near Kingston. The nearly 800-acre park is open year round and has about 10 miles of trails.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

The North Kitsap Heritage Park trails in Kingston, a nearly 800-acre park, is nestled southwest of Kingston and north of Indianola. All manner of floral, fauna, and moss-draped trees fill the lush forest and wetland landscape. It is managed by the Kitsap County Parks Department and maintained by volunteer stewards. The nearly 10-miles of trails are well maintained and marked with available topographical maps at the entrance for park visitors. There’s single track, dirt and paved trails, as well as road and rescue markers all along the trial. 

The park is open to walkers, bikers and equestrians — and yes, it’s very dog friendly. Dog waste bags are available at the parking lot entrances.

The main entrance to the park is located on the east side of Miler Bay Road. Other parking lots are located near Norman Road, South Kingston Road, near White Horse Golf Course and Indianola Road.

The trails can be easy or arduous — depending on your fitness level. They are family and senior friendly. Need to work on your cardio? The trails are great for running. 

If you work up an appetite after exploring the trails, head over to Grub Hut or the Kingston Ale House for a bite to eat in Kingston. The Suquamish Museum is less than five miles away and makes for a nice end to a fun day or drive south along Miller Bay road toward Suquamish for a picturesque sunset overlooking Port Madison Bay.

The Cascade mountains peak out from Suquamish overlooking Port Madison Bay in the late afternoon on Dec. 26, 2019. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
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