Hahobas Shoreline Preserve
A trip to Camp Hahobas, a former Boy Scout camp, feels like a step back in time. Back to a time when Seattle families arrived by small boats to spend a summer camping along the shores of Hood Canal. Arriving at the shoreline today, one travels along a winding North Shore Road, glimpsing waterfalls and ravines, burbling creeks and moss-covered trees. A short walk to the beach reveals stunning views of the Olympics and offers peaceful solitude for those looking to escape their busy lives.
With over half a mile of shoreline, four streams, and forested bluffs, Hahobas Shoreline Preserve provides critical habitat for marine life, birds, and bears. The streams, protected by mature forest along their lengths, bring clean, fresh water to Hood Canal. Surf smelt, a little forage fish eaten by salmon, lay their eggs on the pebble beach. They benefit from overhanging bluffs that provide sand to replenish the beach and eelgrass beds that act as a nursery. Hood Canal summer chum, one of the only regional populations of threatened salmon to be close to reaching recovery goals, make their way along the shoreline to the ocean. Sea lions and orcas hunt in the depths of the water and river otters prowl the shoreline. Eagles, osprey, and sea ducks forage in Hood Canal, while warblers, woodpeckers, and owls nest in the upland forest of hemlock, spruce, and fir.
In 2016, after dwindling numbers of summer camp attendees, the Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America decided to sell all but 120 acres of Camp Hahobas. A partnership was formed to save the remaining 430 acres for conservation, working forest lands, and military readiness. The Trust for Public Land helped shape the deal between the Boy Scouts, Department of Natural Resources, Navy, and Great Peninsula Conservancy. In February 2019, Great Peninsula Conservancy acquired 100 acres of the former Boy Scout camp and expects to purchase an additional 60 acres later this spring.
Camp Hahobas Campaign
Great Peninsula Conservancy received a loan from The Conservation Fund to provide quick funding for the first 100 acres and is pursuing grants to pay back the loan. A capital campaign in March 2019 raised $300,000 to purchase the additional 60 acres.