There’s no better way to explore the Kitsap Peninsula’s spectacular 370+ miles of shoreline than by water and the Kitsap Peninsula National Water Trails (KPNWT) gives you a chance to see our natural beauty from a new perspective.

The only nationally designated water trails in the state of Washington and the only salt water trails in the National Water Trails System, the KPNWT is a series of launch and landing sites that take visitors to some of the peninsula’s most beautiful locations, including parks, beaches, marinas, nature preserves and boat launches. Want to get away from it all? This is the place to do it!

Amenities at nearly 100 stops on the KPNWT include parking, kayak and paddleboard rentals, restrooms, overnight moorage and camping. Many are also close to hotels, restaurants and microbreweries. Explore a segment of the trails for a day trip or string together several for a multi-day journey. While the trails are accessible to all boaters, they are designed to enhance the experience of visitors in human-powered and beachable crafts, such as kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, rowing shells and dragon boats. Click here for a downloadable map.

A great way to experience the trails is during our annual Kitsap Peninsula National Water Trails Celebration Ride the Tide, a paddle journey from Tracyton to Port Orchard which takes place in June. Click here for a schedule of events and here for more summer water trails events.

The water trails follow the shorelines of Bainbridge Island and the Key Peninsula, as well as the Kitsap Peninsula, and include recently added stops at Skansie Brothers Park in Gig Harbor and the Port of Allyn in Mason County.

Tour any section of the trails and you’re guaranteed breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains, frequent sightings of soaring bald eagles and great blue herons, and friendly interest from harbor seals. If you’re lucky, you might even see an orca or two.

If you’re new to water sports, there are several well-protected spots for beginners including Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay, Silverdale’s Dyes Inlet and Kingston’s Apple Tree Cove.

Bring your own equipment or rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards from Olympic Outdoor Center in Poulsbo, Port Gamble and Silverdale.

Click here for more information on the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails and the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails Alliance that made it possible. To plan your trip, click here.

Happy (water) trails to you!