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Kingston Trail Committee

A history of the GPC-Kingston PUD Trails by Carolina Veenstra, Kingston Trails Committee

I first heard about the GPC-PUD trails over 15 years ago at a  meeting in the Kingston area of people interested in the idea of starting a local land trust. Soon thereafter I became involved with Kitsap Land Trust (KLT). A woman named Jeanne Smith approached me in those early days of my KLT involvement. She wanted the backing of the land trust because she wanted to make a proposal to the PUD to allow public use of the trails on their properties. The outcome was an agreement that a local group (the Kingston Trails Committee) would see to maintenance of the trails and that the PUD would allow public use by way of a contract with KLT (now the Great Peninsula Conservancy) to be renewed every 5 years.

Some years after the original proposal, Jeanne learned the PUD was swapping land with an adjacent landowner and building a new water tank. She attended another meeting and proposed that a new trail be created on the land to be traded to replace the trail that would be lost in the trade. After our early attempts to whack a new trail through the thick salmonberry bramble on this property, Jeanne approached the Laborers' School on Ohio Street in Kingston and got them to bulldoze a trail. It took two bulldozings to make the way passable. Through the years volunteers have whacked berry vines, trimmed away nettles, encouraged trilliums and planted trees.

I organize these maintenance days and have for years. We have a core group of about a dozen volunteers, new faces come and some move away. We plan to add to the trail system as neighbors have expressed an interest in extending the trail through their property, looping close to Thriftway. Four Trail Maintenance Days are scheduled this year.

The GPC-Kingston PUD trails are a beautiful oasis. There are some majestic cedar trees in the ravine. These are my favorite residents though I also love the old maples laden with licorice ferns. I often see pileated woodpeckers and owls. My favorite time is in October but also lovely is late May when the trilliums and foamflowers bloom profusely along the stream.



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