Cabin Nights And A Hike On Kitsap Peninsula
Two State Parks & A Trail
Sometimes you just need a few days away from the pull of home and work. A chance to rest, relax and explore was what we wanted and what we found. On the Kitsap Peninsula you’ll find Belfair State Park, Scenic Beach State Park and Gold Creek Trail. We spent a coupe of nights in a cabin at Belfair State Park, hiked Gold Creek Trail and explored Scenic Beach State Park. Waterfront, forest, mountain views and starry nights were healing elixirs.
Belfair State Park
We arrived at our cabin in Belfair State Park around 4PM on Thursday evening. The park was pretty quiet, and we were the only ones staying the night within cabin sites 5-8. We unloaded all we had packed for the next two nights, this included our typical camping gear, hiking gear, and bedding. Afterward, we set out to explore the park.
Located on the shores of Hood Canal, this park provides many activities not far from the city. The cabins sleep up to six people, two double beds and a single top bunk bed. It also provides heat and electrical outlets. The nearest restroom and shower facility is only a short walk across the parking lot. The cabin boasted plenty of windows as well as a full concrete covered porch and side patio area, which included a picnic table and fire pit with a sidewalk leading to the parking lot. This was one of the better cabins we’ve rented in the Washington State Parks system.
We took a stroll through the park. We started by heading to the shoreline and observing the many birds and other water life. We then walked through the tent site campground which included cabin sites 1-4. Our path led us back to more shore exploration.
There are creeks that empty into the Hood Canal here, and with the ebb and flow of the tides, the land is broken up into small islands as you would expect to see in the many sloughs that are common to the PNW. We hopped from one patch of grassy earth to another, inspecting the plant life and creatures inhabiting this brackish ecosystem.
We soon made our way back to our cabin. The sun would be setting shortly, but we still needed firewood, among a few other supplies. We drove the short distance back into town and stopped off at the local QFC to pick up what we needed. Upon our return, we started our fire, made some dinner with our JetBoil, enjoyed a drink and just relaxed. There’s a certain peace in watching the light of day fade to a blackness bejeweled with stars. We retired to the cabin soon after and slept well.
The next morning we woke around 8AM, explored the waterfront again, then made our way across the street to a coffee shack. After returning to the cabin, we put on our hiking gear, situated our packs, got in the Jeep and made a 30-minute drive to the Gold Creek Trail trailhead parking lot.
Green Mountain and Gold Creek Trail
The parking lot contained several cars already and was quite large. There are vault bathrooms and places to mount horses. The trailhead was clearly marked, and the trail of rocky, packed earth started at a mild climb under the cover of trees. We crossed many bridges over small creeks and wound our way in and out of the trees as we ascended. Logging had recently been done here, and sections of the trail brought us out into the open offering some lovely views.
There are a number of trails winding their way through this area, but all are clearly marked, and the path seemed well maintained. We turned back toward the trees and continued upward. We soon arrived at the parking lot of the Green Mountain Vista trailhead. A picnic table gave us a place to lay our packs while we took a bathroom break and had a snack. From here the trail is not as clearly marked, but continuing past the parking lot maybe ½ a mile further is a viewpoint. This spot is mostly cleared of trees and has a picnic table. A patch of boulders with fencing at the cliffside offers distant views of downtown Seattle. Today was a bright, sunny day and our view was unobstructed. We had the place to ourselves for a few scant minutes, then other hikers arrived.
Having taken in the views and enjoyed a small snack, we started our return journey. The way back is always quicker than the hike up, but we took moments to admire the pine cones, mosses and various flora of our surroundings. The day had warmed significantly, so the shade of the forest was most welcome. We made it back to the parking lot without incident and set out to explore another nearby park.
Visiting Scenic Beach State Park
Scenic Beach State Park is another park that borders the Hood Canal. Its rocky shoreline provides views of the Olympic Mountains. On the grounds, you will also find a historic homestead and old cabin. This is a well-kept park with trails, footbridges and lots of tree cover. Picnic tables are to be found throughout the park, as well as bathroom structures. Ours was just a quick visit, but this is a park we will return to!
Belfair State Park provided a quiet, relaxing temporary home for a couple of nights. This was the shoulder season, so we didn’t have to contend with any crowds. We were snug in our cabin during the chilly evenings or by the fireside on the patio stargazing. We were in close proximity to town, hiking opportunities, and other parks, so we didn’t lack for activities. Kind of a perfect weekend, plenty to do if we wanted, but ample atmosphere for relaxation.
Check out these parks, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Helpful Information & Links
Trail Coordinates: 47.551864, -122.826764
Trail Length: 5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1,000'
Time Hiking: 2 hours 45 minutes
Pass Required: Discover Pass