The property has a small gravel parking area on 104 about a mile south of Port Gamble.
What you see is likely what you’ll get, Baker said. No significant improvements are planned for the near future, and trail maintenance will largely fall to the property’s user groups.
The planned Sound to Olympics Trail will eventually pass through the property. The trail’s proposed route stretches from Winslow on Bainbridge Island to the Hood Canal bridge. From there it, will may connect to the Olympic Discovery Trail, which wanders west past Port Angeles.
“This is a big building block for the trail,” Gelder said.
Much of the property was logged 40 or 50 years ago. Now dominated by thick stands of firs and alders, it likely would have been logged again in the near future. Houses, lawns and roads would come next, Baker said, noting that Pope Resources has long planned to develop the site for a couple dozen homes.
The county is taking steps to increase the property’s forest diversity. Since February, thousands of cedars have been planted, and plans are taking shape to selectively log areas that are so thickly wooded that the forest floor is nearly of bare of ferns and shrubs.
The property was purchased with a series of grants and contributions, including $1.25 million from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, $1 million from National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program and $1 million from the Washington Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account.