We are a part of the ecosystem
There are more than 20 miles of trail tread in this two square mile park. Our entire plan for protecting this forest is predecated on users staying on trails. We invite all to come in and hike, mountain bike, ride a horse, jog, or run, but please stay on signed trails.
Rhodie Hill Trail (1.1 mile)
With plenty of work to do, it is hard to prioritize any one trail. Rhodie Hill is a loop trail that leaves and returns to Old Loop Road on the east side of the park. It has a good elevation gain from Old Loop up to the back side of Whisper Ridge. If you are looking for a good cardio workout this is the trail for you. The divide between Little Anderson and Chico Watershed is at the top of the hill as you head east on the southern leg of the loop trail. We have rerouted a portion of the trail and created crossings over Little Anderson Creek to prevent erosion. The trail is in good shape except for one low spot that needs some fill material.
Old Loop Road (2.6 miles)
This is the old road used by DNR to extract logs from the land that is now a park. It is pretty much level, wide and family friendly. It is a good place to hike, birdwatch, walk or jog. Birders like to bunch up so they all can get a chance to see before the bird takes flight and this wide trail is perfect for this activity. Native plants, that produce soft mast for birds, have been planted by stewards along the west side to draw in a wide vatiety of bird species. If you have young mountain bikers this is a good place to ride. It is a 2.6 mile loop, open to pedestrians, horses and mountain bikes. The road prism is also maintained to allow maintenance and enhancement project access, emergency access, forest product extraction, and acts as a firebreak.
Strange Days, Gear Jammer and Ricochet (2.0 mile total)
Mountain bikers enjoy a tight and twisty trail. Three of these can be found in the south end of the park. Gear Jammer , Strange Days (.9 miles) and Ricochet (.5 miles) are a favorite destination for mountain bikers looking for a quick workout. No horses are allowed on these trails as they are prone to "Punch Through" and are near sensitive wetlands.
Wildlife Trail (.8 Mile)
This north south oriented trail is probably the oldest in the park. It is scenic and has an excellent tread that runs along a ridge between two wetland valleys. It will take you past the large Natural Heritage wetland and through some mature stands of fir and cedar. Recent completion of a wildlife viewing platform next to the trail provides a rest stop and bird watching opportunity.
Bird Meadow (.5 mile)
This trail passes through an old DNR log sorting yard. Stewards are maintaining it as a meadow to increase "edges" in the park for wildlife. Raptors and bats hunt here along the forest meadow transition zone. Native plants are being planted, and invasives have been controlled (ongoing process). Rotting logs are left along the meadow edges as habitat for small mammals and amphibians. With the recent completion of the boardwalk, this trail is open year round
Technical Mountain Bike Trails
If you like a little more challenge to trail riding, check out several trails in the north end of the park. Wolf Ridge, Beaver Loop, Deer Loop and Bobcat Run are a popular destination for mountain bikers that like trails tight and twisty. There are over 5 total miles of trails in this 250 acre corner of the park. First time in, take a map. It is easy to get turned around in this end of the park.
We have developed a Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plan for the park. In accordance with state law, we have created an RMAPS Checklist, marked all our culverts, replaced one, and cleaned the rest. This plan primarily affects Old Loop Road, as there are 18 culverts that carry winter rains under this old DNR road. The trail committee is trying to keep Old Loop Road, as a road prism, in order to allow ADA, family hiking and biking, emergency and maintenance access to the parks interior by way of this old road. The new law says we must have a maintenance plan in place OR an abandonment plan in place, by 2016. These culverts have been in the ground for more than 50 years, and are being inspected and cleaned each fall. If you want to read more about the new law click here WFPA's Website.
Finally, RCO and Kitsap County Parks have approved the NHHP Master Plan for Trails. Trail signs have been installed and only signed trails will be open for use by park patrons. The only authorized trail building in our park, are those trails in the Trail Plan approved by Kitsap County Parks and RCO. Taking shortcuts between trails could damage the trails, and wetland habitat, please stay on trails. Conditional approval has been granted by RCO to keep Wildlife and Old Loop open with a Multi Use designation. In order for us to keep Gear Jammer, Ricochet and Strange Days, we had to designate them No Horses, and move the entrances for Gear Jammer and Ricochet out of the wetlands. All other trails within the RCO area, are closed. Three short connector trails will be constructed in the future to access viewing platforms adjacent to the large wetland. These trails will be designated Foot Traffic Only. Parks must file an annual report to RCO showing how the wetlands are being protected and advising them of any problems.
One of the Long Range Objectives for the park is being a good neighbor by respecting the privacy of landowners adjacent to the park. Several private residences have trails leading into the park, and these are signed. Please respect the privacy of these landowners by not going beyond the signs. Thanks(Quoted from Biodiversity of Old Forests of the West: A Lesson From Our Elders by Bruce G. Marcot