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Trip Report

North Kitsap Heritage Park — Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023

Olympic Peninsula
Artifact along the White Horse Trail

Took Kitsap Fast Ferry to Kingston and then a short ride on route 302 to the bus stop at the trailhead at Miller Bay Rd NE. Sightlines for crossing the road aren't great but we only had to wait a minute or two for a gap to cross. 

Quiet, lovely with the partly sunny day, and very uncrowded along the Spine, Powerline, Bay Ridge, and White Horse Trails. We saw a few folks with their dogs on leashes and very sweet, but alas, two "friendly dogs" not on leashes. I love 'em but as "friendly dogs" tend to be, the owner was unable to maintain voice control over his pets, and some folks are really intimidated by dogs, friendly or not. 

This was my first visit and I was pleased to find that the park offers just the right amount of gentle elevation gain and drop that make for an easy but not overly easy hike.  We did find a dead chickadee (?) on the Powerline Trail, completely intact.

We tried to take the White Horse Trail all the way to Indianola Rd & Kitsap Rd, to catch the bus back from the supposed trail head there, but unfortunately the signage once past the parking lot near 3 Lions Rd was unclear for folks on foot as to how to keep on the White Horse Trail. Although the park's map posted online says that it's a mere 1.3 miles from there to Indianola Rd, we ended up having to walk back to the ferry along the shoulder of Kingston Rd, about 2 miles, and made the 2:30 sailing with minutes to spare. Luckily it was a nice day and we took the opportunity to get oriented a bit better to that part of Kitsap County. In the future might try to enter the trail at Indianola Rd and see if the way on the White Horse Trail is more apparent, and also take the earlier sailing to Kingston to have more time to meander around in the park trails. Definitely a nice journey over the water and into the woods for a day trip. 

EDITED TO ADD  that I returned Feb. 16, this time taking bus route 302 just 10 minutes further, through Indianola, to get off at the stop at Indianola Rd NE & Kitsap St NE. The White Horse trailhead is tucked off to the left next to the fenced-off service road and is well-signed until it ventures into the White Horse Golf Course parking lot, which I cut through to continue on the White Horse into the park proper. So, to depart from NKHP via bus at the Indianola Rd NE/Kitsap St NE bus stop on route 302, take the White Horse Trail south, out of the park. Past the trailhead parking lot, turn right onto the sidewalk at Three Lions Pl., then briefly cut through the golf course parking lot and bear left back onto the signed trail just beyond the golf course's maintenance sheds. The overall signage here is indeed very poor for folks heading southbound, and the trail does not show up on goggle maps, not even on satellite view. 

The White Horse Trail itself south of Three Lions Pl is asphalt, with lots of mossy edges, rolling brief climbs and descents, briefly peeking at the adjacent golf area now and then, but mostly has the feeling of a quintessential mossy PNW forest. On a Thursday midday I ran into one pair of dogwalkers on the White Horse, then one pair of hikers on the Spine Line as I headed NE toward the Norman Rd entrance. A bit muddier in more spots than the previous week's trip, but nothing difficult. I returned via quiet, no-traffic Norman Rd and then the main arterial back to the ferry terminal, which has a sidewalk most of the way.

Along the White Horse Trail
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Diana on North Kitsap Heritage Park

Thanks for your trip report. Did you notice if there are any comfort facilities (porta potty!) at the park?

Posted by:

Diana on Mar 05, 2023 03:50 PM

TransitTrekker on North Kitsap Heritage Park

Hi Diana, there is a portapotty at the Miller Rd NE trailhead. I've also entered from the White Horse Trail and left via the NE corner (forgetting the road name at the moment) and did not notice portapotties at those entrances.

Posted by:

TransitTrekker on Mar 05, 2023 07:10 PM

Diana on North Kitsap Heritage Park

Thank you! Excellent trip report -- I took the ferry/bus to Miller Rd TH and looped thru most of the park -- Nice to know about the facility!

Posted by:

Diana on Mar 13, 2023 10:07 AM

Posted by:

TransitTrekker on Mar 14, 2023 09:35 AM