There are so many paths to explore on the Kitsap Peninsula – tranquil trails and salt-water scented beach walks with stunning views of distant mountains. Charming waterfront communities offer pet-friendly places to stay for you and your furry friend. There are some great pet-friendly places to stay so you can hike all weekend. There’s more, so much more at VisitKitsap.com
Before setting out on your explorations, a reminder to bring a leash (state, city and county parks require dogs to be on leash), a towel to wipe off muddy paws and if you’re parking in a state park, a Discover Pass.
At the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, the Hansville Greenway Wildlife Corridor meanders its way through three county parks. This network of trails takes you from Puget Sound to Hood Canal in an easy 8-mile day hike. Map
Norwegian Point County Park is a scenic waterfront park with impressive views of Puget Sound, Whidbey Island, and ocean-going vessels. It’s a good place to park to begin the trek to Hood Canal. The 20 acre Buck Lake County Park is a pet-friendly park filled with many native plants. It also features a beautiful native plant demonstration garden that was established in 2006 with more than 100 species.
The Point No Point Lighthouse Park was built in 1879, one of the oldest on Puget Sound, and now a vacation rental. The surrounding park has an old growth forest, sandy beaches and low dunes with stunning views of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker to the north.
North Kitsap Heritage Park has over 10 miles of old logging roads and newer, volunteer-built trails for kids, dogs, and horses. The many loops through second growth forests and over boardwalks have signposts at major intersections and are color coded. It’s a volunteer built and maintained the system of trails. Map
In Bainbridge Island, Battle Point Park is a former naval radio station. It’s natural habitat and the level trails make for an enjoyable walk or run with the dog. It features a 1.5-mile walking trail, children’s play areas, separate horse trail and a couple of ponds that attract birds and bird watchers. The 4-mile Cross Island Trail (map) ambles through this city park on its way east to the Grand Forest trails. Map
Newberry Hill Heritage Park is just a few miles west of Silverdale where dogs, horses and mountain bikers enjoy 12 miles of volunteer-maintained trails in this county park. The forest, full of big cedars, hemlocks, and rhododendrons, smells of duff and evergreens. Oceans of sword ferns and a staggering diversity of mosses carpet the forest floor. Map
The Clear Creek Trail is the oldest and the best urban trail on the Kitsap Peninsula. Built in sections as land became available. The 8-mile long trail on both public and private land was built and is maintained by volunteers. In the middle of a highly developed urban area, are trails through remnant forest with views of the salmon-bearing creek from observation decks along the way. Map
Nearby Green Mountain State Forest offers 16 miles of trails for hiking with your four-legged friend, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and camping. Green Mountain, a working forest, is the second highest peak on the Kitsap Peninsula at 1,639 feet. The views of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, Olympics, and Mount Rainier are awesome! Map
A family-owned tree farm open to the public for non-motorized recreation, Ueland Tree Farm in Bremerton is a hiking, biking, and natural habitat paradise. The 2,300-acre tree farm is also a popular year-round destination for dog walkers, horseback riders, and runners. Dickerson Falls is the easiest and most popular hike, only 1.75 miles roundtrip from the Lebers Lane Trailhead. Map
Illahee is a historic waterfront village on the eastern shore of the Kitsap Peninsula with two impressive places to get outside and stroll old growth forests. Illahee State Park is an 86-acre, marine camping park with saltwater frontage on Port Orchard Bay. The park features a magnificent stand of old-growth timber and one of the largest yew trees in the nation grows here. Discover Pass required.
Illahee Preserve Heritage Park is a 545-acre county park maintained by volunteers with 5 miles of groomed trails, over 55 species of birds, a fish-bearing stream with Coho, chum, cutthroat and steelhead and a wonderland of fungi. Map
Groomed, ADA-compliant trails at the picturesque Scenic Beach State Park on Hood Canal has gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains, big, native rhododendrons, huge trees, and scenic shore walks.
At the southern end of the Kitsap Peninsula, take your four-legged friend for a run on the Cushman Powerline Trail with 6 miles of paved, non-motorized trail and plenty of room to accommodate runners, skateboards, and bicycles. The trail takes you through two parks, Grandview Forest Park and Wilkerson Farm Park as well as downtown Gig Harbor. Along the path, you’ll find bike racks, benches and, picnic tables.
In Port Orchard, Banner Forest is dotted with ferns, trees, and various mushrooms this time of year. The 29-miles of trail surround an abandoned 2-mile bumpy access road with a myriad of spurs, most wind their way through a forest of Doug fir with occasional cedars and a few old hemlocks. The road has a gentle grade and offers easy walks for all ages. The trail system is a bit more rustic and popular with mountain bikers. Bring a map. Follow this link to the map.
Also in Port Orchard, is the popular Howe Farm Heritage Park, 83 acres off Long Lake Road, with a segregated off-leash dog park, trails, and a historic working farm. MAP
Spend the night at one of the pet-friendly places and get up and explore some more. A link to pet-friendly places on the Kitsap Peninsula is here.