The 141-acre property on Harstine Island is not yet an official
state park but it is open to the public. No signs mark it as a
state park property and there are no park amenities, such as
parking, bathrooms, trash cans or running water. Basically, it’s a
big undeveloped property with what park officials say is one of the
best beaches in the region. Click here for a
bunch of park planning documents on the property.
Before I give the directions, I want to note that the property’s
use as a public park has been controversial with some folks in the
neighborhood. They’re worried about traffic, trash, noise, fires,
trespassing and other negative side effects that they say come with
a state park. One reader told me this week that “No Trespassing”
signs are cropping up like weeds in the area. Thankfully, all the
readers of this blog are smart, considerate people so I don’t even
have to mention that you should never litter, start illegal fires,
trample nearby commercial shellfish beds or do anything that
violates the rules of conduct at a state park.
OK, so to get there from Kitsap, head south on Highway 3. About
20 minutes after passing through Belfair, get ready to make a left
on East Pickering Road. Take Pickering across the Harstine Island
bridge and then take a right on South Island Drive. Take a left on
Harstine Island Road and then a right on Ballow Road. Continue on
Ballow a little more than a half mile. Where Ballow veers sharply
to the left is where you should start looking for a spot on the
roadside to park.
As I mentioned above, Fudge Point has absolutely no parking.
Park staff have told me you can park along the road but you have to
be careful about driveways and the sensitivities of nearby property
In the road’s bend (opposite from a clear cut) are two
side-by-side driveways. The driveway on the right is the access road into
the Fudge Point property. The other driveway (without a gate) is
private. So remember: no gate = stay out. Gate = go right in. The
gate is locked and no motorized vehicles are allowed on the park
property. The driveway, actually a former logging road, is about a
mile long. You can walk it, or better yet, mountain bike it.
The above map shows the logging road’s route in yellow.
At the beach you can enjoy a 3,000-foot-long stretch of sand, a
lagoon rich in wildlife and some great views of the Key Peninsula
and Mount Rainier.
As you can see from the above video, the 1.5-mile-long route is
mostly a plan at this point. There are two finished sections, but
Chris had to join with vehicle traffic a few times and ride along a
few narrow shoulder sections. Read more about her ride
The path has been in development for about five years. The
completed route will run from the Annapolis ferry dock (where Chris
starts her ride) to
Port Orchard Marina Park. Recently, the state chipped in $3.5
million to help construct the east portion of the route.
Two guys fishing for salmon north of Seattle came home with
quite a fish tale. Make that a squid tale.
Brought in by the tide on Sunday morning was what might be a
robust clubhooked squid. Dwellers of the deep, these real-life sea
monsters rarely make their way into Puget Sound. When they do,
they’re usually found dead like this one was. This may be due to
the sound’s shallower depths, higher temperatures and lower
salinity. Basically, the squids need it cold, dark and salty.
The squid, which was found on Shoreline’s Richmond Beach, was
partially eaten and was missing at least one tentacle. It was just
under 7 feet long and was estimated to be about 65 lbs.
Chinook salmon fishing along Kitsap’s north shore will close
early this season.
State fishery managers expect the catch quota for Marine Area 9
to be met by the end of this weekend. Area 9 includes the waters
off the north end of Kitsap, from the Hood Canal bridge to
Kingston. See map (left).
Starting Monday, fishing for coho and pink salmon will still be
allowed but chinook must be released. The daily limit for the area
will be two salmon plus two additional pink salmon.
State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife fishery manager Ryan Lothrop
said anglers have done well in the area. Chinook fishing was set to
close Aug. 15 but anglers have already caught about 80 percent of
the catch quota.
As of today (July 23), anglers had caught an estimated 1,953
chinook in Marine Area 9. The catch quota for the area is
Beginning Monday, anglers will be able to fish for salmon in the
area south from the line between Foulweather Bluff and Olele Point,
Lothrop said. This section of Marine Area 9 was closed during the
chinook fishery. Anglers fishing in this section have the same
daily limit for salmon as the rest of Marine Area 9.
Photo: Anglers cast off Point No Point on Kitsap’s north
end. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
A cyclist trying to “leave no trace” sparked a wildfire that has
burned more than 70 acres near Boise.
Firefighters say the cyclist made a pit stop in a ravine in the
Boise foothills yesterday. After relieving himself, the cyclist lit
his toilet paper on fire. An ember caught the wind and set a patch
of dry grass ablaze.
“He thought he was doing the responsible thing by getting rid of
the toilet paper but quickly realized the fire was out of his
control,” Boise firefighters said in a statement.
An interagency firefighting organization issued a very earnest
public advisory urging people to “bury human waste” and refrain
from burning soiled toilet paper.
The cyclist confessed to the TP torching and apologized. He was
cited, fined and may be held responsible for some of the Boise Fire
Department’s costs once they are tallied.
Photo: Wildfire in Hulls Gulch Reserve near Boise, Idaho.
Courtesy of the Boise Fire Department.
“We wanted to know our share of that $22 billion,” said Peter
Herzog, assistant director of Washington State Parks.
The spending is on everything from wedding bookings and camping
fees to gas and food.
I’ll have a story about the report later this week.
Park officials will be sure to send the report to the state’s
elected leaders. The Legislature has been chipping away at
tax-supported funding for state parks for years. To fill the gap,
state parks instituted the Discover Pass, raised fees and took a
more “entrepreneurial” approach to park management.
Showing state parks’ big dividends could sway some leaders to
invest more in the park system, Herzog said.
In a rare visit to Kitsap, the Washington State Parks Commission
will hold its regular meeting at Poulsbo City Hall next week.
The two-day meeting marks the first time in seven years the
commission has met in Kitsap. The commission holds seven meetings
at locations across the state each year.
The Poulsbo meeting’s agenda on Wednesday includes reports on
climate change, forest stewardship, the state budget’s funding for
state parks and an inter-agency workplan for the Discover Pass. On
Thursday, the commission is set to make decisions on selling a
31-acre Squaxin Island property to the Squaxin Tribe and a
management plan for the newly-acquired
Fudge Point property on Harstine Island in Mason County. The
public is invited to comment on state park issues starting at 9:35
a.m. on Thursday.
On Friday morning, the commission will tour Manchester and Blake
Island state parks in South Kitsap.
The commission’s last Kitsap meeting was in Silverdale in
Last year, the commission met in Chehalis, Winthrop, Bellingham,
Illwaco, Spokane and twice in Olympia. Its meetings in 2015 have
been in Olympia, DuPont and Cle Elum. After Poulsbo, they’ll meet
in Spokane, Stevenson and Gold Bar.
“These meetings are in different placed to give (the commission)
a chance to talk with local elected officials and let the public
come and listen,” parks spokeswoman Virginia Painter said.
State parks estimates that the property’s sale would generate
about $45,000. The money could only be used only to acquire new
The Fudge Point plan is aimed at balancing recreational uses and
environmental preservation on the 114-acre property. The property
has not yet been designated a state park. The plan calls for the
development of 20 acres for parking, bathrooms, campsites and other
recreational uses. About 10 acres, including a
lagoon and stream mouth, would be protected for wildlife.
Wednesday’s workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday’s regular
meeting is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full agenda is available
I would not have bet that the backers of Illahee Preserve would
raise more than $30,000 over the last four days.
When I called Jim Aho yesterday to check on the fundraising, I
expected to hear a dejected, deflated voice.
“We made it!” Jim blurted before I could say why I called.
Amazingly, Jim and and the other members of Illahee
Forest Preserve managed to turn a lagging fundraising effort
into a powerhouse, almost overnight. Yesterday was their deadline
for fundraising, and by the morning, Aho had $7,000 more than the
$30,000 needed to fill the gap on the 25-acre purchase. By the
afternoon, more pledges and donations had streamed in, putting the
overflow at close to $20,000.
Any money raised beyond the purchase of the 25 acres will go
toward buying the entire Timbers Edge property, which totals 36
Budget-makers grabbed $300,000 out of the Puget Sound
Acquisition and Restoration program and put it toward the purchase
of 25 acres adjacent to the Bremerton-area preserve. The
appropriation happened in the final stage of capital budget
negotiations, long after most spending measures were locked in. The
budget was signed by the Gov. Jay Inslee early this week.
Credit goes to Rep.
Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) for snagging the $300,000. About
two weeks ago, she received an email from Illahee Forest Preserve
board member Irwin Krigsman.
“He asked for help and said they needed money,” Appleton said.
“The capital budget wasn’t done, so I went to the budget chairman –
and he’s a very big preservationist – and then the money showed up
The House budget chairman is Hans Dunshee, a Snohomish County
Democrat. His campaign
site bills him as a “gentle green giant.”
Advocates for the preserve’s expansion now have to come up with
just under $30,000 before July 6. Yep, that’s in just four
July 6 is when the process for closing on the property, known as
Timbers Edge, must begin, according to an agreement struck with the
property’s owner. Raising $30,000 in less than a week won’t be
easy, but it’s not impossible, said Jim Aho, an Illahee Forest
Preserve board member.
“Thirty-thousand dollars is much more do-able compared
$300,000,” he said. “Now we’re going to go out and start beating
Pledges keep coming in, but they remain small.
“Some are $25, and some are $100,” he said. “Last night we got
one for $150, and hopefully we’ll be seeing some for $500.”