Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve
Visitors to Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve start their adventure by hiking through groves of mature bigleaf maples and tunnels of huckleberry down to a wetland where Boycee Creek meets the Hood Canal. Beyond the marsh you will find a secluded beach with some of the best views of the Olympics, and especially The Brothers. This diverse mix of habitats (mature forests, riparian, wetland, and shoreline) are home to over 70 species of birds, including eagles, a variety of warblers, and seabirds like pigeon guillemots, loons, and black scoters. Visitors to Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve can delight in the natural soundscape of birdsong, rustling leaves, and lapping waves.
Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve is owned by Kitsap County Parks, but Great Peninsula Conservancy played a key role in expanding the reserve to its current 184 acres. In 2002, life-long conservationists Joseph and Margaret Miller generously donated their 25-acre property along Boycee Creek to Great Peninsula Conservancy. Their property was nestled between Kitsap County’s Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve and forests owned by the WA Department of Natural Resources, and protecting it secured a continuous forested stretch of several hundred acres along Hood Canal. Kitsap County expressed interest in incorporating the Miller property into the Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve to expand its wildlife habitat, and in 2003 Great Peninsula Conservancy transferred ownership of the Miller property to Kitsap County with strict stipulations that it be integrated into the nature reserve and never developed.