Master Trails Plan

Master Trails Plan
Mason County
Regional Trails Plan
For the Development of Countywide Trails,
Bikeways and Water Trails
Adopted March 18, 2008
Mason County Board of Commissioners
Prepared by
Mason County Department of Parks and Trails
Mason County Regional Trails Committee
and
Mason County Department of Community Development
Mason County Public Works
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Mason County Commissioners
Lynda Ring Erickson, Chair
Tim Sheldon
Ross Gallagher
Mason County Department of Parks and Trails
John Keates, Director
Mason County Regional Trails Committee (2007)
Tori Dulemba
John Eaton
Herb Gerhardt
Sam Jarrett
Mike Jensen
John E. Johnson
Thomas Kimball
Dave O’Connell
Anastasia Ruland
Jesse Sims
Jack Sisco
Jim Tobey
Dutch Van Elk
Reed Waite
Don Welander
Ann Whitman
Technical Assistance
Sue Abbott, Community Planner
National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program
Susie Graham, Recreation Manager
Hood Canal Ranger District (ONF), U.S. Forest Service
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Mason County Trails Committee (2005)
The 2005 Committee prepared the Mason County Master Trails Plan,
“A Framework for Countywide Trail Development,” which provided the basis for this plan.
Dave O’Connell, Chairman
Jeff Carey, Vice Chairman
Frank Benavente
Maureen MacCracken
Joetta Anderson
Jean Bonzer
Janet Shonk
Carleen Coker
Walt Hitchcock
Paul Eveleth
Bob Barnes
Cheryl Weston
Dana Tilton
Steven Anderson
Brad Carey
John Johnson
Tom Moran
Mason County Planning and Public Works Support Staff
Barbara A. Adkins, AICP, Planner III, Dept of Community Development
Robert Fink, AICP, Planning Manager, Dept of Community Development
Allan Borden, Long Range Planner, Dept of Community Development
Doug Micheau, Director, Dept of Parks and Waste Management (2005)
Lurleen Smith, GIS Manager, Dept of Public Works
Dave Whitcher, P.E., Transportation Planning Engineer, Dept of Public Works
Bill Bullock, Transportation Planning Engineer, Dept of Public Works
Consultants
SKOOKUM PEAK CONSULTING
Ken Wilcox, Principal Planner
Bud Hardwick, Associate Planner
Kris Berger, Associate Planner
NORTHWEST TRAILS INC.
Gerry Wilbour, Project Design Consultant
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Mason County, Washington
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Vision Statement ........................................................................................ 8
1. Introduction ............................................................................................ 9
1.1 What is a Regional Trails Plan?...................................................... 9
1.2 General Policy Statements ............................................................. 10
1.3 Related Planning Efforts ................................................................. 10
2. Plan Development Process .................................................................... 11
2.1 A Framework for Countywide Trail Development ............................ 11
2.2 The Mason County Regional Trails Plan......................................... 12
2.3 Plan Adoption and Future Updates................................................. 12
3. Development Policies for Trails and Bikeways ....................................... 14
3.1 Destinations....................................................................................
3.2 Population Center Linkages and Mobility ........................................
3.3 Local Circulation .............................................................................
3.4 Trail System Opportunities .............................................................
3.5 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails........................................................
3.6 Water Trails ....................................................................................
14
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15
15
16
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4. Trails and Bikeways in Mason County .................................................... 18
4.1 Trails (Off-Street Facilities) .............................................................
4.2 Trail Access and Related Facilities .................................................
4.3 Bikeways (On-Street Facilities).......................................................
4.4 Countywide Trail and Bikeway Systems .........................................
4.5 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails........................................................
4.6 Water Trails ....................................................................................
18
28
30
32
43
45
5. Community Need for Trails and Bikeways .............................................. 49
5.1 Needs Overview .............................................................................
5.2 Level of Service (LOS)....................................................................
5.3 Need for Water Access and Water Trails ........................................
5.4 State and National Trends ..............................................................
49
51
52
53
6. Key Issues and Opportunities................................................................. 55
6.1 Regional Connections.....................................................................
6.2 Public Safety ..................................................................................
6.3 User Conflicts .................................................................................
6.4 Trail-Related Facilities ....................................................................
6.5 Public Transit..................................................................................
6.6 Private Forest Lands ......................................................................
6.7 Utility and Railroad Corridors ..........................................................
6.8 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails........................................................
6.9 Water Trails ....................................................................................
6.10 Beach Access...............................................................................
6.11 Private Property and Vandalism ...................................................
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6.12 Environmentally Sensitive and Critical Areas................................
6.13 Low-Impact Development.............................................................
6.14 Public Health and Fitness.............................................................
6.15 Economic Benefits of Trails and Bikeways ...................................
63
63
64
64
7. Facility Design: Standards and Guidelines ............................................. 65
7.1 On-Street Facilities.........................................................................
7.2 Off-Street Facilities.........................................................................
7.3 Trail Design Options.......................................................................
7.4 Accessible Trail Design Standards .................................................
65
68
68
71
8. Recommendations ................................................................................. 73
8.1 Trail Planning and Development..................................................... 73
8.2 Public Participation......................................................................... 73
8.3 Other General Recommendations .................................................. 74
8.4 Trails and Bikeways: Priority Projects............................................. 76
8.5 Trails and Bikeways: Focus Areas.................................................. 90
8.6 Trailheads and Trail-Related Facilities............................................ 101
8.7 ORV Recreation in Mason County.................................................. 103
8.8 Mason County Water Trails ............................................................ 104
9. Funding and Implementation.................................................................. 106
9.1 Estimating Costs ............................................................................ 106
9.2 Short-term Priority Projects: ........................................................... 107
9.3 Potential Funding Sources ............................................................. 110
10. Public Involvement ............................................................................... 115
10.1 Public Meetings ............................................................................ 115
10.2 Public Surveys.............................................................................. 117
Appendix A, Benefits of Trails and Greenways........................................... 121
Appendix B, Washington Safe Routes to Schools Program ....................... 128
Appendix C, Trails System Data ................................................................ 130
Tables and Figures
Table 4–1, Existing Trails in Mason County..........................................
Table 4–2, Existing Trails on Federal Lands in Mason County .............
Table 4–3, Trails on State Lands in Mason County ..............................
Table 4–4, Trails on Mason County-Owned Lands...............................
Table 4–5, Trails on City of Shelton Lands ...........................................
Table 4–6, Trails on Quasi-Public and Private Lands ...........................
Table 4–7, Trail Access and Related Facilities .....................................
Table 4–8, Popular Cycling Routes ......................................................
Table 4–9, Potential Trail Corridors: Local Trails ..................................
Table 4–10, Potential Trail Corridors (by land manager) ......................
Table 4–11, Potential Trail Corridors: Regional Trails...........................
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Table 4–12, Potential Bikeways............................................................ 41
Table 4–13, Water Access: Sites and Facilities .................................... 46
Table 4–14, Potential Water Access Sites (undeveloped)..................... 47
Table 7–1, Guidelines for Medium-Standard Trails ............................... 70
Table 7–2, Guidelines for Hiker, Equestrian and Mountain Bike Trails.. 70
Table 7–3, Draft Guidelines for ADA-Accessible Trails ......................... 71
Table 8–1, Short-term Priority Trail Projects ......................................... 77
Table 8–2, Mid-term Priority Trail Projects............................................ 82
Table 8–3, Short-term Priority Bikeways............................................... 88
Table 8–4, Mid-term Priority Bikeways.................................................. 89
Table 8–5, Trailhead Recommendations ..............................................102
Table 8–6, Water Trails: Short-term and Mid-term Priorities .................104
Table 9–1, Short-term Projects: Funding and Implementation ..............108
Table 9–2, Short-term Projects: Suggested Timeline............................109
Figure 4–1a through 1d, Existing Trails in Mason County ..................... 22
Figure 4–2, Existing Trailheads ............................................................ 28
Figure 4–3, Popular Cycling Routes ..................................................... 31
Figure 4–4a through 4d, Potential Trail Corridors in Mason County...... 34
Figure 4–5, Potential Bikeways ............................................................ 40
Figure 4–6, Trails at Tahuya State Forest............................................. 44
Figure 4–7, Water Trails: Sites and Facilities........................................ 48
Figure 7–1, Typical Multi-use Path (WSDOT) ....................................... 66
Figure 7–2, Typical Bikelane Cross-Sections (WSDOT) ....................... 67
Figure 7–3, Typical Trail Cross-Sections .............................................. 69
Figure 8–1a through 1d, Trail Priorities................................................. 78
Figure 8–2, Potential Bikeway Priorities................................................ 87
Figure 8–3, Focus Area Locations ........................................................ 91
Figure 8–4, FOCUS AREA 1: Camp Govey.......................................... 92
Figure 8–5, FOCUS AREA 2: Shelton Area.......................................... 93
Figure 8–6, FOCUS AREA 3: Kennedy Creek ...................................... 94
Figure 8–7, FOCUS AREA 4: Harstine Island....................................... 95
Figure 8–8, FOCUS AREA 5: Belfair-Theler Wetlands ......................... 96
Figure 8–9, FOCUS AREA 6: Mason Lake-Twanoh State Park............ 97
Figure 8–10, FOCUS AREA 7: Menards Landing-Jiggs Lake ............... 98
Figure 8–11, FOCUS AREA 8: Hoodsport-Lake Cushman ................... 99
Figure 8–12, FOCUS AREA 9: N & S Forks Skokomish River ..............100
Figure 8–13, Proposed Trailheads........................................................101
Figure 8–14, Water Trail Priorities ........................................................105
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
VISION STATEMENT
The vision for the Mason County Regional Trails Plan is to cultivate a public and
systematic approach to developing trails and bikeway systems in Mason County that
include on- and off-street facilities linking communities, neighborhoods, parks, points of
interest, schools and other public facilities throughout Mason County, while also
providing links to regional trail systems.
Goals:
•
To promote a regional sense of community and improved quality of life for county
residents.
•
To boost economic benefits to local communities through increased property
values and new opportunities for recreation and tourism.
•
To provide more opportunities for recreational activities that promote health and
wellness.
•
To provide safe and environmentally friendly non-motorized transportation
alternatives, including both on-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities and offstreet trail systems that serve the needs for walking, hiking, horseback riding,
cycling, mountain biking and related activities.
•
To support motorized trail opportunities throughout the county.
•
To support water-trail activities (canoeing and kayaking) along Mason County’s
extensive marine shore.
•
To provide connections to the unique history, heritage, and natural beauty of
Mason County.
•
To provide for public involvement and agency coordination in the development
and maintenance of the Mason County trails system.
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1. INTRODUCTION
1.1.
A Regional Trails Plan for Mason County
This Regional Trails Plan provides the parameters and guidelines for establishing local
and regional trail systems within Mason County by defining local values, needs,
expectations, and opportunities. It provides a common vision for the community, and a
framework for the actions of individuals, businesses, and institutions, including Mason
County. Specific action items are identified which must be implemented in order to
achieve the vision of regional systems of trails and bikeways. At the same time, a
degree of flexibility should maintained in order to accommodate changing circumstances
and new opportunities that might arise.
Through this planning process, the issues confronting the development of trails have
been transformed into a mission and a set of goals that reflect the desires of the
community and provide the impetus for action. The plan represents a consistent and
justifiable continuum of ideas, beliefs, and values that define the mission and vision of
the trails system. It is the blueprint for decision-making that addresses both long term
and short term needs. It is by nature interactive, involving internal and external
stakeholders, including those responsible for implementation.
This Regional Trails Plan also provides the basis for comprehensive and well thought
out trail design and development which will provide for outdoor recreation, improve nonmotorized transportation opportunities, enhance motorized recreation (through further
planning and feasibility efforts), protect environmental quality, preserve and enhance
visual quality and character, and help generate potential economic benefits to
communities.
The plan identifies major trail systems that currently exist within Olympic National Forest
and Olympic National Park (107.5 miles), and motorized (ORV) trails that are currently
maintained by the Washington Department of Natural Resources at Tahuya State Forest
(208 miles). These totals, however, can be misleading. There are only about five miles
of trails in the City of Shelton, 2.7 miles of trails on quasi-public lands such as Theler
Wetlands at Belfair, and only 1.2 miles of trails on Mason County properties. With most
existing trails highly concentrated in just a few areas, trails are substantially lacking
across much of the county. Designated bikeways in Mason County are also lacking.
To address these deficits, this plan identifies more than forty miles of short-term-priority
trails and more than a hundred miles of mid-term priority trails that could potentially be
developed for non-motorized users over the next five to ten years. While these are
ambitious targets, they include several regional corridors, some of which follow rail and
power transmission lines. The trail systems envisioned can help connect communities
(Shelton to Belfair, for example), while also linking parks and recreation lands with
affordable and enjoyable facilities for hikers, equestrians and cyclists.
Recommendations for these and other facilities, including motorized and water trails, are
provided in Section 8.
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1.2.
General Policy Statements
The following policy statements provide generalized answers to the why’s and how’s of
trail planning in Mason County. These policies represent the context for an overall trail
plan that serves the needs and interests of both urban and rural communities, including
residents and visitors alike.
1.2.1. Mason County should consider trails and bikeway systems as essential
elements for quality of life.
1.2.2. Mason County should promote environmental protection and education in
the design and development of both on- and off-street facilities.
1.2.3. Mason County shall consider public safety in the design and development of
facilities.
1.2.4. Trails and bikeways should be used as a means of promoting tourism and
economic development.
1.2.5. Trails should be designated and constructed as multipurpose when and
where appropriate.
1.2.6. Trails should be integrated with the county transportation system to provide
or facilitate alternative modes of non-motorized transportation to further
enhance multi-modal transportation opportunities in Mason County.
1.2.7. Trails should be integrated with the designation of open space corridors and
should be identified in the Comprehensive Plan and future updates.
1.2.8. Mason County should consider any potential impacts on adjacent properties
when determining trail location and use.
1.2.9. Mason County should consider and develop long range trail planning with a
view to 2055.
1.2.10. Mason County should consider the need for emergency services, including
law enforcement, when planning and developing new trails.
1.3.
Related Planning Efforts
This plan complements other plans in the region that have either been adopted or are
currently in development and which may have potential value in implementing or
promoting the goals and objectives of this plan. These plans include:
•
Mason County Comprehensive Plan
•
Mason County Parks and Recreation Plan
•
Shelton Comprehensive Plan
•
Allyn UGA Subarea Plan
•
Belfair UGA Plan
•
Washington State Trails Plan
•
Olympic Discovery Trail Plan
•
The Washington Coastal Corridor–U.S. 101 Corridor Master Plan
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2. PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
2.1.
A Framework for Countywide Trail Development
In September of 2004, the Mason County Board of Commissioners signed a Resolution
that would establish the Mason County Trails Committee. The Committee was charged
with creating a draft Master Trails Plan for a countywide trail system that would connect
communities, parks, and public facilities throughout Mason County and provide links with
other regional trail systems. The Board of Commissioners appointed a committee
representing a cross-section of citizen affiliations including:
Mason Transit
Hoodsport Community Events Association
Peninsula Regional Transp. Planning Org.
4-H
Port of Shelton
Future Generations Hospital Guild
Backcountry Horsemen of Washington
Washington Department of Transportation
City of Shelton Planning Advisory Committee
Mason Co. Planning Advisory Commission
Residents for the Preservation of the
the Quality of Life on the Hood Canal
Washington Trails Association
Port of Hoodsport
Mason Matters Youth Committee
Washington State University
Black Hills Audubon Society
Washington State Parks
Mason County Rodeo
Allyn Community Association
Goldsborough Creek Runs
Port of Tahuya Advisory Board
Shelton Schools
Grapeview Community Group
The Board of Commissioners selected the Committee members in October of 2004 to
serve for a term that concluded on March 31, 2005. The first meeting of the Trails
Committee was held on November 22, 2004, allowing approximately four months to
complete the Trails Plan. Taking into consideration the Committee’s time constraints for
developing a plan, a “Framework for Countywide Trail Development” was developed as
a foundation document to be incorporated into future Mason County planning efforts.
During the early stages of the planning process the Committee was asked to participate
in several exercises to help understand each member’s interests in trail types, trail
designs, trail amenities, and trail locations. Each member completed an Interest Survey
and results were distributed to the Committee as a whole to bring out interest
commonalities. The Committee also identified potential trail user groups not represented
during the planning process. In addition, the Committee was asked to participate in a
visioning exercise that prompted them to envision a trail system twenty years into Mason
County’s future. Broken into groups, the Committee illustrated their vision for trails on
large county maps and more themes and commonalities were discovered. The
Committee developed a framework of policies and action items to be incorporated into
future plans and plan updates. The policies found in Chapter 3 of this Plan largely
reflect the work of the 2005 Trails Committee.
The Trail Committee recommended the following steps be taken in order to complete the
trail planning process:
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•
Develop and/or identify specific trail projects.
•
Provide for a system of prioritizing and ranking of projects
•
Develop a financial strategy for plan implementation and incorporate into the
annual Capital Improvements Program process and annual operation and
maintenance budgets.
•
Incorporate the plan into the updated Comprehensive Plan and updated parks
plan.
•
Provide for periodic reviews and updates of the plan and its implementation
progress.
This plan is consistent with the 2005 committee’s recommendations.
2.2.
The Mason County Regional Trails Plan
To complete the work begun in 2005, the county obtained a planning grant and received
an award of planning assistance from the National Park Service Rivers and Trails
Program in the fall of 2006. A consultant was hired in early 2007 and a new Mason
County Regional Trails Committee was formally appointed by the Board of
Commissioners in January 2007. An initial meeting was held in Shelton on February 9,
2007. Subsequent meetings were held each month at various locations around the
county, including Allyn, Union and Belfair.
The 2007 Regional Trails Committee reviewed the Framework for Countywide Trail
Development developed in 2005 and, with assistance from staff, recommended minor
changes to the Vision Statement and some of the policies. The Committee explored and
discussed all elements of the plan, including trail types, design alternatives, existing and
potential trails, access issues, the needs of various trail user groups, action items, and
funding sources. A revised trails survey was reviewed and put forward to gather
additional information from the public concerning the types and locations desired for new
trails in the county. The Committee dedicated considerable time to identifying trail
system priorities throughout the county and developed a list of “dream trails” that would
provide the most benefit to users. Many of those trails are identified as priority projects
in this plan.
The Regional Trails Committee also met to explore specific needs and opportunities of
the various user groups; to consider the kinds of information that should be provided for
new trails recommended in the plan; to discuss criteria that could help determine
priorities; and to discuss ways to encourage public participation in developing and
implementing the plan. Once a preliminary draft was completed, public meetings were
held in Shelton, Belfair and Hoodsport where county staff, consultants, and the National
Park Service representative attended to present the information, answer questions, and
invite citizens to share ideas or concerns. The plan was further revised and forwarded to
the Mason County Planning Advisory Commission for review in early November 2007.
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2.3.
Plan Adoption and Future Updates
Once adopted, this plan should be incorporated into other related plans by reference.
As the Mason County Comprehensive Plan and the Mason County Parks and
Recreation Comprehensive Plan are updated, reference should be made to this
Regional Trails Plan to ensure consistency and to allow better coordination of policies
and projects as the various recommendations and action items in this plan are
implemented.
Specific priority projects identified in this plan should be integrated into the county’s sixyear Capital Facilities Plan and budget, including approximate time frames and funding
sources required for implementation. High-priority non-motorized transportation projects
should be identified in the six-year Transportation Improvement Program.
The Mason County Regional Trails Plan should be updated at regular intervals of
approximately five years (or six years maximum to maintain eligibility for several
important grant programs administered by the Washington Recreation and Conservation
Funding Board).
The “salmon trail” at Kennedy Creek is not only an enjoyable stroll,
but also an outstanding educational facility for local schools.
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3. DEVELOPMENT POLICIES FOR TRAILS & BIKEWAYS
The following policies are intended to help guide future development of trails and
bikeways in Mason County. Policies address a variety of concerns, including preferred
destinations, population center linkages and mobility, local circulation, and trail system
opportunities generally, as well as off-road vehicle trails, and water trails for paddlers.
3.1.
Destinations – Trails should lead to or between communities, parks, schools,
libraries, community centers, and other specific points of interest or attractions.
Policy Statement: Mason County shall encourage the development and maintenance of
trails that provide access to and between urban communities, including a variety of public
sites and facilities; historic, natural, recreational, cultural, and tourist-oriented points of
interest and attractions; and other local and regional trail systems.
Destinations for trail systems include:
a) Historic sites, such as unique buildings, bridges or other structures; sites of
significant events in history; and historical logging roads and railroads.
b) Natural areas, such as unique ecosystems (from lowlands to highlands-saltwater to
mountains); parks and protected areas; Green Mountain State Forest; birding trails
linked with Thurston and Grays Harbor Counties; the Theler Wetlands Center and
future Pacific Northwest Salmon Center at Belfair; interpretive trails on Goldsborough
and Kennedy Creeks; and the 4H Camp at Panhandle Lake, among others.
c) Parks and other recreational sites and facilities, including federal, state, county, and
city parks and other public lands; ballfields; links to Jefferson, Kitsap, Grays Harbor,
Thurston and Pierce County trails; potential “around the Sound” and “around the
Olympic Peninsula” bikeways; and waterfront access areas.
d) Tourism sites and attractions, such as tourist services and amenities; sites of
interest; destination trails; and bike touring routes.
e) Other public facilities, such as schools, libraries, and community centers.
f)
Cultural sites, such as Pioneer Cemetery; Skokomish Tribal Center; Squaxin Island
Tribal Center and Visitors Museum; and unique cultural or archaeological sites where
public access is appropriate.
3.2.
Population Center Linkages and Mobility – Trails should provide access and
mobility to, from, and between population centers.
Policy Statement: Mason County will strive to establish non-motorized trail linkages
between population centers, to popular destinations within and outside the county, and to
regional bikeways and trail systems.
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Examples of population center linkages include: urban areas of North Mason to Shelton;
Shelton to Olympia; a Kamilche connection; a Tahuya/Dewatto connection; links
between Union, Alderbrook, Belfair, Tahuya, Allyn, and Bremerton; Hoodsport to Lake
Cushman; and links to other nearby communities in adjacent counties.
3.3.
Local Circulation – Trails and bikeways should facilitate non-motorized
transportation within urban areas and Rural Activity Centers (e.g. Hoodsport).
Policy Statement: Mason County will work to provide alternative routes of circulation for
bicycles and pedestrians within local communities, including trails that allow non-motorized
access to various urban destinations (e.g. schools, ball fields, downtown areas, and
commercial and residential districts); circulation within the local area; and access and
integration with public transportation systems.
a) Mobility is served by establishing safe, convenient connections, such as multi-use
trails from Hoodsport to Foothills Park, from SR 300 in Belfair to Sandhill Park, or
from downtown Shelton to the Mason County Recreation Area, as just three of many
examples.
b) Access is served by a “backbone” system with spurs and offshoots that provide
connections within and between communities, local neighborhoods and commercial
centers.
c) The Safe Routes to Schools program can enhance bicycle and pedestrian access for
kids as well as the general public. Access to parks and public ballfields, school
district athletic facilities, and similar sites could be enhanced, such as in North
Mason with school connections to Sandhill Park, Hoodsport to Foothills Park, and in
the Shelton area with connections to the Mason County Recreation Area.
3.4.
Trail System Opportunities – Trails should be designed or located to serve a
diversity of users and to take advantage of existing and future opportunities.
Policy Statement: Mason County will strive to implement potential and existing
opportunities for trail system development consistent with the goals and policies of this plan.
The County recognizes many potential and existing corridors as potential trail locations,
including public lands and public rights-of-way; railroad and utility corridors; private forest
lands where such use is allowed by the landowner; and in open space areas within
commercial and residential development projects where trail improvements are provided or
may be required through the development approval process. The county will seek to form
partnerships that foster trail development and expansion.
Opportunities for trail creation include:
a) Existing and abandoned rights of way, such as railroad corridors, or in some
instances, active railroads where train speeds and frequencies are relatively low.
b) Public roads and road shoulders, such as the U.S. 101 corridor connecting to
Jefferson and Thurston Counties, the Cloquallum Road leading to Grays Harbor
County, SR 106 from U.S. 101 to Belfair, and many other county roads and state
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highways within Mason county where conditions exist or could be improved to
accommodate non-motorized use.
c) Logging roads, particularly those that have been or are expected to be
decommissioned.
d) Utility corridors, such as the Tacoma Power and Bonneville Power Administration
transmission line corridors.
e) Existing and planned parks, ecological reserves (e.g. Theler Wetlands), and
open space areas.
f)
Other public lands and facilities.
g) Private lands, where public access is made available, or where new commercial
and residential development result in dedicated rights-of-way for trails.
h) Existing or planned trailheads or other trail-related facilities consistent with
subarea plan policies.
i)
Trail-related partnerships with other public or private entities, such as cities,
counties, state and federal agencies, businesses, institutions, schools, land
trusts, interested landowners, user groups, and civic and volunteer organizations.
j)
Intergovernmental agreements, such as a greenways program with the City of
Shelton, or various planning efforts within urban and rural communities that
incorporate trails and bikeways as part of GMA compliance.
k) Regional trail projects, multi-county bike routes, and regional trail programs, such
as user guides and the development and implementation of state trails and
bicycling plans.
l)
Development of missing links necessary to connect existing trails and to help
expand the overall system.
3.5.
Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails – Certain trails should be specifically designed
to accommodate ORVs as an acceptable use, including dedicated or shared-use trails
that lead to regional parks or other sites that allow ORV use.
Policy Statement: Mason County shall evaluate the need for the development and
maintenance of specific trails for use by ORVs.
a) A feasibility study of ORV opportunities, perhaps building on the results of a
similar 2007 study in Jefferson County, should be considered by the county.
b) While this plan is primarily focused on addressing the needs of non-motorized
users, the importance of ORV trails in Mason County should be acknowledged
and addressed through a more focused planning effort that could potentially
begin with the feasibility study noted above.
3.6.
Water Trails – Trails that utilize, promote, and provide access to and within
Mason County’s many lakes, rivers, and extensive marine waters should be
encouraged and expanded.
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
17
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Policy Statement: Mason County shall consider marine and fresh water resources as vital
recreational opportunities and should utilize and promote access and sustainable use of
these resources in its system of trails. Access to lakes, rivers, and marine shorelines,
including day and overnight parking areas, hand-carried boat launching sites and facilities,
restrooms, camping and picnicking areas, and other related fresh and saltwater activities
should be encouraged. In recognition of the importance of protecting public health, when
establishing water and shoreline trails near shellfish resources Mason County shall ensure
adequate restroom/sanitary facilities are provided and maintained.
a) Examples of water resource recreational activities include:
•
Canoeing and kayaking
•
Scenic enjoyment
•
Birding and wildlife observation
•
Shellfish harvesting
•
Fishing
•
Educational/interpretive opportunities
•
Water trails for kayaking and canoeing
•
Natural shoreline and beach walks
•
Boating and boat launching
•
Swimming, wading, and diving
b) Day and overnight parking facilities should be provided at appropriate locations
and intervals to help accommodate safe and efficient access to shorelines.
c) The development of new or upgraded water-trail launch sites and campsites
should be consistent with the goals and policies of the region’s Cascadia Marine
Trail, a designated National Recreation Trail.
d) Where practical, launch sites and pull-outs should include shared facilities that
also serve other forms of shoreline access, such as parking, picnic areas,
interpretive facilities, restrooms, and trails.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
18
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
4. TRAILS AND BIKEWAYS IN MASON COUNTY
4.1 Trails (Off-Street Facilities)
General Observations
Most publicly maintained trails in Mason
County are found on federal lands and
within a few Washington state parks.
Extensive trail systems can be found in
Olympic National Park, Olympic National
Forest, and associated wilderness areas.
Together these areas account for more
than 85 percent of all maintained nonmotorized trails in the county. Most state
parks have one or two short paths,
typically a nature loop in forest or a minor
trail to a beach or viewpoint. Some of
the more enjoyable paths on state park
lands include nature trails at Twanoh and
Harstine Island State Parks.
Nature trail at Potlatch State Park.
Very few trails are found on other public lands, including those of Mason County and the
City of Shelton. Short nature trails are available at the county’s Truman Glick Park and a
path surrounds ballfields at Sandhill Park. In the City of Shelton, the Huff and Puff Trail,
at just under two miles in length, is perhaps the most developed trail on public lands
near a population center. Also in Shelton, several short paths exist in city parks, while
on the north end, a cluster of paved paths along busy streets help provide safe routes to
schools.
The most developed non-motorized trail system in the county, excluding federal lands, is
an attractive network at Theler Wetlands, a quasi-public reserve near Belfair. Here, an
exceptional system of trails and boardwalk meanders through forest and wetlands along
the Union River estuary at the head of Hood Canal. Elsewhere, short “salmon trails”
have been developed (on private land with public access) along the lower reaches of
Goldsborough and Kennedy Creeks in the southeastern part of the county.
For purposes of this plan, all maintained trails on public and quasi-public lands (areas
regularly accessible to the public) were inventoried. In total, approximately 123.6 miles
of non-motorized trails were identified, including 107.5 miles on federal lands; 7.0 miles
on state lands (excluding Tahuya State Forest, discussed below); 5.2 miles within the
City of Shelton; 1.2 miles on lands managed by Mason County; and 2.7 miles on quasipublic lands. Existing trails are summarized in Table 4–1 and Figures 4–1 a through d.
The only designated motorized trails in Mason County are at the Tahuya State Forest
where the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages approximately
208 miles of trails for off-road vehicle recreation (including road sections integral to the
trail system). A loop trail of 13 miles is open to four-wheel drive. Much of the balance is
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
19
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
either ATV (“quad”) trails or narrower single-track trails for motorcycles. Many quad and
single-track trails are utilized by a few equestrians and mountain bikers on weekdays
when ORV activity is diminished, although non-motorized use is relatively light overall.
In terms of use, all non-motorized trails are open to walking or hiking and several routes
on federal lands offer opportunities for multi-day backpacking trips. Horseback riding is
allowed on most trails on federal lands but is not generally accommodated on other
public or quasi-public trails. However, equestrians often ride on private forest lands,
including Green Diamond properties, and on other state and federal lands where they
may utilize logging roads, old grades, and informal trails not officially recognized by the
land manager. Mountain biking occurs in similar areas, however most maintained trails
on federal lands, including national park and wilderness areas, are not open to bicycles.
Trails accessible to each of these user groups are discussed later in this section.
Table 4–1
Existing Trails in Mason County
Land Manager
Federal Lands
Olympic National Park (NPS)
Olympic National Forest (USFS)
Miles
Stock
Total
44.2
63.3
107.5
8.5
31.5
40.0
0.0
32.1
32.1
Total
6.6
0.1
0.3
7.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
1.2
5.2
2.7
9.1
123.6
208.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
40.0
0.0
0.4
2.7
0.0
3.1
35.2
0.0
State Lands
Washington State Parks
2
Washington DNR Non-motorized
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Other Lands
Mason County Parks
City of Shelton
3
Quasi-Public
Total
Total Non-motorized
Washington DNR Motorized (ORV)
1
Bicycles
1
Only the North Fork Skokomish Trail is maintained for stock. Another 18 miles are open to stock but not
recommended due to poor trail conditions or difficult terrain.
2
Many trails at Tahuya State Forest are open to non-motorized use but are not included in the totals since
the vast majority of use is by ORVs.
3
Where public access to maintained trails is accommodated (e.g. Theler Wetlands).
Trails on Federal Lands
On federal lands within Mason County there are approximately 107.5 miles of
maintained trails, including 44.2 miles in Olympic National Park and 63.3 miles in
Olympic National Forest. These trails are maintained by the National Park Service, the
U.S. Forest Service, youth crews, and volunteers affiliated with several user groups, and
other organizations. The totals include trails located within three designated wilderness
areas managed by the two agencies. The Olympic Wilderness includes most national
park land within Mason County. The Wonder Mountain Wilderness is wholly contained
within the county, and the Mount Skokomish Wilderness extends into Jefferson County.
All trails on federal lands within the county are non-motorized. Trails on national park
and national forest lands are listed in Table 4–2 and illustrated in Figure 4–1a.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
20
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–2
Existing Trails on Federal Lands in Mason County
Trail Name
Total
Miles
Closed to
Stock
Closed to
Bicycles
Olympic National Park
Big Cedar Nature Trail
Black and White Lakes Primitive Trail
Flapjack Lakes Trail
Four Stream Trail
Gladys Divide Primitive Trail
Hagen Lakes Route
Mount Olson Way Trail
North Fork Skokomish River Trail
O’Neil Creek Route
Putvin Primitive Trail
Shady Lane Trail
Six Ridge Primitive Trail
Smith Lake Primitive Trail
Staircase Rapids Nature Trail
Wagonwheel Lake Trail
Olympic National Park
0.1
2.6
4.1
2.6
1.4
0.8
4.9
8.5
1.4
0.6
0.9
9.8
2.1
1.1
3.3
44.2
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Olympic National Forest
Big Creek Loop
Big Creek Upper Loop and Ellinor link
Brown Creek Nature Trail
Church Creek Trail
Church Creek Shelter Trail
Copper Creek Trail
Dry Creek Trail
Elk Lake Trail
Hamma Hamma Beaver Pond
Jefferson Pass Trail
Jefferson Ridge Trail
Lena Lake
Living Legacy (CCC) Interpretive Trail
Lower South Fork Skokomish River Trail
Mildred Lakes Trail
Mount Ellinor
Mount Rose
Pine Lake Trail
Putvin Trail
Spider Lake Loop Trail
Upper South Fork Skokomish River Trail
Olympic National Forest
1.1
5.3
0.8
1.7
0.7
2.4
8.5
1.1
0.3
1.1
2.9
1.5
1.3
10.3
4.4
3.1
4.6
2.4
3.0
1.9
4.9
63.3
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Total Federal Lands
107.5
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
X
X
X
X
MARCH, 2008
21
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Trails on State Lands
State-owned lands of interest in Mason County include those managed by Washington
State Parks and Recreation Commission (WSPRC), the Department of Natural
Resources (DNR), the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Department of
Transportation (WSDOT). Trails on these lands are summarized in Table 4-3 below.
In Mason County, nearly all maintained trails on state lands are within five state parks:
Harstine Island, Jarrell Cove, Lake Isabel, Potlatch and Twanoh, which together provide
about 6.6 miles of walking trails. Most of the total is found at Lake Isabel where old farm
roads are utilized as trails, and at Harstine Island State Park where walking paths lead
through forest to a scenic beach on Case Inlet. There is good potential on virtually all
state park properties to enhance trail systems and amenities for users.
On DNR lands, only the short path to Price Lake north of Dow Mountain is maintained
for non-motorized use. Trails at Tahuya State Forest, though developed mostly for
motorized use, are open to non-motorized users. However, for inventory purposes, the
trail miles are attributed to ORV recreation. Elsewhere, logging roads and other old
grades are commonly used by hikers, bikers and equestrians. DNR lands near Dow
Mountain above Hoodsport and at West Tahuya offer much potential for localized trail
networks, trailheads, and regional connections for non-motorized users.
WDFW provides public access and boat launching facilities at most lakes and at a
number of marine shore locations in the county. Sites are generally small and most are
intended to accommodate fishing and waterfowl hunting. A short, scenic path at
Oakland Bay is of interest to pedestrians and potential exists at several other sites for
short nature trails and access to viewing areas and walkable beaches.
WSDOT maintains a number of state highways in Mason County, all of which are
generally open to bicycle and pedestrian use. Highway corridors with sufficient right-ofway width offer the potential for developing parallel sidepaths in strategic locations that
can help connect a regional system of trails and bikeways.
Table 4–3
Trails on State Lands in Mason County
Land Manager / Site
Washington State Parks (WSPRC)
Harstine Island SP
Lake Isabel SP
Potlatch SP
Twanoh SP
Jarrell Cove SP
Total WSPRC
Other State Lands
Oakland Bay access (WDFW)
Price Lake (DNR)
Total non-motorized
Washington DNR
Tahuya State Forest (motorized)
Total DNR (motorized)
Total State Lands
MARCH, 2008
Miles
Stock
Bicycles
1.5
2.9
0.4
1.0
0.8
6.6
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.3
0.1
7.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
208.0
208.0
215.0
0.0
0.0
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
22
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
~ .,
....;
,.
...,>
..·,.
·'
;
,,.. '•'
• Existing Trails
Mites
/""-../ Hiker-only trails
0
2
3
4
5
, ......,__,, Trails open to stock
..···-.,..•·· Trails open to bicycles
,.- ....., Trails open to bicycles and stock
Figure 4-1a
NW Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/ 11 /08
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
23
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
l<fTSAP COUNTY
0
Trai l
• Existing Trails
Miles
/'"'.../ Hiker-only trails
0
2
3
4
5
, ..., __,. Trails open to stock
..···-.,..•·· Trails open to bicycles
,.- ...,., Trails open to bicycles and stock
Figure 4-1b
NE Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/ 11 /08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
24
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Trumj!n Glick
€ ounty Park
.,
Truman Glick
Forest li-ail
Matlo~k
• Existing Trails
Miles
/"".../ Hiker-only trails
0
2
3
4
5
, .......,__,, Trails open to stock
..···-.,..•·· Trails open to bicycles
,.-....., Trails open to bicycles and stock
Figure 4-1c
SW Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
M ason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/ 11 /08
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
25
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Skokomish
Tribal Nation
r: J
l(
.> _
_2_ Mason Cou'r,ity:,
Recreation t.
•
Huff-n·Pu,I!J .-r
"trail j / '# -i
.
·1_
-
r - '··4
- - -- L~----,
l
Are: J
c-J
I
-
I'.
!
_-:,
~-..;-;., n .
-··n
-Y
.."11 .
-~'"'- ......... _
. • r
Goldsb9 rough ~- Shelton
Cr~k "tra il
L_J . __, ·
'+
Lake Isabella
State Park
'lhlils
~
• Existing Trails
Miles
/'"'.../ Hiker-only trails
, .......,__,. Trails open to stock
..···-.,..•·· Trails open to bicycles
,.-....., Trails open to bicycles and stock
0
2
3
4
5
·• ·
•
Figure 4-1d
SE Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails. by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/ 11 /08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
26
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Mason County Trails
Mason County properties include a number of parks, undeveloped park land, water
access areas, and an extensive road network. The only maintained trails of significance
on county land are short nature trails at Truman Glick Park in western Mason County
and a path around the ballfields at Sandhill Park north of Belfair. Other parks could be
enhanced with new trail development, such as a perimeter loop jogging/walking/biking
trail at the Mason County Recreation Area, a new trail from Jiggs Lake to DNR lands at
West Tahuya, and a small network of trails at the proposed new park on Oakland Bay.
County park properties will be critical to expanding opportunities for trail-based
recreation in Mason County.
Within the county road system, as with state highways, parallel paths and shoulder
improvements in strategic locations could be highly beneficial to pedestrians and
cyclists. A parallel path along Harstine Islands’ North Island Drive is one such
opportunity that was suggested by island residents. Paths along North Bay Road north
of Allyn and along SR 3 and SR 300 in Belfair have also been suggested. (Other
possibilities are noted in Section 8 of this plan.)
Table 4–4
Trails on Mason County-Owned Lands
Land Manager
Mason County Parks
Truman Glick Park
Sandhill Park
Total
Miles
Stock
Bicycles
0.8
0.4
1.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.4
0.4
City of Shelton Trails
In Shelton, the county’s only incorporated city, only a few trails exist, most of them short
walking paths of a quarter-mile or less in some city parks. The only significant trail
recreational system in the city is the Huff and Puff Trail, a system of short loops in an
attractive wooded area near the high school on Shelton Springs Road. Paved paths
along roads in the area help connect the park to area neighborhoods and schools. Also
worth noting is the short, but historic, Ravenna Trail that climbs the hill south of
downtown. Undeveloped street rights-of-way and other public and quasi-public lands in
Shelton offer significant potential to expand the city’s trail system.
Table 4–5
Trails on City of Shelton Lands
Land Manager
City of Shelton
Huff and Puff Trail
Ravenna Trail
Loop Field, Callanan Park, other city parks
Street sidepaths
Total
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Miles
Stock
Bicycles
1.8
0.2
0.5
2.7
5.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
2.7
2.7
MARCH, 2008
27
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Trails on Quasi-Public and Private Lands
An attractive 1.8-mile trail system at Theler Wetlands is a popular destination for
residents and visitors alike. Trails and related facilities are frequently used for
environmental education purposes by local educators, youth groups, volunteers, and
others. The trail system has good potential for new connections to the Belfair
community, Belfair State Park, and the overall regional trail system as it develops.
Interpretive trails at Goldsborough and Kennedy Creeks provide easy walking with
opportunities to learn about the life cycle of salmon that spawn in these streams. At
Goldsborough Creek, an old dam was recently removed through a cooperative effort of
the Squaxin Island Tribe, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Army Corps
of Engineers, and Green Diamond Resource Company. Dam removal and restoration of
the creek have helped to reestablish salmon runs in the watershed. Trails at Kennedy
Creek were built by the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and offer
excellent walking in forest near the creek, although trailhead access is limited.
Given the lack of trails on non-federal public lands, many local trail users have turned to
private lands, particularly forest lands owned by Green Diamond Resource Company.
Green Diamond is, by far, the largest landowner in Mason County, with most of its land
managed for commercial forestry. As a matter of policy, the company accommodates
non-motorized public access to most if its land, including hiking, mountain biking and
horseback riding. These activities generally occur along active and abandoned logging
roads, although some user groups have received permission to construct a few trails that
can be accessed from the road system. These are not considered publicly maintained
trails and permission to use them remains conditional. Because they are not permanent
and no easements exist for their use, they are not included in the inventory.
Nevertheless, they provide a valuable recreational resource to the community.
Several key corridors on Green Diamond properties (and other private lands) have been
identified where significant opportunities exist for new trails and where more formal
arrangements for public access and trail development might be feasible. Such
development is subject to review and approval by the landowners and no assurance can
be made that permission will be granted. For example, new trails within certain riparian
areas where logging activities are less likely to occur could be proposed to the
landowner for consideration. Old railroad grades, such as in the Vance Creek area near
Camp Govey, offer similar potential.
Table 4–6
Trails on Quasi-Public and Private Lands
Land Manager
Quasi-public and private lands
Theler Wetlands
Goldsborough Creek
Kennedy Creek
Total
MARCH, 2008
Miles
Stock
Bicycles
1.8
0.4
0.5
2.7
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
28
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
4.2 Trail Access and Related Facilities
Access to existing trails in Mason County is primarily by way of state and county parks
and signed trailheads in Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. Some
sites on federal lands are as basic as a small gravel parking area and a sign, while most
county and state parks also include restrooms and picnicking facilities. A summary of
trailheads and parks that provide access to Mason County trails is provided in Table 4–
7, also illustrated in Figure 4–2 below. (ORV access is noted in Section 4.5.)
The only developed access to trails in the national park is at Staircase where good
facilities are available, although the entrance road is gated in winter about one mile from
the trailhead. On national forest lands, no trailheads are as developed as Staircase, but
several receive fairly heavy summer use, including Mount Ellinor (upper and lower
trailheads), South Fork Skokomish (Lebar Creek), and Lena Lakes. Trailheads in state
and county parks and in the City of Shelton generally receive light use, as do the
trailheads for Kennedy and Goldsborough Creeks. The trailhead for Theler Wetlands is
popular year-round among residents and visitors alike. Capacity at most trailheads is
generally adequate to serve current demand, although many are in need of improved
parking, restrooms and signing. As new trails are developed under this plan, most could
be served by upgrading access facilities in existing state and local parks. However,
some new sites would also need to be developed (see Section 8).
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
29
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–7
Trail Access and Related Facilities
Land Manager/Site
Olympic National Park
Staircase
Olympic National Forest
Beaver Pond (H. Hamma)
Big Creek
Brown Creek
Church Creek
Dry Creek
Elk Lake
H. Hamma Campground
Jefferson Pass
Jefferson Ridge
Lebar Creek
Lena Lakes
Mildred Lakes
Mount Ellinor
Mount Rose
Pine Lake
Putvin Trail
S. Fork Skokomish River
Spider Lake
State Parks
Belfair
Harstine Island
Hoodsport Trail
Jarrell Cove
Lake Isabel
Potlatch
Twanoh
Tahuya State Forest
Mason County Parks
Truman Glick Park
Sandhill Park
City of Shelton
Huff and Puff Trail
Other
Theler Wetlands
Goldsborough Creek
Kennedy Creek
Parking
Restroom
Signs/
Kiosk
Camping
Picnic
Area
20+
Standard
Standard
Y
Y
<5
5-10
5-10
<5
<5
<5
<5
<5
<5
10-20
10-20
10-20
20+
10-20
<5
<5
5-10
<5
None
Basic
Basic
None
None
Basic
Basic
None
None
Basic
Basic
Basic
Basic
Basic
None
None
Basic
None
None
Basic
Basic
None
Basic
Basic
Basic
None
None
Basic
Basic
Basic
Standard
Basic
None
None
Basic
None
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
20+
10-20
5-10
10-20
5-10
10-20
20+
20+
Standard
Basic
Basic
Standard
Basic
Standard
Standard
Basic
Standard
Standard
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Y
N
N
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
10-20
20+
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
N
N
Y
N
5-10
None
Basic
N
N
20+
<5
<5
Basic
None
None
Standard
Standard
Standard
N
N
N
N
N
N
Parking: approximate number of spaces; Restrooms: Standard=running water or contemporary design;
Basic=conventional outhouse or similar; Signs/Kiosk: Standard=trail conditions, map, interpretive or related
information posted; Basic=trail sign only or similar. Note: ORV access is noted in Section 4.5.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
30
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
4.3 Bikeways (On-Street Facilities)
In Mason County, there are no designated bikelanes or bikeways, though many cyclists
routinely ride in all areas of the county. Road and highway systems are utilized for both
recreational touring and bicycle commuting. Popular routes tend to follow the county’s
extensive marine shoreline or connect between communities, adjoining counties, state
and local parks, and other destinations. Some of the more popular cycling routes in the
county (235 miles) are listed in Table 4–8 below and are illustrated in Figure 4–3.
Table 4–8
Popular Cycling Routes
Road or Highway
Federal Highways
1
US 101
State Highways
SR 106
SR 108
SR 3
SR 300
Mason County/City of Shelton
Agate Road
Anthony Road
Brockdale Road
Cloquallum Road
Cole Road
Craig Road
Dayton Airport Road
Grapeview Loop
Harstine Island Loop
Johns Prairie Road
Lynch Road
Mason Benson Rd
Mason Lake Drive
Mason Lake Road
McEwan Prairie Road
North Bay Road
North Shore Road
Pickering Road
Purdy Cutoff Road
Railroad Avenue
Satsop-Cloquallum Road
Shelton-Matlock Road
Skokomish Valley Road
Trails Road
Wingert Road
Total
Miles
General
Route Condition
44.4
Poor
20.1
7.7
27.0
3.2
Fair
Fair
Poor
Poor
6.6
3.0
5.5
12.5
3.2
0.1
4.6
8.1
10.3
2.0
2.7
3.1
9.0
1.9
2.5
5.7
15.6
6.3
2.8
0.9
9.3
6.3
6.2
3.3
1.1
235.0
Fair
Good
Poor
Poor
Fair
Fair
Poor
Good
Fair
Poor
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Poor
Fair
Fair
Poor
Fair
Fair
Poor
Fair
Good
Poor
1
US 101 is not a popular bike route among many residents (due to narrow shoulders), but
is used by touring cyclists, particularly those traveling along the west shore of Hood Canal.
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
31
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
• Popular Cycli ng Routes
Miles
rv us 101
~
0
2
4
6
8
10
State Highways
/ ' J Mason County Roads
/ ' J City of Shelton Streets
Figure 4-3
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2111 /08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
32
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Many roads currently lack wide, smooth, striped shoulders, although there are some
important exceptions, such as the Grapeview Loop Road and portions of Mason Lake
and Trails Roads. State Route 106 is an example of a popular scenic bike route where
only minor shoulder improvements and widening could substantially enhance their
suitability for cycling. These and other roads that may be of particular benefit to cycling
are identified in the facilities inventory. Recommendations are made (in Section 8) for a
variety of improvements, both major and minor, along those routes.
Shoulder improvements, both paved and unpaved, can also benefit pedestrian safety
and mobility. Where right-of-way widths and site conditions permit, parallel paths may
provide a reasonable means of accommodating pedestrian traffic, and in some cases,
bicyclists as well. In urban or high-traffic areas, sidewalks may be a preferred
alternative. Established traffic engineering principles and design guides are used to help
determine the type of facility that is appropriate to a specific situation.
4.4 Countywide Trail and Bikeway Systems
Potential New Trail Corridors
In order to address the goals and policies outlined in this plan, comprehensive field
surveys were conducted throughout Mason County to identify new opportunities for local
and regional trails. Though relatively few trails have been developed on non-federal
public lands in Mason County, opportunities abound for such facilities in virtually all
areas of the county. Potential new trail corridors were identified based on the following
criteria:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Public ownership or access is currently available
There is potential connectivity to communities, existing trails, parks, schools or
other public facilities
The corridor is in close proximity to sites of natural, scenic or historic interest
Corridors such as transmission lines and railroad grades exist where it may be
feasible to negotiate public access
Private forest lands where public access for recreation may already be
accommodated
Areas that are not well served by trails currently
Areas having shoreline access potential
Corridors that provide opportunities for varied settings and experiences that can
be enjoyed by a diversity of users, including people of all ages and abilities.
Road shoulders or right-of-way where parallel paths can enhance safety or
connectivity for local or regional trail systems
Areas where the need for new trails has been identified through other planning
efforts (e.g. Belfair UGA Plan)
Once identified, potential corridors were reviewed by county staff and the Regional Trails
Committee. A period of adjustments and corrections led to the development of the
countywide map of potential trail corridors illustrated in Figures 4–4a through 4d (more
detailed maps of many of these routes are found in Section 8). Local and regional trails
represented on the map are also listed in Tables 4–9 and 4–11 which indicate the
approximate length and predominant ownership of each potential trail, along with the
user group(s) the trail would most likely serve. In many instances, multiple ownerships
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
33
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
are present along the route and only the land owner or manager most likely to authorize
or move a particular project forward is shown. Tables 4–10 provides a summary of total
miles of potential trail corridors by land manager. Approximately 27.2 miles of local trails
and 135.6 miles of regional trails were identified, for a total of 162.8 miles. Nearly half of
the regional trails total is located on private forest lands (predominantly Green Diamond),
while most local trail corridors are on Mason County and DNR lands.
Table 4–9
Potential Trail Corridors: Local Trails
Corridor/Trail Name
Bourgault Nature Loop
E Harstine Is Rd Sidepath
Foothills Park Loop
Goldsborough Creek Trail
Harstine Is SP West Loop
Jarrell Cove access
Jarrell Cove Trail
Kennedy Creek Trail
Lake Isabel SP Lakeside Trail
MCRA Loop Trails
Nahwatzel Lake Trail
North Island Dr Sidepath
Oakland Bay Park Trails
Price Lake Trail
Sandhill Trail
SR3 Sidepath
Theler Wetlands
Menards-Jiggs Lake Trail
Total
Miles*
Land Manager
Primary Users
0.3
0.8
0.6
1.7
0.7
0.3
0.4
1.6
0.3
1.0
0.9
3.3
1.4
0.6
1.1
2.9
0.1
9.2
27.2
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Private
WA St Parks
WA St Parks
Mason Co
Private
WA St Parks
Mason Co
Private
Mason Co
Mason Co
DNR
Mason Co
WSDOT
WDFW
DNR
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker/jogger
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, cyclist
Hiker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Table 4–10
Potential Trail Corridors (by land manager)
Land Manager
USA
USFS
BPA
Tacoma Power
WA State Parks
WA DNR
WDFW
WSDOT
Mason County
Private
Total miles*
Local
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
1.3
9.8
0.1
2.9
8.9
4.2
27.2
Regional
18.0
6.7
11.9
14.2
0.5
13.9
0.2
5.5
1.2
63.5
135.6
Total
18.0
6.7
11.9
14.2
1.8
23.7
0.3
8.4
10.1
67.7
162.8
* Trail lengths are approximations based on the distances generated by GIS mapping software. Actual trail
lengths on the ground are likely to be somewhat more than that indicated in the tables.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
34
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
35
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
KITSAP COUNTY
• Potential Trail Corridors
AJ Hiker Trails*
~Miles
0
0.9
1.8
2.7
3.6
4.5
, .......,.,,. Equestrian Trails
~···........•
Bicycle Trails
, ......., Equestrian & Bicycle Trails
•Trails that may not be well suited to
stock or bicycles. Equestrian and bicycle
trails would also be open to hikers.
Figure 4-4b
NE Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consutting, 2111/08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
36
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Trum,an Glick
Gounty Park
,
, ....
.... .......
..
/
...i
•• •• •, ·
fil, ••••• - ·- ···-··
Matlock
• Potential Trail Corridors
Miles
AJ Hiker Trails*
0
2
3
5
4
, .......,.,,. Equestrian Trails
~···........•
Bicycle Trails
, ........, Equestrian & Bicycle Trails
•Trails that may not be well suited to
stock or bicycles. Equestrian and bicycle
trails would also be open to hikers.
Figure 4-4c
SW Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails. by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2111/08
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
37
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Skokomish
Tribal Nation
• Potential Trail Corridors
Miles
AJ Hiker Trails*
0
2
3
4
5
, .......,.,,. Equestrian Trails
~···........•
Bicycle Trails
, ......., Equestrian & Bicycle Trails
•Trails that may not be well suited to
stock or bicycles. Equestrian and bicycle
trails would also be open to hikers.
Figure 4-4d
SE Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2111/08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
38
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–11
Potential Trail Corridors: Regional Trails
Miles
Land Manager
Primary Users
Allyn Trail
Belfair Plateau Trail
Corridor/Trail Name
1.2
1.1
WSDOT
Private
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Belfair Trail
Belfair Trail
Bourgault-Sunnyside Tr
Bourgault-Sunnyside Tr
Bourgault-Sunnyside Tr
Bourgault-Sunnyside Tr
Camp Govey Loop
Camp Govey Trail
Case Inlet Trail
Case Inlet Trail
Coast railtrail
Hoodsport-Cushman Trail
0.2
3.1
1.0
2.2
0.5
0.2
0.2
10.1
0.7
1.0
10.4
0.1
Mason Co
WSDOT
Mason Co
Private
WSDOT
WDFW
Private
Private
WSDOT
Private
Private
WA State Parks
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Dow Mt Summit Trail
Fir Creek Trail
Goldsborough Creek Trail
BPA Hood Canal Trail
Hoodsport Trail SP link
Hoodsport-Cushman Trail
Hoodsport-Cushman Trail
Hoodsport-Cushman Trail
Lake Haven Trail
Lake Limerick link
N Fork Skokomish Trail
Oakland Bay Trail
3.0
1.7
10.4
6.8
0.4
2.5
2.7
9.6
2.0
0.9
5.5
3.6
DNR
Private
Private
BPA
WA State Parks
USFS
Private
DNR
Private
USA
Private
USA
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Portage Trail
Price Lake Trail
S Fork Skokomish Trail
S Fork Skokomish Trail
Shelton Creek Trail
Shelton-Belfair Trail
Shelton-Belfair Trail
Shelton-Belfair Trail
Shelton-Skokomish Trail
Skokomish Forks Trail
Tacoma Power Corridor
Twanoh-Mason Lk
2.1
1.3
4.2
6.1
0.8
17.1
5.1
1.4
5.6
2.5
12.5
1.7
Private
DNR
USFS
Private
Private
USA
BPA
Private
WSDOT
Private
Tacoma Power
Tacoma Power
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian
Hiker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker, equestrian
Hiker, mountain biker
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Twanoh-Mason Lk
Upper Vance Cr Trail
Vance Gorge Trail
2.3
0.3
0.7
144.8
Private
Private
Private
Hiker, equestrian, mt biker
Hiker
Hiker
Total
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
39
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Potential Bikeway Corridors
The potential for on-street bikeways in Mason County was also explored and a number
of possible routes were identified that would be of interest to those either touring or
commuting by bicycle. Nearly all roads and highways in Washington State are open to
cycling, with only a few exceptions such as through major urban centers along interstate
highways where cycling is specifically prohibited.
In Mason County (as with many other areas of the state), roads and highways are
generally open to bicycling; however, conditions for such use are often marginal or
inadequate for rider comfort and safety. Shoulders are frequently too narrow or rough to
be of much value to cyclists traveling along busier roads. Where traffic is light and
visibility is good, bicycles can often safely share the travel lanes used by motor vehicles.
In rural areas with low to moderate traffic volumes, even two or three feet of smooth,
paved shoulder, especially on the uphill side of the road, can be of significant benefit to
cyclists. As traffic volumes increase, a wide, striped shoulder on both sides of the road
is generally desirable, typically a minimum of four feet in width (five feet if a curb is
present). Since bicycles travel in the same direction as adjacent motor vehicle traffic
and are subject to the same traffic laws, two-way shoulder riding is strongly discouraged,
thus adequate facilities should be provided on both sides of the road. Designated
bikelanes (also on both sides of the road) are normally reserved for areas having greater
motor vehicle and bicycle traffic volumes.
By identifying which routes have the greatest value to bicycle touring and commuting,
and which roads can be most readily improved with smooth, wide shoulders, potential
routes can be identified that will contribute to a regional system of bikeways. Again,
potential routes identified in this plan are based on criteria similar to that used for trail
corridors:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Public ownership or right-of-way
Road shoulder and pavement conditions
Traffic speeds and volumes
Connectivity to communities, bicycle trails, parks, schools or other public facilities
Linkages to sites of natural, scenic or historic interest
Regional connections to bike routes in surrounding counties
Areas of the county that are not well served currently
Routes providing potential access to shorelines
Varied settings and experiences that can be enjoyed by a diversity of users,
including riders of all ages and abilities.
Areas where the need for bikeways has been identified through other planning
efforts (e.g. Belfair UGA Plan)
A list of potential Mason County bike routes is provided in Table 4–12. An overall
system of bikeways based on these routes is presented in Figure 4–5. A total of 430.9
miles were identified (including the more popular cycling routes noted in Table 4–8). Of
the total, 41.6 miles are along US 101, 71.3 miles are along state highways, 312.1 miles
are along Mason county roads, and 5.9 miles are along several streets within the City of
Shelton. This does not suggest that major improvements are necessary along all of
these routes, but that sufficient cycling interest exists to warrant further review and
analysis. Recommendations for priority routes are provided in Section 8.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
40
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
41
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–12
Potential Bikeways
Route Name
From
To
Federal Highways
US 101
US 101
US 101
Mason Co line N
Hoodsport
Wallace-Kneeland Rd
Hoodsport
Wallace Kneeland Rd
Mason Co line south
Total US 101
17.1
13.4
11.1
41.6
State Highways
SR 106
SR 108
SR 119
SR 3
SR 3
SR 302
SR 300
US 101
US 101
Hoodsport
US 101
1st St (Shelton)
Mason Co line
SR3
SR 3
Mason Co line south
Lake Cushman
Railroad Ave
Mason Co line east
Pierce County
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Total State Highways
20.1
7.7
10.9
2.7
25.5
0.8
3.6
71.3
Mason County Roads
Agate Rd
Anthony Rd
Arcadia Rd
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Beeville Loop
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Benson Loop-Cove Dr
Bloomfield Rd
Bourgalt Rd
Brockdale Rd
Cloquallum Rd
Cole Rd
Craig Rd
Dalby Rd
Dayton Airport Rd
Deckerville Rd
Deegan Rd
Dewatto Holly Rd
Dewatto Rd
Elfendahl Pass Rd
Ford Rd
Grapeview Loop
Harstene Is Loop
Haven Lake Dr
Haven Way
Highland Rd
Hurley Waldrup Rd
Island Lake Dr
Island Lake Rd
SR 3
SR 3
SR 3
Old Belfair Hwy
Shelton-Matlock Rd
SR 300
Agate Rd
Kamilche Point Rd
US 101
Shelton city limits
US 101
Craig Rd
SR 3
McReavy Rd
US 101
Matlock-Brady Rd
Shelton-Matlock Rd
Dewatto Rd
North Shore Rd
North Shore Rd
Deckerville Rd
SR 3 Allyn
Harstine Bridge
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Shelton-Matlock Rd
Old Olympic Hwy
Island Lake Rd
Island Lake Dr
Pickering Rd
Mason Benson Rd
Lynch Rd
Tahuya Blacksmith Rd
Shelton-Matlock Rd
North Shore Rd
Pickering Passage
Old Olympic Hwy
Skokomish Valley Rd
US 101
Satsop Cloquallum Rd
Lynch Rd
Cole Rd
SR 106
Shelton-Matlock Rd
Mason Co line west
Shelton Valley Rd
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Beeville Loop
SR 3
Harstine Bridge
Haven Way
Mountain View Dr
Cloquallum Rd
SR 108
Island Lake Dr
Shelton Springs Rd
6.6
3.0
7.1
10.3
8.2
11.8
0.5
4.7
0.5
4.1
12.5
3.2
0.1
1.0
4.6
3.8
2.6
7.8
3.2
7.8
2.6
8.1
10.3
0.8
2.4
7.9
2.4
2.3
0.5
MARCH, 2008
Miles
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
42
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–12, Potential Bikeways, continued:
Route Name
Johns Prairie Rd
Kamilche Point Rd
Little Egypt Rd
Lynch Rd
Mason Benson Rd
Mason Lake Dr
Mason Lake Rd
Mason Lake Loops
Matlock Deckerville Rd
Matock-Brady Rd
McEwan Prairie Rd
McReavy Rd
Mountain View Dr
North Bay Rd
North Island-Wingert Rd
North Shore Rd
North Shore Rd
Old Belfair Hwy
Old Olympic Hwy
Panther Lake Rd
Pickering Rd
Purdy Cutoff Rd
Sand Hill Rd
Satsop Rd
Satsop-Cloquallum Rd
Shafer Park Rd
Shelton Springs Rd
Shelton Valley Rd
Shelton-Matlock Rd
Skokomish Valley Rd
Spencer Lake Rd
Tahuya Blacksmith Rd
Tahuya River Rd
Tiger Mission Rd
Trails Rd
Walker Park Rd
City of Shelton Streets
5th St - Alder St
Brockdale Rd
N 13th St
Olympic Hwy
Railroad Ave
Shelton Matlock Rd
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
From
To
Miles
Brockdale Rd
Old Olympic Hwy
Shelton-Matlock Rd
US 101
SR 3
Mason Lake Rd
Mason Lake Dr
Mason Lake Rd
Matlock Brady Rd
Shelton Matlock Rd
Mason Lake Rd
Brockdale Rd
Tahuya Blacksmith Rd
SR 3
Harstine Island Rd
Menards Landing
Belfair Tahuya Rd
SR 300
US 101
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
SR 3
US 101
SR 300
Mason Co line S
Cloquallum Rd
Matlock Brady Rd
US 101
Shelton-Matlock Rd
US 101
US 101
Pickering Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
E Mason Lake Dr
Arcadia Rd
Mason Co Rec Area
Bloomfield Rd
Highland Rd
Arcadia Rd
Mason Lake Dr
Mason Lake Dr fork
Trails Rd
Mason Lake Rd
Deckerville Rd
Schafer Park Rd
Brockdale Rd
SR 106
Tahuya Blacksmith rd
Mason Co line
Jarrell Cove SP
Dewatto Rd
Menards Landing
Mason Co line
Hurley Waldrip Rd
Kitsap Co link
Agate Rd
SR 106
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Grays Harbor County
Mason Co line S
Satsop Rd
Island Lake Rd
Cloquallum Rd
Matlock-Brady Rd
Road end
Agate Rd
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Mason Co line
SR 106
Walker Park
Total Mason County
2.0
2.8
4.1
8.3
3.1
2.5
14.6
4.3
1.0
10.9
2.5
6.7
1.0
5.7
1.1
7.7
14.8
3.9
2.4
0.5
6.3
2.8
5.8
0.5
9.3
1.5
0.6
3.8
15.3
6.2
2.8
8.0
4.0
1.0
3.3
0.3
312.1
Railroad Ave
13th St
Northcliff Rd
Alder St
Shelton Matlock Rd
US 101
Olympic Hwy
Shelton city limits
Olympic Hwy
Wallace Kneeland Rd
1st St
Railroad Ave
Total Shelton
Total All Routes
0.4
1.4
0.9
1.6
0.9
0.7
5.9
430.9
MARCH, 2008
43
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
4.5 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails
Off-road vehicle (ORV) recreation is a popular activity in Mason County. The county’s
only designated ORV facilities are located at Tahuya State Forest northwest of Belfair
with 208 miles of motorized trails. The total includes a 13-mile loop for full-size fourwheel drive vehicles, while most of the balance is single-track and two-track trails
available to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or motorcycles (see Figure 4–6). Trails are open
to non-motorized use as well, although such use tends to be very light overall, especially
on weekends. The Tahuya State Forest was officially designated for ORV use in 1984.
Several trailheads provide access to the area, with the major access point and parking
area located off Elfendahl Pass Road, about four miles north of North Shore Road. In
addition to an extensive trail system, a horse camp with numerous campsites, corrals,
restrooms, paved paths and other amenities is maintained along the Tahuya River.
Several other camps exist which are open to motorized use. A camp area at Twin Lakes
is designated as a walk-in campground, although motor vehicle access may occur as
well.
A recent study of ORV opportunities in the region (published by Jefferson County in
early 2007) estimated that 150,000 to 200,000 ORV enthusiasts use the Tahuya State
Forest area each year, with much of the use occurring on weekends in fall, early winter
and spring. Dry and dusty conditions tend to limit use in the summer. On busier
weekends, up to 1,000 motorcycles, 500 ATVs, and 60 to 70 four-wheel drive vehicles
have been known to visit the area. Rules are in place to help address safety and
environmental concerns and activities are monitored by DNR staff and volunteers. Much
of the trail system is maintained by volunteers.
The ORV trail system at Tahuya State Forest represents an important regional facility
that serves residents of Mason County as well as populations in the south and central
Puget Sound region. Other sites in the greater Puget Sound region that provide
opportunities for ORV recreation include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Capitol State Forest, Thurston County
Straddleline ORV Sports Park, Grays
Harbor County
Burnt Hill, Clallam County
Evans Creek, Pierce County
Elbe Hills, Pierce County
Reiter Pit, Snohomish County
Walker Valley, Skagit County
The 2007 Jefferson County study noted that the
current inventory of ORV facilities in the region is
inadequate to serve increasing demand.
Additional studies are underway to determine the
feasibility of developing or expanding ORV
opportunities at various sites. A similar feasibility
study in Mason County could provide information
needed to determine the local demand for ORV
Howell Lake Trail at Tahuya State Forest.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
facilities and to identify areas where such use might be appropriate.
While the only official ORV area in the county is at Tahuya State Forest, ORV recreation
also occurs informally in many areas of the county on both public and private lands.
Landowners and others have expressed concerns with a variety of impacts that can
occur as a result of informal or unauthorized ORV use in some areas. User groups have
been active in educating riders about safety and responsible riding and have worked
successfully with major landowners such as Green Diamond to arrange access to their
lands for special events. An area known as the “triangle,” located west of US 101 near
the county fairgrounds has received significant use in recent years and riders have
indicated an interest in formalizing ORV use in this area, while also seeking regional
connections to the Straddleline ORV Sports Park south of the county line. A feasibility
study, as mentioned above, could explore these and other opportunities to address the
need for facilities and to determine suitable locations for ORV recreation in the future.
Figure 4–6
Trails at Tahuya State Forest
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
45
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
4.6 Water Trails
With 231 miles of saltwater shoreline, Mason County is an important regional recreation
destination for boaters. Many people travel in kayaks and other small non-motorized
craft on the Hood Canal and southern portions of Puget Sound, appreciating the islands,
inlets, and slower tidal currents found in the far ends of these bodies of water. As a
component of the regional water-trail system, Mason County’s marine coast offers
outstanding potential to serve both local needs and tourism. Hood Canal provides
connections outside the county to Jefferson and Kitsap Counties, while those venturing
east from Mason County can make trips through the heart of the southern and middle
portions of Puget Sound.
The existing Cascadia Marine Trail (CMT) is a state-recognized water trail for nonmotorized boaters that has attained National Recreation Trail status. In Mason County
today, the CMT has three designated campsites on Puget Sound and three on Hood
Canal:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Walker County Park – Hammersley Inlet
Hope Island State Park – Squaxin Passage
Jarrell Cove State Park – Pickering Passage
Belfair – Hood Canal
Twanoh – Hood Canal
Potlatch State Park – Hood Canal
Roads and private houses line much of the Puget Sound and Hood Canal shores in
Mason County with a few primitive areas owned by timber companies. Steep slopes
along Hood Canal make landing boats difficult and provide few places where a flat
camping or resting area exist. Public access is often close to roads but without parking,
making launching spots limited. Parking is also an issue along the waterways of greater
Puget Sound, and the lack of overnight parking can be a serious constraint to multi-day
boat trips.
CMT campsites, boat ramps, launching areas for hand-carried boats, and other potential
access along the county’s waterfront are illustrated in Figure 4–7 and summarized in
Table 4–13. Abbreviations used in the table are as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
MARCH, 2008
WSPRC = Washing State Parks and Recreation Commission
WDFW = Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
WSDOT = Washington Department of Transportation
DNR = Washington Department of Natural Resources
WA = Other or unknown state ownership
MC = Mason County
Pt = Port of ________
USFS = U.S. Forest Service
Tacoma = Tacoma Power
HCLT = Hood Canal Land Trust
DAY = Day parking only
NIGHT = Overnight parking may be possible
CMT = Cascadia Marine Trail
POT = Site has potential for CMT campsite development
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–13
Water Trails: Sites and Facilities
Site Name
Aldrich Lake
Allen Waterfront Park
Arcadia Boat Launch
Belfair State Park
Benson Lake
Deveraux Lake
Fair Harbor
Haven Lake
Hoodsport Public Dock
Hope Island State Park
Howell Lake
Island Lake
Jarell Cove State Park
Jiggs Lake
Kokanee Lake
Lake Cushman Park
Lake Isabel WDFW
Lake Limerick
Lake Wooten
Lattimers Landing
Lost Lake
Maggie Lake
Mason Lake CP
McMicken Is. State Park
Menards Landing CP
N Fk Skokomish Bridge
Nahwatzel Lake
North Bay Beach Access
North Shore-Port of Allyn
Oakland Bay Access
Phillips Lake
Potlatch State Park
Robbins Lake
Saltwater Park
Shelton Marina
Shorecrest Co Park
Skokomish Estuary
Skokomish River Access
Skokomish River Access
Spencer Lake
Stretch Point State Park
Land
Manager
WDFW
Port Allyn
Squaxin
WSPRC
WDFW
WDFW
Pt Grapeview
WDFW
Pt Hoodsport
WSPRC
WDFW
WDFW
WSPRC
MC
WDFW
Tacoma
WDFW
WDFW
WDFW
MC
WDFW
WDFW
MC
WSPRC
MC
USFS
WDFW
WDFW
Port Allyn
WDFW
WDFW
WSPRC
WDFW
Tacoma
Pt Shelton
MC
Tacoma
WDFW
WDFW
WDFW
WSPRC
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Boat
Ramp
N
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
N
N
Y
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Y
N
Dock
Float
N
Y
N
N
N
N
Y
N
Y
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Hand
Launch
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Parking
DAY
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
NONE
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
NONE
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
DAY
NONE
Rest
room
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
N
Y
Y
CMT
Campsite
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
POT
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Other
Camping
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
Y
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 4–13 (cont.)
Water Trails: Sites and Facilities
Site Name
Tee Lake
Triton Cove State Park
Twanoh State Park E
Twanoh State Park W
Twin Lakes
Union Boat Launch
Walker County Park
Land
Manager
WDFW
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
WDFW
MC
MC
Boat
Ramp
N
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Dock
Float
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Hand
Launch
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Parking
DAY
DAY
NIGHT
NIGHT
DAY
DAY
DAY
Rest
room
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
CMT
Campsite
N
Y
Y
N
N
N
Y
Other
Camping
N
N
Y
Y
N
N
N
A number of undeveloped sites of interest were also identified for their potential to
provide visual or physical access to shorelines. Some of these sites could be developed
for hand-carried boat launching, viewing areas, beach access, or as waysides for trails
and bikeways. Sites include public and quasi-public lands and rights-of-way and are
shown on Figure 4–7. They are simply sites of interest, with no further details provided.
Table 4–14
Potential Water Access Sites (Undeveloped)
Site Name
Bourgault Rd
Dewatto (CMT)
Grapeview
Grapeview N
Harstine Is S-DNR
Harstine Pointe
Hood Canal Land Trust
Hood Canal NE
Hood Canal NW
Hood Canal S
Hood Canal W
Hood Canal W
Hood Canal-North Shore
Kamilche Point road end
Lake Christine
Lake Cushman Dam
Lake Cushman/Staircase
Lake Isabel State Park
Lilliwaup beach access
Lilliwaup Bridge
Mason Lake S
N end Oakland Bay
N shore Oakland Bay
MARCH, 2008
Land
Manager
MC
DNR
WA
WA
DNR
MC
HCLT
WDFW
WSDOT
WDFW
WA
WSDOT
WDFW
MC
WDFW
Tacoma
USFS
WSPRC
WSDOT
WSDOT
MC
WA
WA
Potential
Walk
CMT camp
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
View
Unknown
View
Unknown
Unknown
View
View
Beach
Lake
Unknown
View
Lake
Beach
View
Lake
Unknown
Unknown
Site Name
Nahwatzel Lake access
North Bay
North Bay
North Bay Tideland
North Hoodsport
Oakland Bay Co. Park
Orre Nobles road end
Oyster Bay
Oyster Bay Overlook
Pickering Rd Tidelands
Simmons road end
Skokomish River Access
Somers Rd end
Squaxin Island
Squaxin Island NE
Squaxin Island SW
Squaxin Island W
SR 3 Oakland Bay
SR 3 Oakland Bay
SR 3 Oakland Bay
Tahuya River
Timber Lake
Treasure Island
Union River access
Land
Manager
Green
WDFW
WDFW
MC
WA
MC
MC
WDFW
WDFW
MC
MC
MC
MC
WSPRC
DNR
MC
WA
WSDOT
WSDOT
WSDOT
WDFW
MC
MC
WDFW
Potential
Walk
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
View
CMT camp
View
Walk
View
Beach
Unknown
Unknown
Beach
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
View
View
View
View
Unknown
Unknown
Walk
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
49
5. COMMUNITY NEED FOR TRAILS AND BIKEWAYS
5.1 Needs Overview
As suggested by the inventory of existing trails, potential trail corridors, and road
systems summarized in Section 4, publicly maintained trails and bikeways are relatively
scarce across much of Mason County. Substantial input from the Regional Trails
Committee and the general public also indicates that the current inventory of trails,
bikeways and water trails in Mason County is inadequate. There is a clear need to
enhance safety, improve linkages, and develop new facilities in all areas of the county,
especially within the various population centers and in the vicinity of state and county
parks. These are major challenges that will likely require considerable resources and
many years of effort to resolve. This plan will be an essential tool for addressing these
challenges.
Non-motorized Trails
The majority of existing trail miles maintained for non-motorized use is found on federal
lands within the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park in the northwest
part of the county. Relatively few trails exist in the rest of the county. Among the
facilities that are available are an excellent trail network at the Theler Wetlands in Belfair,
and a handful of short trails located in the Shelton area and at several parks and
reserves around the county. Overall, trails tend to be fairly isolated, with very little
connectivity within or between communities.
Some trails have been constructed or maintained by volunteers on private forest lands
where landowners commonly allow non-motorized recreational use by the public. Gated
and decommissioned logging roads on both private forest lands and lands managed by
the Washington Department of Natural Resources are also utilized as trails, except while
active harvest operations are underway.
Bikeways
Formally designated bike routes along county roads are virtually non-existent, and
bicycle-friendly striped shoulders are generally lacking along state highways. However,
wide, paved shoulders which are important to safe and efficient cycling can be found
along some roads, although shoulder conditions and widths can be highly variable.
Cyclists are likely to encounter sections with narrow or non-existent shoulders along
most routes. This may be more acceptable on quiet back roads with low traffic volumes
and good visibility, but is not desirable for key connecting routes between communities
or major destinations. Other than a few paved paths close to schools in Shelton, highstandard multi-use trails suitable for cycling are also absent.
ORV Trails
Designated ORV trails are limited to an extensive and heavily used regional trail system
managed for motorized recreation at Tahuya State Forest northwest of Belfair. Informal
ORV use occurs in many other areas of the county, generally on state and private forest
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
lands where such use may not be authorized. Representatives of the ORV community
have indicated that additional motorized trails are needed, including regional links to
other designated ORV facilities in adjoining counties.
Water Trails
Designated water trails in Mason County are limited to the Cascadia Marine Trail (CMT)
which extends across the inland waters of the greater Puget Sound region from Mason
County north to the Canadian border. The CMT includes access points and campsites
for kayakers along the marine shores of Hood Canal and the South Sound. The lack of
overnight parking, suitable launch sites, restrooms, and campsite locations within
reasonable intervals along the shore have been identified by the Washington Water
Trails Association and others as important needs in Mason County.
Accessible Trails
Accessible trails consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act are also in short
supply in all areas of the county. The paved paths near schools in Shelton and unpaved
paths at Theler Wetlands, Goldsborough Creek and within several parks are among the
exceptions.
2005 Mason County Comprehensive Plan
The overall need for trails and facilities for recreation and non-motorized travel in Mason
County is well established in the county's comprehensive plan through its goals,
objectives, and policies which broadly reflect the greater community's concern for
ensuring safe and efficient systems for recreation and non-motorized travel. Adopted
countywide planning policies (CWPP) include the following:
•
CWPP 5.6 - Encourage alternative transportation modes by providing service in
growth areas such as bikeways, sidewalks, transit, etc.
•
CWPP 3.2 - Encourage retention of open space and development of recreational
opportunities.
•
CWPP 3.4 - Encourage increased access to publicly owned natural resource
lands. Protect existing public access to shorelines and water. Encourage
acquisition of lands to provide additional public shoreline and water access.
•
CWPP 3.5 - Encourage the development of parks.
•
CWPP 4.3 - Sharing of corridors for major utilities, trails and other transportation
rights of way is encouraged.
2006 Mason County Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan
The November 2006 Mason County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan also
helps establish the need for trails and contains the following overall planning goal:
“Develop, renovate, and acquire a system of parks, trails, recreational facilities, and
natural areas that are attractive, safe, functional, maintenance friendly, and
accessible to all park visitors of Mason County.
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
A specific goal for trail development states:
“Provide a Mason County multi-use local and regional trail system, which connects
county parks to other parks, schools, points of interest and other community or
regional trail systems.”
Enhanced water access is also encouraged by the plan.
Community Trails: Connections and Benefits
Through a number of adopted goals and policies, Mason County has maintained a
strong interest in addressing the needs of transportation, recreation, public health, safety
and economic vitality, all of which can benefit from the development of trails. Both
community-based trails, which serve neighborhoods and population centers, and
regional trails, which connect communities and regional destinations, all need to be well
connected in order to best achieve the goals and policies of this plan (Sections 1 and 3)
and the plans described above. Trails are needed to ensure that the public has the
opportunity to realize the many benefits that such facilities can bring to the county.
5.2 Level of Service (LOS)
A needs assessment prepared for the 2006 Parks and Recreation Plan also addresses
trails in terms of level of service (LOS). In quantifying the need for facilities, it is helpful
to correlate the total population of a given area with the number of trail miles available.
By applying a standard of so many miles of a certain type of facility for every 1,000
residents, one can match this “demand” against the available “supply” (miles of trails
currently available). Any shortfall would represent the "need" for additional facilities.
The 2006 plan recommended LOS standards of 0.47 mile per 1,000 people for regional
trails and 0.15 mile per 1,000 people for local trails. The LOS for regional trails was
determined by averaging the current LOS for Skagit and Jefferson Counties where
natural settings and demographics are somewhat comparable to Mason County. The
LOS for local trails was determined locally, based on the existing supply of trails within
Mason County parks. Using these standards, a five-year outlook to 2012 with a
projected population of 60,720 people suggests that the total demand for regional trails
would be 28.5 miles (0.47 x 60,720) plus another 9.1 miles of local trails (0.15 x 60,720).
These numbers were rounded down in the 2006 plan to 28 and 9 miles respectively.
The estimated 2007 population of 54,600 residents (Washington Office of Financial
Management, April 2007) suggests a current demand of 25.7 miles of regional trails and
8.2 miles of local trails.
A 10-year or 20-year projection could also be calculated. For planning purposes, the
2005 Mason County Comprehensive Plan projected a 2025 population of 75,088, an
overall increase of about 28.4 percent from 2005 to 2025. Thus the demand for regional
and local trails in 2025, based on current trends and standards, could increase to 35.3
and 11.3 miles respectively.
The 2006 Parks and Recreation Plan identified only one mile of local trails and zero
miles of regional trails, excluding trails on state and federal lands. This presents a
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
substantial deficiency that needs to be addressed over the short term if these standards
are to be applied effectively. However, it should also be emphasized that these
standards are only rough approximations of what might be a reasonable target for the
future. Circumstances and community expectations can change over time, and a
standard that may seem acceptable in one community may be far from adequate in
another. Community values and preferences, levels of participation, diverse settings,
population demographics and distribution, public policy, and many other factors can
influence residents' perceptions of what constitutes an acceptable level of service.
Current population trends and projections are described in the 2006 Mason County
Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and are not repeated here. However, it is
worth noting that with a current population of approximately 54,600 people and an area
of 961 square miles, population density is about 56.8 persons per square mile. The city
of Shelton, the county’s only incorporated city, has an estimated 2007 population of
8,895 (OFM). In terms of density, Mason County is something of a transition county
located between the much more densely populated areas of the central Puget Sound
region and the lesser-populated rural counties of the Olympic Peninsula. Relatively easy
access from surrounding counties suggests that trail development, especially regional
trails, could experience significant use by visitors as well as county residents.
5.3 Need for Water Access and Water Trails
In terms of water trails, the demand for public water access for fishing, shellfishing,
swimming, and beachcombing may grow commensurate with population. A Spring 2007
Northwest Paddlers Survey (Gerald Hodge Associates) found that paddlers are people
who tend “strongly toward a higher education level and household income level than
other segments of the population.” They also support improved public access and
related facilities.
The Puget Sound Shoreline Strategy (Trust for Public Land, September 2005) noted that
“Consistent availability of public access sites around the sound is key to providing the
public with equitable shoreline access. Whether the access points provide people with a
place to view the sunset, go fishing, go boating, dig clams, walk the beach, or pull out
kayaks, such sites should be reasonably accessible within a community. Although there
are over 600 public access sites across the sound, they are unevenly distributed.”
Mason County has the fewest with fifteen.
Mason County is among the counties “with the least miles of publicly accessible
shoreline relative to total shoreline” at 10.6 percent (2002 Puget Sound Update, Puget
Sound Water Quality Action Team). Forty percent of the county’s saltwater shoreline
has been modified with bulkheads, riprap and seawalls that are generally intended to
protect homes, roads, and other structures from erosive wave action. Nevertheless, the
county’s extensive marine shore, despite this limited access, remains an important
resource for both local and regional populations.
Eighteen percent of Washington residents engage in non-motorized boating according to
the most recent statewide telephone survey done by Clearwater Research for
Washington’s Recreation and Conservation Office (formerly IAC). The growth of birdwatching and “watchable wildlife” as a activity are helping to spur double digit annual
growth in kayaking (Outdoor Recreation Participation Study Executive Summary,
Outdoor Industry Foundation, June 2006).
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Limited shoreline access in Mason County also limits the number of launch sites that are
available, and for those that do exist, many are lacking basic amenities such as
restrooms, overnight parking, and information kiosks. Three keys areas of the county
are lacking campsites for paddlers, including a long stretch of Hood Canal north of
Potlatch State Park, the head of Oakland Bay, and the northern reach of Case Inlet. The
Washington Water Trails Association recommends a safe camp pullout every five to
eight miles, thus the need for more campsites in these areas has been emphasized.
5.4 State and National Trends
Many current and future residents of Mason County have access to a high quality of life
that is often available in smaller cities and towns, in rural communities, and along the
county’s extensive waterfront. The county’s unique setting between the Olympic
Mountains and numerous major waterways is attractive to both residents and visitors
alike. With that in mind, opportunities for trail-based recreation and non-motorized
transportation will remain essential considerations in planning for growth and
development within local communities. As explained below, trail-based recreation
activities have become increasingly popular in Washington State as well as the nation as
a whole.
National Studies
Over the past two decades, many studies and observations of national, state, and
regional trends have been published by the Federal Highway Administration and others
which suggest that the public's interest in trails and non-motorized transportation
remains strong. Nationwide, recent trends in bicycling and walking have increased
considerably since 1990.
The National Bicycling and Walking Study Ten-Year Status Report (2004) provides
some of the most current information available. According to this report, of all trips made
by any travel mode, the number of walking trips increased from 7.2 percent in 1990 to
8.7 percent in 2001. By comparison, trips by bicycle grew from 0.7 percent to 0.8 percent
over the same period. These numbers can be misleading, however. In terms of the
number of trips made, both modes nearly doubled in a decade. But the number of trips
by automobile also increased substantially, which kept the percentage increases in
bicycle and pedestrian trips much lower than they might have been otherwise.
Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC) Findings
Statewide estimates of individual participation in outdoor recreation were published in
2002 by the IAC in "An Assessment of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State."
Although the IAC (now the Conservation and Recreation Funding Board) and Mason
County surveys have been constructed differently and the data and analyses are not
directly comparable, participation in these activities by Mason County residents is
substantial. Walking and hiking were top-rated activities in a 2006 Mason County
survey. Bicycling was also among the higher-rated activities. (For more information on
Mason County surveys, see Section 12.2.)
Several notable conclusions from the IAC's statewide study are worth noting here:
•
Linear activities such as biking and walking were found to be the most popular of
all outdoor recreation activities, including sports.
•
Natural settings are especially important to many activities.
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
•
There is growing evidence of declining public health related to inactivity, and a
need to address the role of outdoor recreation in helping to reverse this decline.
In 2003, the IAC published "Estimates of Future Participation in Outdoor Recreation in
Washington State" which projected that the numbers of people who actively go walking,
cycling and paddling were likely to grow at a faster rate than those who go hiking or
horseback riding, although the demand for facilities continues to increase as the
population increases.
CRFB Planning Requirements for Funding
The Conservation and Recreation Funding Board (CFRB) generally requires some effort
be made in terms of a demand and need analysis in order for a proposed project to
qualify for grant funding. It is important to have a clear sense of what the community
wants and what the priorities are, based on meaningful citizen participation in the
planning process. The CRFB also requires that proposed projects be identified in an
adopted plan. It is recognized that a less formal, albeit thorough, planning process may
be acceptable for smaller communities.
Existing policies, level of service, public surveys, Regional Trails Committee input and
extensive field surveys to identify site-specific needs and opportunities all point to a
substantial need for new trails, bikeways, and water trails in Mason County.
Consultations with agency staff, trail users, interested organizations, and others also
pointed to the general lack of trails and related facilities in the county. The
recommendations in Section 8 are intended to help address these deficiencies.
Beyond Hood Canal, Mount Rainier is plainly visible from
Jefferson Ridge in the Olympic National Forest.
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
55
6. KEY ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES
A number of key issues and opportunities were identified during the development of this
plan, including many that have relevance to the county as a whole, and others that are
more specific to a particular site or area. For example, public safety is an important
concern for all on and off-street facilities, while providing for safe and efficient bicycle or
pedestrian travel from Shelton to the Mason County Recreation Area, or from Belfair to
Belfair State Park, would be important planning challenges for those specific areas.
This section begins with an overview of key issues and opportunities relevant to the
entire county. These and other more site-specific concerns are addressed in the plan’s
recommendations in Section 8.
6.1 Regional Connections
The Vision Statement for this plan (p. 8) emphasizes trails and bikeway systems “linking
communities, neighborhoods, parks, points of interest, schools and other public facilities
throughout Mason County, while also providing links to regional trail systems.” Key
corridors where the public has expressed strong interest in regional trail connections
include Shelton to Belfair, Belfair to Allyn, Hoodsport to Lake Cushman, Shelton to
Hoodsport, and Shelton to the Olympic National Forest by way of Goldsborough and
Vance Creeks. These and other potential links are described in Section 4.
On-street facilities can often be upgraded or extended to serve this purpose. However,
establishing local and regional off-street connections (trails) can present a more serious
challenge, due to the general lack of public right-of-way outside of the existing road
network. A few large public land ownerships, such as state and local parks,
conservation areas, and school grounds can (and do) help facilitate key links in some
areas, while limited undeveloped road right-of-way, public or quasi-public utility and
railroad corridors, and public easements or other access granted by private property
owners can help provide other critical links. Trails near schools can increase
appreciation of trails during childhood and generate life-long benefits. In developing
urban and suburban areas, community trails are highly valued, and local jurisdictions
may be able to negotiate trail connections or other public access in conjunction with the
review and approval of major development projects.
In some cases, off-street facilities (typically pedestrian sidepaths) can run parallel to
existing public roads where adequate right-of-way width and other conditions are
conducive to trail development. Good examples of this are found on the north side of
Shelton where paved paths parallel the roadways connecting schools to adjacent
neighborhoods. Side paths intended to accommodate bicycles generally need to be at
least eight feet in width, with either a landscaped separation from the roadway or a
physical safety barrier of some kind. Many rural roads do not have sufficient right-of-way
width for such a side path. Topography, drainage, utilities and private driveways can all
create impediments to locating parallel multi-use paths along these roads. Pedestrianonly paths are often much more feasible since they can be considerably narrower, more
easily avoid obstructions, and follow natural topography. Some can also be designed for
strollers and wheelchair access, while bicycles remain on the roadway or road shoulder.
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Side paths along busier roads and highways might offer affordable and functionally
important links in a larger system, but are not always well suited to recreational use
since they may not satisfy the public's desire for an attractive walkable environment. Yet
they may be a safer alternative than simply walking along the edge of the roadway.
Where extra right-of-way width is available, such as along portions of SR 3, side paths
can sometimes be located well back from the roadway and be developed to a higher
standard that can also accommodate cyclists and/or equestrians, although traffic noise
may still deter some users.
Given these constraints, if substantial regional connections are to be established, as
recommended by this plan, then outright purchase of land or easements in some
locations will likely be necessary. This will require a dedicated effort toward identifying
prospective corridors and supportive landowners. Local trail advocates and affinity
groups can be critical partners in meeting this challenge.
6.2 Public Safety
One of the more obvious issues of concern to all trail users is personal safety. Along onstreet routes, safety concerns often relate to traffic speeds and volumes (including truck
traffic), visibility, paved shoulder width, maintenance issues, and street, driveway or trail
intersections. In fact, research has shown that the majority of collisions between cars
and bicyclists occur at intersections. Countless factors, such as the condition of facilities,
weather, the experience and behavior of motorists and trail users, signing, equipment
failures, and the like can contribute to safety concerns, and most of these are addressed
in established standards and guidelines for the design and development of on and offstreet facilities.
Public education efforts geared to motorists, child and adult cyclists, and other trail users
can also enhance safety. Such efforts are often community-based and coordinated
between public agencies, schools, user groups, and nonprofit organizations. Many
successful models for these kinds of programs have been developed in bicycle and
pedestrian-friendly communities around the country, as noted in Section 11 of this plan.
6.3 User Conflicts
In some locations, the competing needs and desires among the various trail user groups
create both real and perceived conflicts that may seem difficult to reconcile. Hikers
enjoying a quiet walk in nature may be discouraged by a careless mountain biker
speeding downhill around a blind corner. Mountain bikers, a group that has been very
active in developing new trail opportunities in Western Washington in recent years, may
feel that hikers want to limit their access to trails they may have personally helped build.
Equestrians may feel that certain trails are closed to their enjoyment unnecessarily due
to concerns about the trail damage horses can cause. Some users may assume that
horses or bikes are the source of trail rutting, mud holes, or other damage when the true
culprit may be poor trail design, clogged drainage, inappropriate surface treatments, or a
lack of maintenance. Some of these concerns can apply to ORV use as well, and trails
intended to be open to such use should to be built and maintained to an appropriate
standard.
Many apparent conflicts can be addressed through appropriate design and maintenance.
Trails that are well designed and constructed for heavier use by bicycles or stock are
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much more likely to hold up well to the impacts of these users, thereby enhancing the
trail experience for everyone. Nevertheless, environmental sensitivities, rugged terrain,
unique opportunities for particular user groups or other site-specific circumstances may
justify limiting certain trails to one or more user groups. Safety concerns, potential
hazards, or a desired user experience might also warrant some restriction on use. A
boardwalk trail or a trail to a wildlife viewing blind, for example, might best be limited to
hiker or wheelchair access only.
User conflicts that can be more readily resolved through design and construction
techniques are generally addressed in that manner, often without imposing restrictions.
Rules can also be posted at trailhead kiosks; with more aggressive enforcement
measures taken if significant problems develop. Where restrictions are warranted, it
may be possible to designate separate routes for the various user groups so that
everyone can enjoy what a particular area has to offer. Experience elsewhere has
demonstrated that the various user groups can and frequently do work together
successfully to resolve most problems.
6.4 Trail-Related Facilities
A well functioning trail system requires adequate provision of supporting facilities such
as trailheads, street crossings (above, below, and at-grade), informational, directional,
and regulatory signing, lighting (where appropriate), sanitary facilities, viewing areas and
interpretive sites, beach access, picnicking and camping areas, ADA-accessible design,
bicycle parking, hitching posts (for equestrians), small boat put-ins (for water trails), and
other user amenities. While many trails may require only a small parking area and a few
signs, more substantial improvements, including a larger parking area, restrooms,
information kiosk, interpretation, landscaping or other amenities would be appropriate
along major routes and at regional trailheads serving a larger number of users. In
shoreline areas, Mason County’s extensive shellfish resources call for adequate
restroom/sanitary facilities to protect public health.
6.5 Public Transit
High-quality public transit services are available in most of Mason County and represent
a significant opportunity for cyclists and pedestrians to extend their reach, particularly
between Shelton, Belfair, Brinnon, Kamilche and Olympia. All busses are equipped with
bike racks and are well linked to the regional transportation system, including other
public transit systems in surrounding counties. As a result, cyclists and pedestrians
currently enjoy excellent opportunities to travel to, from, and within Mason County at
minimal cost.
Since most travel trips by bike or on foot tend to occur in and around urban areas, public
transit can play an important role in transporting cyclists and pedestrians from the
outlying areas into the city, helping to reduce the impacts of our predominantly carbased transportation system. Transit can also serve as important links where major
gaps are present in trail or bikeway systems. New and expanded facilities, such as
trailheads and transit stops, can be closely coordinated to further integrate these
complementary travel modes.
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6.6 Private Forest Lands
As a major industry in the region, commercial forestry occurs over a substantial portion
of Mason County. In addition to extensive public forest lands managed by the
Washington Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Forest Service, numerous
private landowners in the county also manage their lands for timber production. By far,
the largest of these companies is Green Diamond Resource Company based in Shelton.
Green Diamond currently maintains a policy of accommodating non-motorized
recreational use on much of its land, including hiking, bicycling and horseback riding,
although some areas may be closed to public access while forestry operations are
underway. Trail volunteers have received approval in some areas to develop and
maintain trails, subject to closure if problems develop or should other management
needs take precedence. Such trails do not include developed trailheads or other related
facilities, and some tend to be of interest mainly to the groups that build them.
Occasional motorized use during special events has also been accommodated, although
these lands are otherwise restricted to non-motorized use. Large areas are open to the
public during hunting season, a time when trail users obviously need to be especially
cautious or avoid these lands altogether.
Several key corridors identified in this plan as having strong potential for trail
development cross Green Diamond properties or other private timber lands. More
formal trail development would be desirable for these corridors, together with developed
trailheads, sanitary facilities, signing, and related features, unless such facilities can be
developed on nearby public lands. However, trail development on private timber land
This historic steel bridge over Vance Creek once supported a
logging railroad and may be well suited to conversion to a multi-use
trail. The area is owned by Green Diamond Resource Company.
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may or may not be feasible, depending on specific circumstances for a given area. A
process of study and negotiation would need to take place to determine whether public
trail development would be compatible with other land management objectives and
whether the location and design of such trails are otherwise acceptable to the
landowner. Public safety and environmental concerns would also need to be addressed.
Green Diamond has indicated a willingness to consider new trails in certain areas, such
as some riparian zones where little or no logging activity is expected to occur. The
company appreciates the large footprint it represents in Mason County and has
maintained a willingness to consider potential trail improvements that benefit the larger
community if the concerns noted above can be satisfied. Potential trails that would cross
Green Diamond or other private forest land are described more fully in Section 8.
6.7 Utility and Railroad Corridors
Regional trails depend on linear corridors which can be difficult or impossible to secure
where multiple property ownerships are present. In some areas, road shoulders can
provide critical links in an off-street trail system. If substantial undeveloped right-of-way
is available, trails can sometimes be located parallel to roads and highways which may
be of particular benefit to bicycle commuters.
Utility and railroad corridors can also provide important linear connections that,
depending on the circumstances, may be attractive for regional trails, especially where
no suitable alternative can be identified.
Transmission Lines
In Mason County, major utility corridors include the BPA transmission lines from the
southeastern county line north to Shelton and northeasterly past the Mason County
Recreation Area toward Belfair and Kitsap County. The BPA lines south of Shelton were
scheduled for replacement in late 2007. Another BPA line continues from near Shelton
northward above the west side of Hood Canal to Jefferson County. Tacoma Power
maintains a major transmission line from the powerhouse near Potlatch that serves the
Lake Cushman Dam. The line runs south along U.S. 101 to the Skokomish River
estuary then bends east and northeast to Allyn and Pierce County. Service roads in
varying conditions parallel these lines over much of their distance, portions of which are
informally used as trails by virtually all user groups.
While transmission line corridors may not be ideal in terms of routing, aesthetics, and the
presence of electromagnetic fields (EMF), their locations in Mason County could help
provide important regional connections between Shelton and communities to the north,
east and south. Since the lines tend to follow straight lines, topography beneath the
lines can be highly variable and may require trail users to cope with significant elevation
gains and losses. However, only minor improvements would be needed in most areas to
make these corridors suitable for trails. A few water crossings may require bridges, and
bypasses may be necessary to get around various obstacles or to improve safety at
street crossings.
Railroad Corridors
Active and abandoned rail corridors in Mason County also have strong potential to help
serve the regional trail system. The Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad operates a line
from near Centralia to Elma, Grays Harbor, Shelton, Bremerton and Bangor. From
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Shelton to Bangor, the line ships freight to U.S. Navy facilities. Trains are infrequent and
travel at relatively low speeds.
A second active line connects Simpson’s Mill Five to Shelton and is normally utilized on
a daily basis, although trains are once again infrequent and travel at low speeds. The
tracks follow Goldsborough Creek out of Shelton to the mill. Beyond, lines once
continued to Matlock and a nearby junction, with the left fork heading west toward the
coast (and other rail lines), and the right fork leading north to Vance Creek and Camp
Govey.
Both railroad rights-of-way are typically 100 feet in width or more which would allow
considerable room for parallel paths if such access could be negotiated with the owners
of these corridors. Shared rail corridors have successfully served a number of regional
trails in Washington and other states, including a portion of the Foothills Trail in Pierce
County which shares the right-of-way with an active rail line.
Critical links in the regional trail system could be made by way of either the transmission
lines or the railroad corridors or both (as discussed in Section 8). The rail corridor from
Shelton to Belfair has the advantage of very low grades, generally under two percent, as
compared to the Tacoma Power corridor which traverses much hilly terrain. As with any
potential trail corridor crossing private lands, extensive negotiations would be necessary
to address access, public safety, environmental concerns, and management concerns of
the landowner.
6.8 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails
Off-road vehicle recreation is a popular activity in Mason County and many users have
indicated that current opportunities for such use are inadequate. While this Regional
Trails Plan is primarily focused on non-motorized trails, it is recognized that some trails
may be managed or developed for shared use by both groups. Such shared-use trails
are identified and discussed in the recommendations in Section 8.
To more fully address the needs of motorized users, Mason County could carry out a
focused planning and feasibility study similar that which was completed for Jefferson
County in early 2007. That study looked at ORV activity regionally and included
participation from many users and public land managers. The study concluded that
ORV participation will likely continue to increase in coming years, consistent with
national trends, and that new sites and facilities were needed to address this increasing
demand. A number of potential sites were identified and a strategy for implementation
was developed.
A similar and possibly more streamlined effort could help identify future ORV
opportunities for Mason County that could help to reduce impacts on other trail users,
the environment, and communities, particularly where informal ORV use has been
problematic for certain neighborhoods and property owners. Such a feasibility effort
should consider both destination ORV areas or parks, as well as potential regional
connections between facilities.
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6.9 Water Trails
The Cascadia Marine Trail (CMT) system extends across the bays, channels, and straits
of the greater Puget Sound region and includes more than fifty campsites accessible to
canoe and kayak paddlers. In Mason County, there are a number of potential launch
sites and four established campsites, including:
•
•
•
•
Potlatch State Park
Jarrell Cove Marine State Park
Hope Island Marine State Park
Walker County Park
While the CMT is designed to serve the entire region, there is potential for a distinct
Mason County marine trail system as well. With frontage on many bays and channels of
the South Puget Sound region as well as Hood Canal, there is interest in also
establishing a portage route (or trail) between Allyn and Belfair which paddlers could
utilize to connect these two major waterways. Such a portage route could be as little as
three miles in length and could provide a unique and attractive opportunity for paddlers
residing in or visiting the region. Historic interpretation of a canal proposed in the early
1900s, akin to the Panama Canal, would be possible here as well.
More generally, kayakers have indicated a significant shortage of overnight parking
facilities at many launch sites. Also noted are several locations where campsites along
the marine coast are spaced at relatively long intervals, particularly along Hood Canal.
This makes overnight paddling trips much more challenging than is normally desired by
average paddlers. Development of two or three new kayak campsites at strategic
locations, as well as a few additional launch sites and "safe harbors" (for emergency
use) could resolve this deficiency.
The length, complexity, and natural character of Mason County shorelines offer
extraordinary opportunities for paddling which could be realized with only a modest
investment in new facilities. Since watercraft are hand-launched, often from the beach,
and campsites are small and few in number, the need for infrastructure is minimized. At
some sites, all that may be required are a soft-surface tent pad and a simple marker
identifying the site as a water-trail campsite, or a portable or vault toilet, a short path,
picnic table or grill. Existing waterfront parks and boat launches are often suitable for
launching. New launch sites may need to provide a small parking area as well.
At many places, facilities such as toilets, parking, and viewing areas, will serve both
boaters and non-boaters alike.
6.10 Beach Access
Access to the shorelines of Mason County is highly valued by the public, although public
waterfront and tidelands are limited. Where tidelands or shorelines are publicly owned,
access may be difficult. This results partly from the fact that over much of the twentieth
century, the more accessible, low-lying beaches were sold off by the state for private use
and development, a practice that was banned in 1970 due to the growing impacts on
access. Only about ten percent of Mason County’s marine shore remains in public
ownership.
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Public access opportunities exist in the form of overlooks, boat launches, waterfront
parks and trails, and simpler forms of access that may include only a short path or stairs
and perhaps a small parking area, with or without a restroom. Access opportunities are
much more limited on developed shorelines. Enhanced beach access would benefit the
public in many ways, especially if improvements are made adjacent to walkable
beaches. Environmentally sensitive areas, such as seasonal wildlife nesting and feeding
areas, may need to be protected, and limited signing may be helpful in a few locations to
discourage intrusions on private property. Important safety issues should be considered
in the design and development of improvements. Site design should take into account
the higher tides, storm tides, unstable bluffs (especially in the wet season or during
stormy weather) and other factors that may influence public enjoyment of these areas.
Given the unique access opportunities that are available in Mason County, improved
beach access can be a cost-effective means of providing significant recreation benefits.
6.11 Private Property and Vandalism
Some property owners who reside adjacent to proposed new trails may express
concerns relating to possible trespass, littering, vandalism, theft, or similar impacts that
could potentially result from trail development. While care should be taken in locating,
designing, and constructing trails and trailheads in order to minimize these kinds of risks,
the experience of many communities around the country shows that such problems are
very uncommon overall. Numerous studies have been conducted over the past two
decades precisely to assess the risk of these kinds of impacts on adjoining property
owners. The findings consistently show that, in the vast majority of instances, well
planned and properly located trails do not introduce a significant risk of these kinds of
impacts. Furthermore, where informal, user-built trails are "formalized," that is, improved
to an appropriate standard and regularly maintained, such facilities tend to become selfpolicing whereby the presence of responsible trail users tends to discourage others from
creating problems.
Where a public trail across private property is desired or planned, easements or
acquisitions are typically negotiated on a "friendly seller" basis. In many instances,
landowners will recognize a proposed trail as a valuable amenity for their family, their
neighbors, or their community, and may be willing to donate land or easements to
accommodate its development. In recent years, developers have begun to realize that
trails add tangible value to their development projects and they may be more than willing
to cooperate with local government to include them in their plans as well-maintained
trails can enhance property values and provide other economic benefits.
Public access to trails is sometimes provided by institutional landowners and others,
such as two miles of trails known as the Huff-and-Puff Trail on school property in
Shelton. Another example is Theler Wetlands in Belfair where several miles of trails are
available to the public. In some cases, open space tax status and conservation
easements may also provide for public access to trails and waterfront areas. Also,
nonbinding "handshake agreements" have occurred in some communities, where a local
trails group obtains landowner approval to build a new trail (and maintain it), while the
landowner retains the right to close the trail at any time if problems occur or persist.
Such agreements can be verbal, but more often take the form of a friendly letter signed
by both parties which clarifies expectations, including any improvements to be made,
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maintenance responsibilities, restrictions on use, the term of the agreement, and how to
address any problems that might arise. In any event, new trails in Mason County should
not encroach onto private property without the owner's consent. Furthermore, the
county is not likely to expend limited trail-building resources unless it owns the property
or a permanent easement has been negotiated with the owner.
6.12 Environmentally Sensitive and Critical Areas
Because trails are often located in parks, open space, and natural areas, protection of
the environment, including critical areas, can be one of the most important
considerations in developing new facilities. Broad community concern for the
environment is well stated in the county’s Comprehensive Plan, which envisions a future
where the county will “conserve an open space network that will include wildlife habitat
and corridors, greenways, estuaries, parks, trails and campgrounds” and otherwise
“preserve the county’s environment and rural character.”
Mason county development regulations also include measures to protect critical areas,
including geologically hazardous areas, frequently flooded areas, critical aquifer
recharge areas, wetlands, shellfish beds, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation
areas. Any development, including trails, that is proposed within or adjacent to a critical
area must comply with the regulations. A project that does not meet the requirements or
can not be adequately mitigated may be denied permits. Trails are not necessarily
prohibited within critical areas. For example, an interpretive boardwalk along a wetland
may be acceptable if the design and use are appropriate for the area, impacts are
minimal, and mitigation is acceptable.
Mason County has abundant public and private shellfish resources and commercial
shellfish beds. Extra care must be taken to protect public health when locating trails
near shellfish beds by providing adequate restrooms and sanitary facilities.
Environmentally sensitive areas also exist which may not be formally designated as
critical areas, such as rare or uncommon plant communities, or seasonal nesting or
feeding areas for birds. Trail development in these areas should also be located and
designed to avoid impacts. Some sensitive areas can be especially attractive for new
trails and trailheads since they can provide opportunities for interpretation and
education, as well as scenic views of natural landscapes. Wildlife observation is also
enjoyed by many trail users.
Potential impacts need to be carefully considered and evaluated at the early stages of
locating and designing trails in order to avoid impacts to wildlife, rare plant communities,
wetlands, streams, unstable slopes or other environmental features. Some areas may
need to be avoided completely because of unacceptable risk of environmental impacts
that trail construction, maintenance, and use may cause.
6.13 Low-Impact Development
In January 2005, the Puget Sound Action Team published “Low-Impact Development:
Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound.” The manual provides stormwater and
site-design professionals with tools and strategies that emphasize “conservation and use
of existing natural site features integrated with distributed, small-scale stormwater
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controls to more closely mimic natural hydrologic patterns in residential, commercial, and
industrial settings.”
The concepts can be applied to virtually any development project. The location, design
and construction of new trails and trailheads should always consider low-impact design,
which can be accomplished by consulting this manual and by incorporating appropriate
construction techniques that have been developed by trail designers and builders to
address this challenge. In addition to minimizing impacts, restoration of disturbed sites
should be considered in conjunction with trail development.
6.14 Public Health and Fitness
The public health benefits of trails and bikeways have been widely recognized in recent
years, and many communities are taking steps to enhance walkability, provide safe
routes to schools for kids, develop jogging and fitness trails, and otherwise enhance
opportunities for people to at least make shorter trips by bike or on foot, rather than
always relying on automobiles. Inactivity and obesity are linked to heart disease,
diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, depression and anxiety, and new
trails and bikeways can provide enjoyable and effective ways for people to move toward
more active lifestyles and improved health and fitness. In turn, communities can benefit
directly through reduced public health costs and enhanced quality of life for their citizens.
6.15 Economic Benefits of Trails and Bikeways
New trails and bikeways provide a range of economic benefits to local businesses
catering to the needs of recreation and tourism, from restaurants and lodging to clothing,
equipment and sporting goods sales and other services. Outdoor recreation is the U.S.
has grown to a $730 billion dollar industry in 2007. Trails remain one of the more
popular and affordable recreation facilities that communities can provide for their citizens
and many grant programs are available to assist with development costs. Also, private
developers are commonly including trails and open space in their developments in order
to make their properties more attractive to buyers. Several important studies have found
that property values tend to increase somewhat in the vicinity of new parks and trails.
(For more information, see Appendix A.) With careful planning, trails and bikeways
could bring similar benefits to Mason County.
A path leads to the boat dock at Jarrell’s Cove
State Park on Harstine Island.
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7. FACILITY DESIGN: STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES
A variety of design standards and guidelines for trails and bikeways have been
developed over the years by a number of agencies and institutions that are involved in
the design, construction, and maintenance of such facilities. Typically, a clear distinction
is made between on-street and off-street systems and separate standards and
guidelines are normally applied to each. “Standards” often imply fixed limits that may be
required for a particular design element, such as the minimum width of a designated
bikelane, while “guidelines” tend to be much more flexible, allowing design elements to
be tailored to specific circumstances. Difficult topography, for example, might require a
section of equestrian trail to be narrower or steeper than preferred, but still be
reasonably safe and functional.
Primary sources of design standards and guidelines are noted below, along with design
options and tabular information for the various trail types, followed by a brief discussion
of ADA-accessible trails. Standards and guidelines for ORV trails are available through
various trail publications of the U.S. Forest Service, including the Forest Service Trails
Handbook, and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council’s Management
Guidelines for OHV Recreation (2006). The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
also published in 2007 a comprehensive award-winning guide to both motorized and
non-motorized trails entitled Trail Planning, Design and Development Guidelines.
Design issues related to water trails are addressed through normal architectural and
engineering design of support facilities, such as parking areas, restrooms, docks and
floats, or other structures.
7.1 On-Street Facilities
Design standards and guidelines are well developed for on-street facilities and are
routinely used by Mason County Public Works staff in the design, construction, and
maintenance of county roads. In addition to standard guides and manuals for road
development, two important and well illustrated technical sources are available for the
design of bicycle and pedestrian facilities from the Washington Department of
Transportation. The Design Guide to Bicycling Facilities and the Design Guide to
Pedestrian Facilities are both available online at the agency's website
(www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike). Several cross-sections for typical on-street improvements are
included at the end of this section. A nationally recognized source containing similar
information is the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities. Other
valuable resources pertaining to non-motorized transportation development are available
through the Federal Highway Administration's pedestrian and bicycling website
(www.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike). For convenience, several cross-sections for
typical on-street improvements are included in Figures 7–1 and 7–2 on the next two
pages. Figure 7–1 is an example using a hard separation or physical barrier between
the roadway and the path. An attractive alternative (where sufficient right-of-way exists)
is a softer separation that incorporates a landscape strip between the road shoulder and
path. Width of the landscape strip is typically six feet or more, but depends on sitespecific conditions, the clear zone requirements for a particular roadway, and whether
curbs and railings are part of the design.
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Figure 7–1, Typical Multi-use Path (WSDOT)
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Figure 7–2, Typical Bikelane Cross-sections (WSDOT)
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7.2 Off-Street Facilities
Design guidelines for off-street trails are less uniformly developed overall and tend to
vary among federal, state, and regional entities responsible for trail development. Major
sources that are particularly relevant to the development of trails in Mason County
include the U.S. Forest Service, Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of
Transportation, and others. High-standard trails, such as wide, paved or unpaved railtrails, are often designed to be consistent with transportation-based guidelines for
bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Forest Service guidelines are widely utilized for trails
built to a “wildland” standard in a more primitive setting which is often preferred by trail
users in more remote and less developed settings. Based on these and other sources,
general guidelines addressing a range of facility types are suggested on the following
pages to assist with the design of off-street trails in Mason County.
7.3 Trail Design Options
Mason County trails have been divided into three basic categories: high-standard,
medium-standard, and wildland-standard trails. The WSDOT design guides to bicycle
and pedestrian facilities mentioned above are prime sources for high-standard trails and
should generally be adhered to where a wide and well engineered multi-use trail is the
desired facility. These trails are often ADA-accessible and may be paved or unpaved
with a smooth, compacted surface. Minimum width is generally eight feet, with greater
widths up to fourteen feet for higher-volume multi-use trails in urban environments.
The design of medium-standard trails can vary somewhat, depending on their intended
purpose and expected use. Some are designed comparable to a high-standard trail, but
with a much narrower tread, typically between three and six feet. These trails can also
vary in terms of surface treatments, with potentially steeper grades that may or may not
be ADA-accessible. Medium-standard trails can be designed to accommodate hikers,
mountain bikers, and/or equestrians, as needed. Common standards for these trails are
provided in Table 7–1.
Typical cross-sections for high-, medium-, and wildland-standard trails are provided in
Figure 7–3, followed by tables that indicate some of the more commonly accepted
dimensions for medium and wildland-standard trails.
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Figure 7–3, Typical Trail Cross-Sections
High-Standard
Multiuse Trail
See WSDOT/AASHTO guides
for widths and dimensions.
Medium-Standard Trail
Dimensions vary, see Table 7-1
for widths and dimensions.
Wildland Trail
Dimensions vary, see Table 7-2
for widths and dimensions.
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Table 7–1
Guidelines for Medium-Standard Trails
Max.
Sustained
Grade
Max
Short
Grade
For Max
Distance
of
Min.
Clearing
Width
Min.
Clearing
Height
Min.
Tread
Width
T
Tread Surface
Easy
5%
10%
50’
10’
10’
5’- 6’
Gravel or Asphalt
Moderate
8%
14%
50’
10’
10’
3’ – 6’
Gravel or Asphalt
Difficult
8%
14%
200’
8’
8’
3’ – 6’
Gravel, Asphalt,
Steps, Stairs OK
Wildland Trail standards can vary considerably in their design and are usually broken
down by the targeted user group, and then blended together when more than one user
type is expected on the trail. Following are the recommended standards for hiker,
equestrian, and mountain bike trails that are generally accepted within a wildland setting.
Table 7–2
Guidelines for Hiker, Equestrian and Mountain Bike Trails
Max.
Sustained
Grade
Max.
Short
Grade
For Max.
Distance
of
Min.
Clearing
Width
Min.
Clearing
Height
Min.
Tread
Width
Tread Surface
Easy
8%
15%
100’
8’
10’
24”
Develop for stability
Moderate
12%
20%
200’
6’
8’
24”
Difficult
20%
25%
100’
6’
8’
18”
Easy
8%
15%
200’
8’
10’
24”
Develop for stability
Moderate
12%
20%
200’
6’
8’
24”
Minor obstacles
Difficult
15%
25%
100’
6’
8’
18”
Negotiable obstacles ok
Easy
5%
10%
100’
8’
8’
24”
Mainly smooth
Moderate
8%
20%
100’
6’
8’
18”
Minor obstacles
Difficult
10%
30%
50’
5’
8’
12”
Negotiable obstacles ok
Hiker
Minor obstacles,
Steps and stairs ok
Negotiable obstacles,
Steps and Stair ok
Equestrian
Mountain
Bike
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7.4 Accessible Trail Design Standards
ADA-accessible trails are intended to benefit everyone, since we are all likely to
experience a degree of mobility impairment at some point in our lives. Access for people
with a range of mobility impairments should be considered for all trails, however not all
trails have to be accessible. When developing new trails, accessibility guidelines require
that an analysis be conducted to determine whether, and to what extent, access can be
provided.
The standards are quite flexible and try to account for a variety of practical and aesthetic
considerations, while at the same time providing valuable trail experiences for all. Draft
standards relevant to accessible trail design are discussed in a report that is available on
the website of the Access Board, U.S. Department of Justice (www.accessboard.gov/outdoor). Key elements are listed in Table 7–3 below. Another general
source intended for use on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is that agency’s
Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails (2006).
With rare exception, all high-standard trails should incorporate ADA standards. Most
medium-standard trails should be able to incorporate these standards as well. Where the
opportunity exists, some wildland trails should also be built in accordance with the
standards. Signs should be posted indicating trails that are designed for ADA access
and noting the length of the accessible portion of the trail.
Table 7–3, Draft Guidelines for ADA-Accessible Trails
Max.
Sustained
Grade
Max
Short
1
Grade
For Max
Distance
Of
Resting
Intervals
Max.
Cross
Slope
Tread
2
Obstacles
Min.
Tread
3
Width
T
Tread Surface
5%
8.33%
200’
200’
5%
2”
3
3’
Gravel or Asphalt
5%
10%
30’
30’
5%
2”
3’
Gravel or Asphalt
5%
12.5%
10’
10’
5%
2”
3’
Gravel, Asphalt,
Steps, Stairs OK
1
No more than 30% of the total trail length may exceed a running slope of 8.33%.
Up to 3" high where running and cross slopes are 5% or less
3
Where trail width is less than 60”, passing space must be provided at least every 1,000 feet.
2
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Shelton’s Huff and Puff Trail.
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8. RECOMMENDATIONS
The development of new systems of trails and bikeways in Mason County will require
significant effort on the part of Mason County and partnering agencies and
organizations, including user groups, as well as the community at large. The presence
of substantial commercial forest lands in the county suggests that these forest land
owners will be important partners as well. Good relationships among user groups and
some of these landowners already exist and the plan encourages continued cooperation
to help achieve further positive outcomes. As noted in Section 4, significant potential
exists for new trails and bikeways in all areas of the county. The recommendations that
follow are designed to help move many of these ideas to reality.
8.1 Trail Planning and Development
The initial trail planning effort which led to the 2005 “Framework for Countywide Trail
Development” identified a number of general goals and policies which remain important
and thus have been incorporated below:
8.1.1 Trails shall be integrated with the county transportation system to provide or
facilitate alternative modes of transportation and capitalize on opportunities for
joint projects for trail development.
8.1.2 Planned transportation projects shall be reviewed for potential trail
development opportunities.
8.1.3 Designated open space corridors shall be evaluated for trail development.
8.1.4 Prior to property vacations and acquisitions, or actions to surplus county
property rights, opportunities for trail development shall be evaluated.
8.1.5 Development of existing park properties should consider potential opportunities
for local and regional trail development, including jogging and fitness trails.
8.1.6 Other agency projects within Mason County should be reviewed for
opportunities for trails and for consistency with this plan.
8.1.7 This plan should be publicized to help inform agencies and large landowners of
the opportunities that exist to move recommended projects forward.
8.1.8
Trails policies should be integrated with transportation planning policies during
updates of the Regional Transportation Plan. This plan should also be
incorporated by reference into the Mason County Parks and Recreation
Comprehensive Plan and the county’s overall Comprehensive Plan.
8.2 Public Participation
Community involvement is an integral part of the trail planning process and continued
citizen support will be crucial to ensuring full development and implementation of the
Regional Trails Plan and future trail systems. The following goals and policies are
incorporated from the 2005 “Framework”:
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8.2.1
Mason County shall encourage and maximize active public involvement in all
phases of trails establishment and support public efforts directed at
implementation of this plan.
8.2.2
Mason County shall encourage partnerships with user groups and other
public volunteer groups interested in assisting in trail development and
maintenance.
8.2.3
Mason County shall establish a standing committee to advise and work with
County staff in the planning, implementation, maintenance, promotion, and
up-dating of the Regional Trails Plan.
8.2.4
Mason County shall encourage private sector involvement in the trails
program through the provision of facilities and support services such as
boarding and rental stables, maintenance and repair shops, trail tours, bicycle
rentals, and other related facilities and services.
8.3 Other General Recommendations
8.3.1
Capital Facilities Plan: Capital facilities planning and budgeting should
incorporate near-term projects and other specific actions identified in this
plan. Potential grant funding sources should be identified and pursued to
ensure that all recommendations can be successfully implemented and that
priority projects move forward as smoothly and expeditiously as possible (see
Section 9). A degree of flexibility is encouraged in order to take advantage of
new opportunities and changing circumstances. Cooperation among Mason
County Parks, Planning and Public Works staff is essential.
8.3.2
Volunteer Programs: Volunteers have accomplished a substantial amount of
work in terms of building, improving, and maintaining trails in Mason County.
Their efforts should be encouraged and supported. Mason County and other
agencies should also consider making a modest investment in volunteer
coordination and direct support to organized volunteer efforts in the form of
training, tools, materials, equipment, labor, or funding. Volunteer training
opportunities, especially for key volunteer members should be explored and
encouraged. Two possible sources of training are the International Mountain
Bike Association Trail Care Crew and several training opportunities offered
through the Washington Trails Association. User groups such as the
Backcountry Horsemen of Washington also have members who are trained in
the techniques of trail construction and maintenance.
8.3.3
Volunteer Coordinator: An effort should also be made among public and
private entities to establish and fund a paid Volunteer Coordinator (possibly
with grant-writing skills) to assist with these efforts and to further implement
the recommendations of this plan. In many communities, the return on such
an investment has been considerable, especially where stepped-up efforts
are made to secure grant funding, since volunteer labor and in-kind
contributions can often help satisfy local matching requirements. Many areas
have also had excellent results from a “hybrid” model where paid
professionals perform the difficult or technical work and volunteers provide
the bulk of the hand labor. There are several projects in Mason County that
may be well suited to this approach.
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8.3.4
Facility Maintenance: Routine maintenance of facilities should be provided as
needed by parks and public works staff and volunteers, as appropriate, to
help ensure safe, efficient and enjoyable use of trails, bikeways and related
facilities by citizens.
8.3.5
Education and Safety: Mason County should work cooperatively with other
agencies, schools, community organizations, law enforcement and user
groups to help develop public education and safety programs that benefit trail
users and enhance public safety for everyone. Existing programs such as
Washington's Safe Routes to Schools (see Appendix B) and bicycle training
for kids are good examples of the kinds of efforts that have proved successful
in many communities. Educational efforts can address personal
responsibility, such as avoiding shortcuts, picking up after pets, and
encouraging volunteer maintenance. Rules should be posted, as needed, to
address problems that may develop.
8.3.6
Walkable and Bikable Communities: Planning efforts should be encouraged
and supported in all Mason County communities to help delineate local trail
networks and related facilities, including walking and biking loops, trailheads,
viewing and resting areas, points of interest, interpretation, landscaping, and
other amenities. Lighted walkways should be considered where appropriate.
The development or amendment of regulations by Mason County should
incorporate urban design tools and strategies that can help produce the
benefits of walkable and bikable communities. Development regulations
should be designed to integrate trails, greenways, and/or bikeways into a
variety of land use and development activities. Such improvements should
provide continuity through and between developments, links to nearby trails
and bikeways, and complement local planning efforts for trail systems, as well
as the regional systems represented in this plan.
8.3.7
Master Plans and Design Studies: This plan identifies needs and
opportunities for trails and non-motorized transportation facilities that are
mostly based on a regional or countywide perspective. However, there are
several locations where a more detailed or localized planning effort is
warranted due to various uncertainties or the presence of complex planning
and design issues. Such an effort can help guide the development of new
trails, trailhead access, and user amenities, while minimizing user conflicts
and impacts to the environment. Key areas that should be considered for
further site planning, assessment, design studies, or master planning include
the following:
• Camp Govey Backcountry Trail
● Shelton-Belfair Trail
• Hoodsport-Lake Cushman Trail
● Bourgault-Sunnyside Trail
• Theler Wetlands to Belfair State Park
• North Bay and Portage Trails (Allyn)
• Goldsborough and Shelton Creeks (Shelton)
• Kennedy Creek
8.3.8
Environmental Protection: Development of facilities under this plan should
avoid adverse impacts to sensitive natural areas, such as wetlands and
riparian areas along streams, and should be located and designed in ways
that help conserve or restore the natural landscape.
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8.4 Trails and Bikeways: Priority Projects
Potential trail systems discussed in Section 4 form the basis for the trail
recommendations of this plan. A combination of local and regional trails are envisioned
which will help to meet the goals, policies and overall vision for trails, bikeways and
water trails outlined in Section 1.
Recommended trail projects include short-term, mid-term, long-term priorities which are
defined as follows:
Short-Term Projects –1 to 5-year outlook
These are projects offering major benefits to the public which can potentially be
developed over the near term, or within approximately five years after this plan is
adopted. Many are already funded or scheduled for development, or there may be
unique opportunities, significant safety issues, or major public benefits to be realized
that warrant their emphasis as top priority projects. A few projects, due to high cost,
access issues, or other difficulties, may require a longer period of time for
development. It is recognized that several of these projects might not be built within
five years, but they are highlighted so that county staff or others can plan for their
development and begin to secure the resources needed to move forward with the
design/development phase.
Mid-Term Projects – 5 to 10-year outlook
These are also very attractive projects for the short term; however, it is realized that
not all the best projects can be developed in just a few years. Mid-term projects
could potentially be developed over a five to ten-year period. In the event that
resources become available or opportunities emerge to move forward with these
projects more quickly, then design/development should not be delayed.
Long-Term –10 to 20-year outlook
All projects identified in this plan are considered important to the future of
recreational trails and non-motorized travel in Mason County. However, recognizing
that not all the projects envisioned can realistically be developed over the next five to
ten years, long-term projects are those that may be more likely to see development
over the next ten to twenty years. Again, where opportunities or resources become
available to expedite their development, they should not be delayed. Long-term
projects are summarized in Appendix C.
An effort was made to ensure that both short-term and mid-term priority projects are
equitably distributed to serve the various population centers of the county.
Short-term and mid-term priority trail projects are listed in Tables 8–1 and 8–2 and are
illustrated in Figures 8–1a through 8–1d. Bikeway priorities are listed in Tables 8–3 and
8–4 and are illustrated in Figure 8–2. Short-term projects are designated as “Priority 1”
on the maps. Priority 2 trails are considered mid-term and Priority 3 trails are long-term.
The information in the tables is an overall description that in some cases varies along
portions of the route. Land ownership also varies along some routes and only the
principal land manager is indicated. See Appendix C for more detailed information.
(Land manager abbreviations are explained on page 45; GREEN refers to Green
Diamond Resource Company; other private lands are labeled PRIVATE.) User groups
are H (hiker), E (equestrian), and B (bicyclist).
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Table 8–1
Short-term Priority Trail Projects
Trail Name
Miles
1. Camp Govey Trails
2. Foothills Park Loop
3. Goldsborough Creek
4. Kennedy Creek Trail
5. MCRA Loop Trail
6. Menards Landing Trail
7. Menards to Jiggs Lake
8. North Bay Trail
9. Oakland Bay Trail
10. Oakland Bay Historic Park
11. Oakland Bay View Trail
12. S Fork Skokomish Trail
13. Shelton Creek Trail
14. Shelton-Belfair Trail
15. Shelton-Skokomish Trail
16. SR3 sidepath (Belfair)
17. Bourgault-Sunnyside Trail
18. Truman Glick Park
19. Twanoh SP to Mason Lake
20. Washington State Parks
Total
7.0
0.8
1.0
2.2
0.7
0.2
10.5
1.7
0.5
1.5
0.3
0.2
1.0
1.6
1.6
1.2
1.5
1.0
5.0
4.5
44.0
MARCH, 2008
Land
Manager
GREEN
MC
PRIVATE
PRIVATE
MC
MC
DNR
PRIVATE
USA
MC
WDFW
USFS
PRIVATE
MASON
WSDOT
WSDOT
MASON
MC
GREEN
WSPRC
User
Groups
H,E,B
H,B
H
H
H
H
H,E,B
H,B
H,E,B
H
H
H,E
H
H,B
H,B
H,B
H,B
H
H,E,B
H
ADA
Potential
Good
Fair
Good
Fair
Fair
Fair
Poor
Fair
Good
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Fair
Poor
Fair
Proposed Standard
High*
Medium
High
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
High
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
High
High
High
High
Medium
Medium
Medium
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
,..,, ,..,,
• Trail Priorities
""
~
;"\../
1
2
""
~
3
0
2
3
4
,"""
.......
s
High Standard Trail
Medium Standard Trail
Wildland Standard Trail
Priority
Figure 8-1a
NW Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails , by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/ 11 /08
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
• Trai l Priorities
"' ,,......_,, "'
""
""
High Standard Trail
2
3
2
3
5
4
N
Medium Standard Trail
/"'.../ Wildland Standard Trail
/"'.../
1
Miles
0
w
*r
s
Priority
Figure 8-1b
NE Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails . by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/ 11 /08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
80
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
>-
I-
z
:::>
0
()
er
0
r.
Ill
~
r
(/)
~
~
• Trail Priorities
,,..,,
,,..,,,
Miles
0
High Standard Trail
3
4
5
W
*(
'
'1V -...,, '1V
Medium Standard Trail
~ ~
Wildland Standard Trail
A./
2
s
1
2
3
Priority
Figu re 8-1c
SW Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting. 2/ 11/08
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Skokomish
Tribal Nation
• Trail Priorities
"'
""
~
I""../
"'
""
1
2
3
~
Mites
0
High Standard Trail
2
3
5
4
·+·
K
Medium Standard Trail
Wildland Standard Trail
s
Priority
Figure 8-1d
SE Mason County
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Traits. by Skookum Peak ConsuHing. 2/ 11108
MARCH, 2008
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Table 8–2
Mid-term Priority Trail Projects
Trail Name
Miles
1. Allyn Trail
2. Belfair Plateau Trail
3. Belfair Trail
4. Bourgault-Sunnyside Tr
5. Camp Govey Trail
6. Goldsborough Creek Trail
7. Hoodsport-Cushman Trail
8. Huff and Puff Trail
9. Lake Limerick link
10. Nahwatzel Lake Trail
11. North Island Dr sidepath
12. Oakland Bay Trail
13. Price Lake Trail
14. Shelton-Belfair Trail
15. Shelton sidepaths
16. Shelton-Skokomish Trail
17. Skokomish Forks Trails
18. Belfair SR3 sidepath
19. Tacoma Power Corridor
20. Theler Wetlands
21. Twanoh SP-Mason Lake
22. Washington State Parks
Total
1.3
1.2
3.7
3.0
10.5
10.4
13.0
1.8
0.9
0.9
3.3
3.1
0.1
22.9
1.0
4.6
10.0
1.7
14.0
0.1
0.8
2.5
110.8
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Land
Manager
User
Groups
ADA
Potential
Proposed Standard
WSDOT
PRIVATE
WSDOT
MC
GREEN
GREEN
DNR
SHELTON
USA
GREEN
MC
USA
DNR
USA
SHELTON
WSDOT
GREEN
WSDOT
TACOMA
WDFW
WSPRC
WSPRC
H,B
H,B
H,B
H,B
H,E,B
H,E,B
H,E,B
H
H,E,B
H
H
H,E,B
H
H,E,B
H,B
H,B
H,E
H,B
H,E,B
H
H
H
Good
Fair
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Poor
Fair
Fair
Poor
Fair
Good
Poor
Fair
Good
Good
Poor
Fair
Fair
Good
Poor
Fair
High
Medium
High
Medium
High
High
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
High
Medium
Medium
High
High
Medium
High
Medium
High
Medium
Medium
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Project Descriptions: Short-term Priority Trails
1. Camp Govey Trails
About 7.0 miles of trails are recommended, utilizing an historic logging railroad grade, a
large, abandoned steel bridge over a gorge, and several miles of riparian forest along
Vance and Fir Creeks. Access would be by way of a new trailhead at Camp Govey
where a half-mile interpretive loop is also proposed. The site offers an opportunity for
trail users and other visitors to learn about the area’s unique history. The project area is
under Green Diamond ownership. The company was consulted during development of
this plan and has expressed interest in the project, although there is no guarantee the
project will move forward. A variety of safety and management concerns would need to
be addressed, access issues resolved, and overall feasibility must be determined (by
both Green Diamond and the county) prior to actual design and development of facilities.
If developed, the project has potential to become a high-standard trail of regional
significance. Future connections are possible to High Steel Bridge, Lake Haven, the
national forest, and if circumstances allow in the future, Matlock and Shelton via the
Goldsborough Creek Trail. (See Figure 8–3.)
2. Foothills Park Loop
A medium-standard loop trail, perhaps a mile or more in length, should be developed at
Foothills County Park west of Hoodsport. This trail would expand on the existing park
and provide a significant trail opportunity for nearby communities. (See Figure 8-10.)
3. Goldsborough Creek
The existing interpretive trail on the west side of Shelton near U.S. 101 should be
upgraded and perhaps extended as an ADA-accessible loop trail with viewing access to
this important salmon stream. Signing, benches and modest trailhead amenities
including a small parking area and information kiosk are also recommended. Over the
long term, there is potential to extend the trail east into downtown Shelton and west
toward Matlock (eventually connecting to the Camp Govey Trail). However, public
access along the creek or the Simpson railroad line would need to be negotiated before
such a trail could be developed. (See Figure 8–4.)
4. Kennedy Creek
This attractive salmon trail is a partnership of several public and private interests and
efforts are underway to improve the trail and interpretive opportunities along the creek
with a possible extension to a waterfall upstream. A medium standard loop trail system
of approximately 2.2 miles is recommended, portions of which could potentially be ADAaccessible. (See Figure 8–5.)
5. Mason County Recreation Area (MCRA) Loop Trail
A walking/jogging loop trail of up to one mile in length is recommended around the
perimeter of the ball fields at the MCRA. The path could be built to a high or mediumstandard for ADA accessibility and surfaced with asphalt or compacted gravel.
6. Menards Landing
This short path of about 0.2 mile leading to a viewpoint and potential kayak camp should
be developed to a medium standard. The area already attracts local foot traffic and
modest trail improvements could help protect vegetation and an eroding shoreline.
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
7. Menards Landing to Jiggs Lake
A multi-use loop trail of ten miles or more should be developed on county park and
Washington DNR lands partly utilizing old logging road grades and a new trail along
Rendsland Creek and beyond. The trail would link to Wildberry Lake and the new
county park on Jiggs Lake. (See Figure 8–9).
8. North Bay Trail
A medium-standard trail is recommended for a one-mile long corridor along the north
end of Case Inlet, generally waterward of SR 302 and terminating near the fish hatchery.
Trailhead location is undetermined. Public comments have indicated an interest in
seeing this potentially scenic trail developed in the near future.
9. Oakland Bay Trail
The port and City of Shelton have considered constructing a high-standard trail along SR
3 from downtown Shelton to the Oakland Bay Marina near where the existing railroad
line crosses the highway. A future trail could be extended northward along the rail
corridor or on adjacent lands (with permission) to Johns Prairie Road and the proposed
Shelton-Belfair Trail near the BPA transmission lines. The route forms part of a loop that
could follow the Shelton-Belfair Trail back into Shelton.
10. Oakland Bay Historic Park
Trails are part of the proposed development of this new county park which will be
accessed off of Agate Road. A minimum 1.5-mile loop system (medium standard) is
recommended.
11. Oakland Bay View Trail
The short path at a WDFW site on Oakland Bay should be improved to a medium
standard to provide a short, scenic walk near tidelands. An access easement currently
exists around a portion of the adjacent golf course.
12. South Fork Skokomish River Trail
A short viewpoint trail (abandoned) near the High Steel Bridge should be considered for
redevelopment, along with a suitable overlook of the river gorge. The facility could be
designed as part of a viewing amenity near the bridge where public safety is concern.
Travel literature published by various entities commonly highlight the bridge and gorge
as a sight-seeing destination; however, facilities for safely viewing the area appear
inadequate. Development of this proposal requires participation of the Forest Service
who may also wish to consider the potential for extending the trail east and west along
the canyon, with a possible link in the future to Brown Creek Campground and the
existing South Fork Trail farther upstream. That trail is open to both stock and bicycles.
(See Figure 8–11.)
13. Shelton Creek Trail
Recent acquisitions by the City of Shelton along Shelton Creek have provided an
excellent opportunity for a new medium or high-standard trail within an attractive natural
area. As perhaps the most promising “greenway” corridor in the central Shelton area,
the trail could link the downtown area with existing paths near the community college
leading to other public schools and neighborhoods. The area is within the city’s
jurisdiction, but because it would connect well to the regional trail system, it is
highlighted here for informational purposes.
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
14. Shelton-Belfair Trail
A potential trail corridor that should be further investigated follows portions of city and
county roads, the BPA transmission lines, and the USA-owned railroad corridor between
Shelton and Belfair. Rights-of-way appear adequate to facilitate a medium or highstandard trail system with links to nearby communities. Trails that share utility corridors
and active railroad lines have been developed in other areas of the state; however, there
is no guarantee that access to the entire suggested corridor can be secured.
Nevertheless, this would be an exceptional regional trail linking the county’s two largest
communities. Because it is such a large project, most of the corridor is considered
medium priority; however, the westerly two miles between Shelton city limits and the
MRCA are considered a short-term priority. Much design and engineering work for that
portion has been completed and the project should move toward construction soon.
(See Figure 8–7 for the northerly portion of the Shelton-Belfair corridor.)
15. Shelton-Skokomish Trail
This high-standard trail is an extension of the existing paved path along Shelton Springs
Road from its end near the high school and northwest to US 101. The route would cross
the highway and continue north to the future Mason County Fairgrounds at SR 102.
Over time, the path could continue north approximately 4.6 miles to meet the SunnysideBourgault Trail near the Skokomish River bridge. The path should be paved to provide
touring cyclists and others a safer alternative to riding the shoulders of US 101.
16. SR3 Sidepath (Belfair)
The Belfair Urban Growth Area Plan includes a number of bicycle and pedestrian
facilities, including sidewalks or separated sidepaths along SR 3 through the UGA
planning area. Although a highway bypass around the commercial area is moving
forward, the road will be maintained as an arterial for local traffic and the need for
walking and bicycling facilities remains. Links to schools, the library, the Theler
Wetlands and other sites should also be provided. (See Figure 8–7.)
17. Bourgault-Sunnyside Trail
An abandoned one-mile county road connects US 101 to Purdy Cutoff Rd and offers
excellent potential for conversion to a multi-use trail. A new 0.2-mile trail would be
developed near the west end to provide a link to an existing walkway on the Skokomish
River bridge which would accommodate future access to the Sunnyside area and trails
north of the river. A short 0.3-mile nature loop (possibly boardwalk) for wildlife viewing is
proposed near the east end of the old roadway where a modest trailhead facility would
also be developed.
18. Truman Glick Park Trails
Existing trails at Truman Click County Park were built by volunteers and should be
maintained to a medium standard. The trail system could be slightly expanded and trail
information posted near the parking area. A future link to an old logging railroad grade
nearby could also be considered if public access to that corridor can be arranged.
19. Twanoh State Park to Mason Lake County Park
This potential five-mile trail would benefit users of both the state park and the county
park and would provide an important regional connection, particularly if the Tacoma
Power transmission lines can be utilized for future trail development. Non-motorized
access to Green Diamond forest lands is generally allowed, although a permanent trail
corridor may or may not be feasible, depending on land management priorities of the
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
company. A medium-standard multi-use trail is recommended that connects the parking
area at Mason Lake to the end of the existing trail at Twanoh State Park. Although the
trail at Twanoh is within a steep canyon and is designated hiker-only, a nearby service
road is sometimes used as a trail and could potentially provide a link for bicycles to a
campground, restrooms, and water access areas adjacent to SR 106 (there are no
facilities for stock at either park).
20. Washington State Parks
Existing trails within several state parks should be maintained or extended as feasible.
While most trails are in generally good condition, some improvements appear warranted.
Also, at the time this plan was prepared, a new one-mile trail was under development at
Harstine Island State Park linking with the current trail system there. Several miles of
trails at Lake Isabel State Park should also be improved and modest signing added to
help direct trail users through the existing trail system.
For information about mid-term and long-term priority trail projects, refer to Appendix C.
Mason County Bikeways
The Mason County road system provides opportunities for both commuter cycling and
recreational riding, including bike touring by residents and visitors. As road
improvements are made and routine maintenance is performed, consideration should be
given to enhancements that can make bicycle use more comfortable and efficient for
riders, while also addressing safety for both motorized and non-motorized traffic.
Overall Road System Improvements
In place of specific recommendations for particular roads, it is suggested that standard
planning and design procedures be utilized across the board in conjunction with road
improvement projects to determine whether added improvements for bicycling are
appropriate for a given situation. Bicycling corridors offering the most interest to cyclists
in Mason County are presented in Figure 8–2.
Within this larger network, the county should work to identify in the future those routes
which could provide the greatest benefits to cyclists if shoulder widening, paving,
removal of obstructions or other enhancements were made. Typically, roads that
connect communities, schools, employment centers, regional parks, neighborhoods, and
other sites of interest to the cycling community should be given special consideration.
To address this challenge in a more comprehensive manner, the county may consider
conducting a complete road system bicycling suitability assessment to determine more
specifically which routes should be prioritized for programmed improvements.
Mason County Bicycling Map
In addition, bicycle touring routes, as they are identified over time, should receive priority
in the allocation of resources for improvements to the road system for cyclists. To that
end, it is recommended that the county develop a countywide bicycling map for the
public showing the more desirable routes for recreational and commuter riding. General
road conditions, such as width, surface, the presence of long, steep hills, higher traffic
volumes and other factors should be addressed in developing this user map.
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
87
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
• Potential Bikeway Priorities
"1; Priority 1 (1 to 5 years)
~
0
2
4
6
8
Miles
10
Priority 2 (5 to 1O years)
r'V Priority 3 ( 1o years or more)
Figure 8-2
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2111/08
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
88
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 8–3
Short-term Priority Bikeways
Route Name
th
1. 5 St – Alder St
th
2. N 13 St
3. Brockdale Rd
4. Brockdale Rd
5. Cloquallum Rd
6. Craig Rd
7. Dayton Airport Rd (SR 102)
8. Grapeview Loop
9. Island Lake Dr
10. Johns Prairie Rd
11. North Bay Rd
12. North Shore Rd
13. Shelton-Matlock Rd
14. Shelton-Matlock Rd
15. Shelton Springs Rd
16. SR 106
17. SR 3
18. SR 300
19. US 101
20. US 101
Total
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Miles
Right-of-way
0.4
0.9
1.4
4.1
12.5
0.1
4.6
8.1
2.3
2.0
5.7
10.6
0.7
5.6
0.6
20.1
25.5
3.6
22.4
11.1
142.3
Shelton
Shelton
Shelton
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
WSDOT
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Shelton
Mason Co
Mason Co
WSDOT
WSDOT
WSDOT
WSDOT
WSDOT
From
To
Railroad Ave
Northcliff Rd
th
13 St
Shelton city limits
US 101
SR 3
US 101
SR3 Allyn
Brockdale Rd
Brockdale Rd
SR 3
Belfair-Tahuya Rd
US 101
US 101
Island Lake Rd
US 101
st
1 St (Shelton)
SR 3
Mason Co line (north)
SR 106
Olympic Hwy
Olympic Hwy
Shelton city limits
US 101
Satsop Cloquallum Rd
Cole Rd
Shelton-Matlock Rd
SR 3
Shelton Springs Rd
Mason Co Rec Area
Mason Co line
Tahuya
Railroad Ave
Dayton Airport Rd
US 101
SR 3
Mason Co line
Belfair Tahuya Rd
SR 106
Cloquallum Rd
MARCH, 2008
89
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 8–4
Mid-term Priority Bikeways
Route Name
Miles
Right-of-way
Agate Rd
Anthony Rd
Arcadia Rd
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Bloomfield Rd
Cole Rd
Elfendahl Pass Rd
Harstene Is Loop
Hurley Waldrup Rd
Island Lake Rd
Kamilche Point Rd
Lynch Rd
Mason Benson Rd
Mason Lake Dr
Mason Lake Dr
Matock-Brady Rd
McEwan Prairie Rd
McReavy Rd
North Island-Wingert Rd
North Shore Rd
Old Belfair Hwy
Old Olympic Hwy
Olympic Hwy
Pickering Rd
Purdy Cutoff Rd
Railroad Ave
Sand Hill Rd
Satsop-Cloquallum Rd
Shelton-Matlock Rd
Spencer Lake Rd
SR 3
SR108
Trails Rd
US 101
6.6
3.0
7.1
3.2
11.8
4.7
3.2
1.8
10.3
2.4
0.5
2.8
8.3
3.1
6.5
4.6
10.9
2.5
6.7
1.1
4.2
3.9
2.4
1.6
6.3
2.8
0.9
5.8
9.3
9.7
2.8
2.7
7.8
3.3
8.1
172.7
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Shelton
Mason Co
Mason Co
Shelton
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
Mason Co
WSDOT
WSDOT
Mason Co
WSDOT
Total
MARCH, 2008
From
To
SR3
SR3
SR3
Old Belfair Hwy
SR300
Kamilche Point Rd
Craig Rd
North Shore Rd
Harstine Bridge
Old Olympic Hwy
Island Lake Dr
Old Olympic Hwy
US 101
SR3
Trails Rd
Mason Lake Rd
Shelton Matlock Rd
Mason Lake Rd
SR106
Harstine Island Rd
Tahuya
SR300
US 101
Alder St
SR3
US 101
Shelton Matlock Rd
SR300
Cloquallum Rd
Dayton Airport Rd
Pickering Rd
US 101
US101
E Mason Lake Dr
Cloquallum Rd
Pickering Rd
Mason Benson Rd
Lynch Rd
Panther Lake Rd
North Shore Rd
Old Olympic Hwy
Lynch Rd
Belfair Tahuya Rd
Harstine Bridge
SR108
Shelton Springs Rd
Bloomfield Rd
Arcadia Rd
Mason Lake Dr
Mason Lake Rd
Mason Benson Rd
Schafer Park Rd
Brockdale Rd
Brockdale Rd
Jerrell Cove SP
Menards Landing
Mason Co line
Hurley Waldrip Rd
Wallace Kneeland Rd
Agate Rd
SR 106
1st St
Bear Creek Dewatto Rd
Mason Co line S
Matlock-Brady Rd
Agate Rd
Railroad Ave
Mason Co line
SR 106
Mason Co line (S)
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
90
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
8.5 Trails and Bikeways: Focus Areas
As this plan was developed, the most attractive opportunities for new trails and bikeways
seemed to occur within several distinct areas of the county. As a result, nine focus
areas were identified for more detailed mapping and analysis. Maps and descriptions for
each Focus Area are provided on the following pages:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
FOCUS AREA 1: Camp Govey (Figure 8–4)
FOCUS AREA 2: Shelton Area (Figure 8–5)
FOCUS AREA 3: Kennedy Creek (Figure 8–6)
FOCUS AREA 4: Harstine Island (Figure 8–7)
FOCUS AREA 5: Belfair-Theler Wetlands (Figure 8–8)
FOCUS AREA 6: Mason Lake-Twanoh State Park (Figure 8–9)
FOCUS AREA 7: Menards Landing-Jiggs Lake (Figure 8–10)
FOCUS AREA 8: Hoodsport-Lake Cushman (Figure 8–11)
FOCUS AREA 9: N & S Forks Skokomish River (Figure 8–12)
A key to the location of each Focus Area is provided in Figure 8–3 on the next page,
followed by a map for each of the nine areas. Both trails and on-street bikeways are
included.
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
91
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
92
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
• Predominant Land Ownerships
Trails (Off-Street Facilities)
#~#' Bikeways (On-Street Facilities)
Olympic National Forest
-
Green Diamond Resource Company
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
1""
Figure 8-4
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails. by Skookum Peak Consuhing. 2111 108
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
.
~Miles .~
1. Camp Govey Trails
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
• Predominant Land Ownerships
~ Miles
0
• Potential Trai l and Bikeway Corridors
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
# • .,,,, On-Street Facilities (Bikeways)
_
WADNR
-
Mason County
-
Green Diamond Resource Company
Manke Timber/lumber Company
0.3
0.6
0.9
1.2
~t·
Figure 8-5
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
I.Aasen County Parks a nd Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/11108
93
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
2. Shelton Area
94
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
#~' On-Street Facilities (Bikeways)
.
• Predominant Land Ownerships
L
WADNR
-
Mason County
-
Gree n Diamond Resource Company
Miles
o
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
o.s
.Jk..._,
T
, _.
Figure 8-6
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails. by Skookum Peak Consulting. 2111108
e;
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
3. Kennedy Creek
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
#·..~ On-Street Facil ~ies (Bikeways)
.
• Predominant Land Ownerships
-
WA State Parks
C-
WADNR
-
Mason County
-
Green Diamond Resource Company
Manke Timber/Lumber Company
0
0 25
0 .5
.___
0.75
__, Maes
1
-~•
;>t<
Figure 8-7
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason
.
~
Coun~1 Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/11108 ~p
95
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
4. Harstine Island
96
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
• Predominant Land Ownerships
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
-
#•.,;
~ Miles
0
WA State Parks
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
C-
WADNR
On-Street Faciltties (Bikeways)
-
Mason County
-
Green Diamond Resource Company
Manke Timber/Lumber Company
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
-~
7r' '
Figure 8-8
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason
Coun~1
Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak ConS1Jllin9, 2/11108
~
~ti
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
S. Belfair State Park-Theler Wetlands
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
#•w'
On-Street Facilities (Bikewa ys)
• Predominant Land Ownerships
-
WA State Parks
Cl
WADNR
-
Mascn County
-
Green Diamond Resource- Company
-
Manke Timber/Lumber Company
~ Miles
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
'
-~~·
,
Figure 8-9
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 211 1/08
97
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
6 . Mason Lake-Twanoh State Park
98
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
• Predominant Land Ownerships
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
-
WA State Parks
L
WAONR
-
Mason County
-
Green Diamond Resource Company
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
#·~,, On-Street Facilities (Bikeways)
- - Manke Timber/Lumber Company
0
0.25
0.5
'------' Miles
0.75
1
~~r-·
Figure 6-10
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Part<s and Trails. by Skookum Peak Consulting. 2/11108
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
7. Menards Landing-Jiggs Lake
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
• Predominant Land Ownerships
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
-
0
Off- Street Facilities (Trails)
+••~ On-Street Facilities (Bikeways)
WA Slate Parks
L
WADNR
-
Mason County
-
Green Diamond Resource Company
Manke Timber/Lumber Company
0.25
0.5
0.75
1Moles
~t•
Figure 8-11
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails. by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/11/0B
t}
99
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
8. Hoodsport to Lake Cushman
100
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
• Predominant Land Ownerships
• Potential Trail and Bikeway Corridors
-
#.,,
Off-Street Facilities (Trails)
On-Street Facilities (Bikeways)
WA State Parks
~ WADNR
-
Mason County
Green Diamond Resource Company
Manke Timbe r/Lumber Company
~
.
5
075
1
Miles
~->--~,
~r-
.
Figure 8-12
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails. by Skookum Peak Coosulling, 2111/06
CiJ
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
9. North & South Forks Skokomish River
101
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
8.6 Trailheads and Trail-Related Facilities
Existing parks (both local and state) are generally adequate to serve most priority trail
projects identified in this plan. However, significant improvements are needed in some
areas. A few new sites should be considered to serve the regional trail system as it
develops. A list of both major and minor trailhead locations is provided in Table 8–5
and all are shown in Figure 8–13. Major trailheads would include larger parking areas,
typically ten spaces or more, along with restrooms, trash receptacles, information kiosks
with trailhead maps, posted rules, and other user information, and for some sites,
picnicking and interpretive facilities. These sites would generally be ADA-accessible.
Minor trailheads would typically include smaller parking areas (ten or less spaces,
graveled), minimal signing, and portable restrooms.
In addition to the major trailheads currently available, new sites or major improvements
to existing sites should be considered to serve the regional trails system at the following
locations:
Existing sites to be improved:
• Mason Lake County Park
• Mason County Recreation Area
• Menards Landing
• Foothills Park
• Goldsborough Creek
• Jiggs Lake
MARCH, 2008
New sites to be developed:
• Camp Govey
• Oakland Bay Historic Park
• Bourgault Road (east end)
• Shelton-Belfair Trail (location to
be determined)
• North Bay/Allyn/Portage
• Kennedy Creek
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
102
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Table 8–5
Trailhead Recommendations
Land Manager/Site
Olympic National Park
Maintain/enhance existing
Olympic National Forest
Maintain/enhance existing
Big Creek
Jefferson Ridge
Mount Rose
S. Fork Skok/H.S. Bridge
State Parks
Maintain/enhance existing
Belfair
Harstine Island
Hoodsport Trail
Lake Isabel
Tahuya State Forest
Mason County Parks
Oakland Bay Historical Park
Mason Lake
Camp Govey
Bourgault-Sunnyside
Shelton-Belfair Trail
MCRA
Menards Landing
North Bay/Allyn/Portage
Jiggs Lake
Foothills Park
City of Shelton
Maintain/enhance existing
Goldsborough/Shelton Creeks
Other
Theler Wetlands
Goldsborough Creek
Kennedy Creek
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Parking
Restroom
Signs/
Kiosk
Camping
Picnic
Area
10-20
<5
20+
10-20
Basic
None
Basic
Basic
Basic
None
Basic
Basic
Y
N
N
N
Y
N
Y
Y
20+
10-20
5-10
5-10
20+
Standard
Basic
Basic
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Y
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
10-20
20+
20+
10-20
20+
20+
20+
5-10
5-10
10-20
Standard
Standard
Standard
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
Basic
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Basic
Basic
Standard
Y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
-
-
-
-
-
20+
5-10
5-10
Basic
Basic
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
MARCH, 2008
103
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
8.7 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Recreation in Mason County
ORV recreation was not fully addressed in the development of this plan. However, the
Regional Trails Committee and the planning team recognized that ORV recreation is
enjoyed by a many residents as well as visitors who travel considerable distances to
recreate at the county’s only designated ORV facility at Tahuya State Forest. It was
agreed that these and other opportunities warranted more serious consideration and that
a subsequent planning effort should be initiated to consider the needs specific to this
community of trail users. As a result, the following recommendations were developed for
this plan. All can be considered short-term priorities.
8.7.1
Conduct an ORV Feasibility Study in the future to examine additional ORV
opportunities in Mason County. Partners could include Mason County, DNR,
Washington State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, and willing private landowners.
A potential funding source for this effort could be the state NOVA fund
administered by the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.
8.7.2
The potential for designating selected county roads as designated ORV routes in
the future should be researched as has been done in the Odessa area and
Okanogan County.
8.7.3
The potential for a trail route to connect Green Diamond Resources land with the
new Mason County Fairgrounds facility should be researched. This would
require cooperation of adjoining private landowners as well as Green Diamond
Resource Company. Possible partners are the Puget Sound Enduro Riders
(PSER), mountain biking organizations, and Backcountry Horsemen.
8.7.4
A future ORV route from a staging area in Mason County to the Straddleline ORV
Park in Thurston/Grays Harbor County’s should be considered.
8.7.5
Possible options of ORV routes along powerline corridors should be explored.
8.7.6
Explore the option of creating an ORV “play area” or sports park somewhere in
Mason County. This would not be a trail system or track facility, but a facility that
provides for general ORV recreation.
8.7.7
Support educational efforts by the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, local
ORV organizations, and others that promote safe and responsible ORV use in
Mason County.
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
104
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
8.8 Mason County Water Trails
Recommendations for water trails include improved access and launch facilities in the
shoreline areas of the county generally, and additional opportunities for overnight
parking at existing launch sites. Also, three additional campsites for water trail users are
recommended, as illustrated in Figure 8–14. Information kiosks should be considered,
where appropriate, and may include maps or charts and user information addressing
boating safety, points of natural or historic interest, and the location of nearby services
and restroom facilities. Potential new sites were identified in Section 4. Among these,
both short-term and mid-term priority sites are listed in Table 8–6.
Table 8-6
Water Trails: Short-term and Mid-term Priorities
Site Name
Dewatto (CMT)
Lake Isabel State Park
Lattimers Landing
Lilliwaup Beach
South Lilliwaup
Menards Landing CP
North Bay
Oakland Bay County Park
Union River access
Twanoh State Park W
Twanoh State Park E
Belfair State Park
Mason Lake County Park
Walker County Park
Oyster Bay
Squaxin Island
Shorecrest County Park
Oakland Bay Marina
Stretch Point State Park
North Bay Beach Access
Deveraux Lake
Hood Canal NE
Hood Canal Land Trust
North Shore-Port of Allyn
Orre Nobles road end
Skokomish Estuary
Bourgault Road
Skokomish River Access
Lake Cushman-near Staircase
Lake Cushman Park
Jiggs Lake
Oakland Bay access
Oyster Bay Overlook
Triton Cove State Park
Allyn Waterfront Park
Arcadia Boat Launch
Hoodsport Public Dock
Nahwatzel Lake access
Fair Harbor
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Land Manager
Type
Restroom
Priority
DNR
WSPRC
MC
WSDOT
MC
MC
WDFW
MC
WDFW
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
MC
MC
WDFW
WSPRC
MC
Port of Shelton
WSPRC
WDFW
WDFW
WDFW
Private
Port of Allyn
MC
WDFW
MC
WDFW
USFS
Private
MC
WDFW
CMT campsite
Lake access
Launch site
Beach walk
Kayak launch
CMT campsite
Trail & view
CMT campsite
Trail & view
Boat launch
Dock, hand launch
Hand launch
Boat launch
CMT campsite
Trail & view
Kayak landing
Beach access
Boat launch
CMT campsite
Beach access
Boat launch
Trail & view
Trail & view
Boat launch
Beach access
Hand launch & view
Trail & view
Fishing & view
View
View & hand launch
View & hand launch
Trail & view
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
WDFW
WSPRC
View
CMT campsite
Port of Allyn
Squaxin Tribe
Port of Hoodsport
WDFW
Port of Grapeview
Boat launch & park
Boat launch
Dock & view
Boat launch
Boat launch
Basic
Basic
Basic
None
Basic
Basic
Standard
Standard
Basic
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Basic
Basic
Basic
Standard
Standard
Basic
Basic
Basic
Basic
Basic
None
Basic
Basic
None
Basic
Standard
Basic
Basic
Basic
Standard
Standard
Basic
Standard
Basic
Standard
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
MARCH, 2008
105
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
• Water Trail Priorites
"='\' Boat Ramp
.&
Q
Priority 1
D
Priority 2
e
Dock/Float
Miles
0
2
4
6
8
10
Hand Launch
~ CMT Campsite
A
Potential CMT Campite
0
Other Access Potential
Figure 8-14
Mason County Regional Trails Plan
Mason County Parks and Trails, by Skookum Peak Consulting, 2/11/08
MARCH, 2008
JC\
~
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
106
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
9. FUNDING AND IMPLEMENTATION
The successful funding and implementation of projects envisioned by this plan will
require a dedicated effort by Mason County staff as well as partnering agencies and
organizations. This section begins with a brief explanation of some of the factors that go
into estimating project costs for priority projects. Also in this section, potential funding
sources are discussed, including a brief description of some of the more promising state
and federal sources that communities often rely upon for the development of trails and
non-motorized transportation facilities.
9.1 Estimating Costs
The cost estimates for priority projects provided in Section 9.2 (see also Appendix C) are
intended for general planning and grant seeking purposes only. Trail costs can vary
considerably and depend on a number of factors. At the regional planning level, only
conceptual information about specific projects is known. Actual costs depend on site
conditions, facilities desired, final design features, bids offered, sources of funding, and
other factors. A refinement of cost estimates can be expected as projects become more
clearly defined in the final design phase. It is anticipated that on some projects, work will
also be carried out by volunteers working with agency staff and/or contractors, which in
some cases can reduce costs considerably.
Cost estimates are sometimes based on costs of completed public trail projects
elsewhere in the region that are similar in nature. However, estimates should also
consider average costs in the region for clearing, grubbing, excavation, drainage,
surfacing, and any typical structures that might be anticipated, such as small trail
bridges. A small percentage can be added to the cost of wildland trails to account for
the difference between map-scaled trail lengths and actual constructed lengths.
Approximately ten percent of the cost of construction is often added for design, contract
preparation, and administration. Washington State sales tax should also be included in
project costs. The cost for environmental analysis and permitting can be difficult to
predict and are often excluded, although in most situations such costs are minimal for
trail development.
Once the total costs for a particular project have been roughly estimated, grant
applications can be prepared indicating which resources are available and what amount
of support is necessary to develop the project. Upon grant approval, more detailed
analysis and estimating can be conducted prior to contracting and construction. Final
design and engineering tasks are sometimes paid for through approved grants, which
can be helpful in developing more accurate cost estimates.
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9.2 Short-term Priority Projects
A list of short term priority projects recommended by this plan is presented in Table 9–1
below, including estimated costs for all Mason County projects, approximate timeframes,
and the lead agency for each project. (The projects are presented alphabetically.)
Estimates for city, state and federal agency projects are not included, since they conduct
their own scoping, estimating, and budgeting for projects within their jurisdiction.
Potential funding sources that may be particularly helpful to these projects are noted.
These sources are grant programs administered by the state and are further described
in section 9.3
• ALEA
Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account
• LWCF
Land and Water Conservation Fund
• NOVA
Non-Highway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program
• NRTP
National Recreational Trails Program
• SRTS
Safe Routes to Schools Program
• TE
Transportation Enhancements
• WWRP
Washington Wildlife Recreation Program
Mason County Project Summary
As shown in Table 9–1, thirteen of the twenty trail projects listed involve Mason County
as the responsible entity to move these projects through project planning, design, and
development (other agencies might also be participating). The total estimated costs for
these thirteen projects is in the range of $2.7 million. Development of the larger projects,
particularly the Camp Govey trails and the Shelton-Belfair Trail, will likely be phased
over several years. A proposed feasibility study for Camp Govey will include planning
and conceptual design work and perhaps some final design of facilities. For the SheltonBelfair Trail, a master plan including route delineations and design concepts for trails
and related amenities is recommended. Other suggested planning and design studies
are noted in Section 8.3.7.
Each of the remaining projects in Table 9–1 could potentially be designed and
constructed as a single funded project that does not require phased funding or
development. This includes three projects at the bottom of the table: a Mason County
bicycling map, a kayak camp and launch at Dewatto and Lilliwaup, and an ORV
feasibility study, with an estimated combined total of $135,000 to move these projects
forward. The total budget for Mason County-led projects is approximately $2.9 million.
All agencies are also encouraged to consider early development of the mid-term priority
projects listed in Table 8–2, especially as they develop budgets and work plans for the
coming years.
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Table 9–1
Short Term Projects: Funding and Implementation
Responsible
Agency
Trail Projects
1
Camp Govey Trails
2
Foothills Park Loop
3
Goldsborough Creek
Trail
4
Kennedy Creek Trail
5
MCRA Loop Trail
6
Menards Landing Trail
7
Menards to Jiggs Lake
8
North Bay Trail
9
Oakland Bay Trail
Potential
Funding
Source
Design/
Development
Estimated
Cost
2009-2013
$1,500,000
2009-2010
$95,000
2009-2010
$65,000
2011-2013
$155,000
2009-2010
$50,000
2009-2010
$10,000
ALEA
No
2009-2010
N/A
No
2009-2010
$145,000
2010-2012
$110,000
2008-2010
$120,000
No
2009-2010
N/A
USFS
2010-2013
N/A
NOVA
TE
ALEA
TE, SRTS
LWCF
NOVA
WWRP
ALEA
NRTP
NOVA
TE, SRTS
WWRP
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
WDNR
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
WDFW
Funded?
TE
NOVA
NOVA
WWRP
Yes
(feasibility)
WWRP
No
NOVA
WWRP
WWRP
SRTS
No
No
No
No
No
11
Oakland Bay Historic
Park
Oakland Bay View
12
S Fork Skokomish Trail
13
Shelton Creek Trail
City of Shelton
2010-2013
N/A
14
Shelton-Belfair Trail
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
2009-2013
$290,000
TE, SRTS
No
WSDOT
2010-2013
N/A
TE, SRTS
No
WSDOT
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
2010-2013
N/A
TE, SRTS
No
2009-2011
$100,000
WWRP
No
2008-2009
$20,000
NRTP
Yes
2009-2010
$75,000
NOVA
No
WSPRC
2008-2013
N/A
NOVA,
NRTP
No
10
15
16
17
18
19
20
Shelton-Skokomish
Trail
SR3 Sidepath
Sunnyside-Bourgault
Trail
Truman Glick Park
Loops
Twanoh SP to Mason
Lake
Washington State
Parks
Total
No
No
No
$2,735,000
Other Projects
21
22
23
Mason County
Bicycling Map
Dewatto/Lilliwaup
Kayak Camp/Launch
ORV Feasibility Study
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Mason Co
WDNR
Mason Co
Parks and Trails
Total
Total All Projects
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$35,000
TE
No
2009-2011
$50,000
ALEA
No
2009-2010
$50,000
NOVA
No
$135,000
$2,870,000
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Short-term Projects Timeline
Short-term projects are intended to be initiated or completed within the next five years
(2008-2013). An approximate timeline for each project is provided in the table below.
Table 9–2
Short-Term Projects: Suggested Timeline
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Short-Term Project
Camp Govey Backcountry Trail System
Foothills Park Loop
Goldsborough Creek Trail
Kennedy Creek Trail
MCRA Loop Trail
Menards Landing Trail
Menards to Jiggs Lake
North Bay Trail
Oakland Bay Trail
Oakland Bay Historic Park
Oakland Bay View Trail
S Fork Skokomish Trail
Shelton Creek Trail
Shelton-Belfair Trail
Shelton-Skokomish Trail
SR3 Sidepath
Sunnyside-Bourgault Trail
Truman Glick Park Loops
Twanoh SP to Mason Lake
Washington State Parks
Mason County Bicycling Map
Dewatto/Lilliwaup Kayak Camp & Launch
ORV Feasibility Study
MARCH, 2008
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013+
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9.3 Potential Funding Sources
Funding for the facilities recommended in this plan may be available from a number of
federal, state, regional, and local sources. Many of the more common sources are listed
below.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Transportation Enhancement Grants
Safe Routes to Schools Program
Traffic Safety Near Schools Grants
Pedestrian Safety and Mobility Program
Traffic and Hazard Elimination Safety Grants
National Scenic Byways Grants (includes state-designated byways)
Public Lands Highways Program
Surface Transportation Program (STP)
Non-highway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) program
National Recreational Trails Program (NRTP)
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP)
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA)
Transportation Enhancements Program
Since 1992, the principal funding source for non-motorized transportation in Washington
State has been the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program administered by
the Washington Department of Transportation. This program is contained within the
"Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" (or
SAFETEA-LU) that was enacted by Congress in August 2005. (TE provisions under
SAFETY-LU are similar to those of its predecessor, the Transportation Equity Act for the
21st Century, or TEA-21.)
Both on and off-street facilities may qualify for TE funding except trails that are
principally intended for recreational enjoyment, private use, or provide no significant
value to non-motorized transportation. (Details are available on the WSDOT website:
www.wsdot.wa.gov/TA/ProgMgt/Grants/Enhance.htm..)
Qualifying Transportation Enhancement projects in Mason County might include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Facilities for pedestrians and bicycles
Safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites
Scenic or historic highway programs (including the provision of tourist and
welcome center facilities)
Landscaping and other scenic beautification
Historic preservation
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•
•
Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or
facilities
Archaeological planning and research
Mason County has successfully competed for TE grants in recent years and will continue
to apply for these funds as this plan is implemented. The TE program can provide much
of the funding for larger projects, although local matching funds of up to twenty percent
have been required in the past. The local match may or may not be required in future
grant cycles. The most recent round of TE grants did not require matching funds.
Where matching funds are required, the county's Paths and Trails Fund may be utilized
for this purpose. This fund represents approximately one-half of one percent of the state
fuel tax proceeds returned to the county each year to support local transportation needs.
A similar fund also exists for incorporated cities.
Washington Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (RCFB)
Several other important sources, including both state and federal funds, are
administered by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Funding Board (formerly
known as the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation or IAC). Major sources
include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
NOVA
NRTP
WWRP
ALEA
LWCF
BFP
Non-highway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program
National Recreational Trails Program
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program
Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Boating Facilities Program
Grants under these programs could be pursued to develop a number of projects
identified in this plan. Some sources require that an adopted plan (such as this) and a
capital facilities plan are in place in order to qualify for funding. Details on all of these
programs are available on the RCFB website: www.rco.wa.gov/rcfb/grants.asp.
Safety and Education Funding
A variety of state and federal programs support safety and education efforts within local
communities, especially those that benefit children. Programs include:
•
•
•
•
Safe Routes to Schools program (www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/Safe_Routes.htm)
Traffic Safety Near Schools Grants
Pedestrian Safety and Mobility Program (www.tib.wa.gov)
Traffic and Hazard Elimination Safety Grants
Local Sources
Local sources can range from bond issues, special levies, and real estate excise taxes,
to the sale of surplus properties, increasing the percentage of state motor vehicle fuel
tax proceeds that are dedicated to paths and trails, and the assessment of impact fees
on new development.
The Paths and Trails Fund has been a very important funding source in many counties
for non-motorized transportation facilities. State law mandates that cities and counties
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reserve approximately one-half of one percent of their state fuel tax proceeds for
projects that serve non-motorized users. In many communities, the Fund is utilized as a
local match for state and federal grants to support the design and construction of paved
shoulders, bike lanes, sidewalks, and separated pathways that provide significant
benefits to non-motorized users.
The Conservation Futures Levy is another important source of local funding that can
benefit trails. This levy makes up a small fraction of the property taxes collected each
year and are used for land acquisition, including parks, trail corridors, and other
recreation or open space areas. Funds cannot be used for development; however, up to
fifteen percent of the funds can be used for maintenance and operations on acquired
properties.
A Real Estate Excise Tax, or REET, is a locally enacted tax on the sale of property. A
rate of up to 0.5 percent can be used to pay for projects identified in the capital facilities
plan. A similar one percent excise tax can be used for land conservation purposes. (In
San Juan County, a REET supports the San Juan County Land Bank which funds land
acquisitions and conservation easements, including trail corridors. The Land Bank was
originally approved by voters in 1990 who again voted in 1999 to extend the program for
twelve additional years.)
Private sector funding sources also exist and should not be overlooked. Donations of
land, easements or right-of-way, as well as contributions of expertise, labor, and
materials by businesses, organizations, and individuals have helped some communities
develop entire projects or help meet local matching requirements. Partnerships with
business, property owners, user groups, trail advocates, and others can help create
opportunities and leverage resources. Working in collaboration with land trusts and
tourism or economic development groups can bring similar benefits. Land trusts have
been instrumental in securing sites and corridors of interest to the public, often through
outright land purchases, but also by negotiating conservation easements on lands
having significant environmental or recreational value.
Developer requirements in many cities and counties require that new developments
provide a similar level of service for public parks and trails that exists in the city or county
as a whole, or may require the payment of impact fees to help pay for those services.
As a result, development projects can be a significant source for new trail opportunities.
Some developers view this as a positive contribution to public infrastructure that is highly
marketable and benefits the bottom line for their projects. A number of studies have
found that access to an attractive trail system, for example, can be a major factor in a
home-buyer's purchasing decision.
Regional Park and Recreation Districts
There are currently no park and recreation districts in Mason County (a district in Union
was dissolved in 1999). Although creation of a district requires approval by only a
simple majority of the voters in the affected area, passage of a levy to support the
district's activities requires sixty percent approval under state law. Park and recreation
district boundaries are normally established by the Board of County Commissioners
when the measure is put forward to the voters. Such districts can develop and maintain
a variety of facilities in a given area, from community pools and ballfields to parks, water
access and trails. They are considered junior taxing districts and levies are generally
kept to a fraction of the size of a typical school levy.
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113
Volunteer Programs
Adopt-A-Trail programs help facilitate labor-intensive volunteer efforts such as clearing
vegetation or planting trees and shrubs along trail corridors which can provide major
contributions to a given project. The value of volunteer time can often be used as an inkind local match for grants. Training for trail construction and maintenance is frequently
available through the Washington Trails Association.
Volunteer efforts can supplement the work of agency staff and outside contractors in
"hybrid" projects. In this format, the agency coordinates the project, the contractor
provides the technical and heavy construction, and volunteers complete much of the
labor-intensive part of the work, such as clearing or relocating native plants. The
commitment of volunteer labor can be used to match grants, local funds are only needed
for grant-writing and project administration. Clearly, not all projects are suitable for
volunteers, but where they can be effective, volunteer programs can bring very important
elements of reduced costs, community ownership, and ongoing stewardship. There are
many examples of successful volunteer programs:
•
•
•
•
•
The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Care Crews travel
around the country presenting locally-based two and three-day training classes
for volunteers. Interested residents of Mason County could potentially benefit
from these workshops, and the county as a whole would benefit from highquality, low-cost construction of mountain biking trails.
The Washington Trails Association also sponsors volunteer outings and frequent
training opportunities for the construction and maintenance of hiking trails.
Backcountry Horsemen of Washington has been very active in volunteer trail
maintenance of equestrian trails throughout the state, including Mason County.
Local kayaking groups have adopted many of the Cascadia Marine Trail
campsites in the Puget Sound region and could be active in implementing the
kayaking recommendations in this plan.
Local groups such as the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and Mary E.
Theler Community Center have enjoyed considerable success with volunteer
efforts in the North Mason area.
Technical Assistance
In lieu of funding, technical assistance is sometimes available from state and federal
agencies. The National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program provides technical
planning assistance to local government, state and federal agencies, nonprofit groups
and tribes for development of trails and greenways. This community assistance arm of
the National Park Service also provides support for community outreach and public
involvement strategies in building trail partnerships (see www.nps.gov/rtca). The
Washington Department of Transportation provides limited technical support for bicycle
safety and education programs, as well as facility design and construction. Washington
State Parks, the Department of Ecology, and IAC may also provide limited assistance.
The National Center on Accessibility is a good source of technical information
concerning access to trails and recreation facilities by those with disabilities.
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Foundation Grants
Finally, non-profit organizations advocating for trails have had some success in
Washington State obtaining modest foundation grants to support their efforts. Some
programs may help pay for education, safety enhancements, support for volunteer
programs, and in a few cases actual construction of facilities. Growing interest in public
health issues nationally has led to improved opportunities for small grant funding for
projects that contribute to public health and fitness.
Other Sources
For further descriptions of these and other sources, please refer to the 2006 Mason
County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan.
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10. PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
The goals, policies, projects and priorities contained in this plan were established
through a citizen-driven process that included dozens of meetings with individuals, small
groups and larger audiences over a period of several years. Monthly meetings of the
Mason County Regional Trails Committee were held beginning in February 2007 and
continuing through the summer and fall. An informal survey was conducted and public
meetings were also held. A brief summary of the public’s participation in the process
and results of the survey are provided below. The overall planning process and the role
of the Regional Trails Committee were explained in Section 2.
10.1 Public meetings
With completion of a preliminary draft of this plan, public meetings to present and
discuss potential new trails and bikeways were held in Belfair, Hoodsport and Shelton in
October 2007. Attendees were invited to comment on routes and facilities being
considered by the Regional Trails Committee, to suggest priorities, and to offer new
ideas of their own.
Belfair
At Belfair, there was discussion of expanding trail opportunities on DNR lands on the
Tahuya Peninsula, including better linkages to lakes in the area, and at Sherwood Forest
west of Allyn. Both areas are of particular interest to equestrians.
The chambers of commerce may be interested in contributing resources to developing
new maps for trail users and cyclists. It was also noted that search and rescue
volunteers are planning to GPS all trails in the county, in part to improve safety and
efficiency in conducting search and rescue operations. The information could be made
available to county parks staff or used for other mapping needs as well.
Safe routes to schools for kids remain an important concern for the Belfair community.
A trails committee member noted that several cabins that were removed from Camp
Govey many years ago are still standing and may be available for restoration and
relocation back to the site if the Camp Govey trail concept moves forward.
In terms of priorities, strong interest was expressed for the following areas:
•
•
•
•
•
MARCH, 2008
Theler Wetlands, including links to the proposed Pacific Northwest Salmon
Center and the surrounding community
Trail access along Hood Canal from Belfair to Belfair State Park and connecting
to Theler Wetlands and the salmon center
The potential loop system between Jiggs Lake and Menard's Landing
Trail access along the Tacoma Power transmission lines between Union and
Allyn
Trail access along the BPA transmission lines between Shelton and Belfair
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Trail access along the railroad corridor between Shelton and Belfair
Trails around and between a number of lakes on the Tahuya Peninsula
A portage trail connecting Puget Sound (Case Inlet) with Hood Canal
A new trail from Hoodsport to Foothills Park
A trail connecting Mason Lake County Park and Twanoh State Park
A link to the regional trail system for the Island Lake community
Improvements to the Goldsborough Creek Trail with an extension to Dayton and
beyond
Development of the Camp Govey Trail, including the high bridge over Vance
Creek
Shoulder improvements along SR 3 for bicycling (from the county line south to
Allyn and beyond)
Shoulder improvements along US 101 and SR 106 for bicycling
Improved bicycling loops at Grapeview and Harstine Island
Hoodsport
Despite a low turn-out, Hoodsport attendees expressed general support for more trail
opportunities, especially walking trails, with an emphasis on the Hoodsport to Lake
Cushman Corridor. The lack of a public corridor leading out of Hoodsport (other than the
highway) makes it difficult to determine where such a trail might be located. Larger
private timber holdings might offer potential routes if the landowners are willing to
accommodate trail development. Potential new residential development in the area
might provide an avenue for new trails as part of the permitting and review process.
There was also interest in developing a trail network at Foothills Park where parents
might take their younger kids walking or biking.
In terms of priorities, the following were emphasized:
•
•
•
•
•
A trail from Hoodsport to Foothills Park and Lake Cushman
Trail connections between Theler Wetlands and Belfair State Park
Trails in the area of the North and South Forks of the Skokomish River
Bike access around Island Lake
Mason Lake to Twanoh State Park trail
Shelton
Those attending the Shelton meeting were very interested in seeing new trail
opportunities emerge throughout the county. It was noted that the Mason County trail
system should link to the National Forest and to other regional trails outside the county.
For trails like the proposed Camp Govey Trail, the Mason County Historical Society
should be consulted for information relating to potential trail locations, interpretation and
historic preservation.
Sidepaths along roads and highways, such as on Harstine Island, should be considered
where space allows. It was also suggested that a bicycle bypass be considered to more
safely negotiate the intersection at SR 3 and Pickering Road.
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Equestrian volunteers have received approval to build many trails on Green Diamond
property, especially in the south-central portion of the county. These are not considered
permanent trails since the landowner maintains the ability to conduct harvest operations
and related management activities which can require them to close trails or restrict
access. In some cases volunteers will reopen or relocate trails, as needed to maintain
access. Nevertheless, these trails should be recognized for their significant contribution
to trail-based recreation in the county.
Specific priorities noted by attendees include the following:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Goldsborough Creek Trail
Camp Govey Backcountry Trail
Trails on Harstine Island, especially a sidepath along North Island Drive from the
bridge to the community club
Trails along the lower reach of the Skokomish River
Equestrian trails south of Dayton (also used by hikers and mountain bikers)
The Hoodsport to Lake Cushman corridor
West Tahuya trails and trails at Tahuya State Forest
The Tacoma Power transmission lines west of Allyn
10.2 Public Surveys
Two surveys were conducted with respect to the development of this plan, as explained
below.
2006 Mason County Trails Survey
The 2006 Parks and Recreation Plan includes results of a survey that was conducted in
the summer of 2006. Over 600 people responded to a questionnaire that was distributed
in a variety of ways, including 10,000 copies that were inserted in the local newspaper.
When asked to rate the importance of a wide variety of recreational facilities from
ballfields and boat launches to swimming pools, trails, play areas, and campgrounds,
walking trails rated well above all other choices. Walking trails were also rated as the
preferred choice for potential improvements to Mason County parks. New trail
development for walking and bicycling also rated higher than new park development in
terms of spending priorities for the public, with the exception of new waterfront parks
which rated higher than new trails.
A few other survey results are provided below:
•
•
•
•
MARCH, 2008
63 percent of respondents were from the Shelton area
58 percent were female
23 percent said they use an ORV (mostly ATVs and motorcycles)
78 percent identified a need for more public access to shorelines
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•
75 percent indicated they were either very or somewhat supportive of paying
higher taxes to pay for the maintenance and operation of potential park
improvements (such as new parks or trails)
2007 Trails Survey
In the summer of 2007, another questionnaire, focused much more on trails, was also
circulated to the public by staff and trail committee members, distributed at various
events, and made available to download from the county’s website. While it was not
intended to be a rigorous survey, the purpose was to invite people who are interested in
Mason County trails to comment on the types and locations of trails they might prefer to
use if more facilities were available. Approximately 250 people responded. A summary
of results of this survey are provided below.
When asked which types of trails are most important, the response was as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
66 percent – Along waterways/links to natural resources
64 percent – Backcountry trails
63 percent – Trails that link with other trails
46 percent – Trails that link communities or points of interest
36 percent – Water trails
28 percent – Bikeways on roads
28 percent – Fitness Trails
28 percent – Sidewalks adjacent to roads
26 percent – Trails to schools, parks and other facilities
13 percent – ORV trails
3 percent – Equestrian trails
When the same people were asked which types of trail activities their household
participated in during the previous year, the results were as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
•
77 percent – Walking/Hiking
42 percent – Bicycling
41 percent – ORV
32 percent – Four-wheel drive
40 percent – Boating, canoeing, kayaking
14 percent – Horseback riding
For people who said they had not used trails in the past five years, the most common
reasons given were that there were either no trails or not enough trails to choose from in
Mason County or near where they lived. Safety was a secondary concern, and some
identified trailhead access as a limiting factor. Many people commented that bicycling
facilities on the road system were also inadequate.
People were asked to indicate what change in circumstances would be most likely cause
family members to use trails more often. The most common response was for new and
expanded trail opportunities, which rated significantly higher than making trails safer or
improving trailhead access.
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Roughly half of the respondents said they participated in ORV recreation. The vehicle
used most was four-wheel drive, followed by motorcycle and ATV in that order.
When people were asked if they would be willing to volunteer their time to either
maintain existing trails or help build new ones, nearly eighty percent said yes.
People were also asked to name their favorite trail. This question generated a wide
array of responses, with Theler Wetlands leading for non-motorized trails and Tahuya
leading for motorized. They were then asked to describe their “dream trail” of the future,
including where it might be located. This too brought a large number of responses for
many kinds of trails in many areas of the county. (The input was reviewed by the
Regional Trails Committee in developing the recommendations contained in this plan.)
Other survey results suggested a greater preference for unpaved trails over paved.
Trails that are three to five miles in length were very much preferred over trails less than
a mile long, and somewhat preferred over trails that are longer than five miles.
Finally, when asked about additional fees and taxes to pay for new trails, thirty-five
percent said they were willing to pay at least fifty dollars more per year in taxes or fees
for new trail systems. Another fifty-three percent said they would pay a smaller amount.
Twenty-two percent wanted no additional funding.
Again, this was not a scientific survey and the results only offered a snapshot of interests
among those who participated.
For more detailed information on these surveys, including complete response data and
specific comments on trails that were received from the public, please contact Mason
County Parks and Trails.
MARCH, 2008
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
APPENDICES
Appendix A, Benefits of Trails and Greenways
Appendix B, Washington Safe Routes to Schools Program
Appendix C, Trails System Data
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121
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Appendix A
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
122
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
crails as part of strategic plans to attract
businesses and residents. Many cities have
sought to emulate the success of the San
Antonio Riverwalk in Texas, the anchor of
the city's tourism economy by virtue of its
links to popular stores, resrauranrs and
other destinations. While the Riverwalk is a
uuly unique urban environmenr chat would
be difficult to emulate, many communities
fi nd char trails and greenways provide the
tools to turn geographic resources into
community trademarks that become focal
poinrs of civic pride and key attractors of
new residents and businesses.
•
•
•
Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, testifyCyclists stop at the Hartsburg Cafe and General Store while travelingalong the Kary
ing at a Congressional hearing, credited
Trail State Park, Missouri. (Photo: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy)
trail construction fo r contributi ng
significantly to a dramatic downtown
reviralizarion. Miles of trails now connect milAN ECONOMIC BOON FOR
lions of dollars of economic development, includCOMMUNITIES
ing new stadiums, housing, office space and
The body of academic work regarding the economic
riverfront parks. 2
benefits of rrails and greenways is quite substantial.
A 1998 report by the Center for rhe Continuing
The methodology of such studies varies greatly, just
Study of the California Economy found char
as different trails vary in characteristics such as length,
conservation of open space and higher density
populations served, and the nature of adjacent residendevelopment were essential to preserve a higher
tial and commercial areas. Therefore, it is difficult to
quality of life, an important factor in attracting
apply rhe conclusions of one or two studies to every
employers and employees to California localities.3
trail or greenway and predict what impact a new
greenway
might have on a given community. The fact
After considering several cities, Ruby Tuesday,
that most greenways are multi-objective and can be
Inc., moved its Rescauranr Support Center to a
viewed at different scales also makes economic
site adjacent to che Greenway Trail in Maryville,
evaluation
more complex and difficult.> However,
Tennessee. Samuel E. Beall, llJ, chairman and
the evidence supporcing the conclusion that t rails
CEO, scared, "I was very impressed with the
and greenways improve local economies grows greater
beauty of rhe park, which helps provide a sense
by the day. Across che United Stares, trails and
of community to chis area, as well as che many
greenways are stimulating tourism and recrearionbenefits ir provides to our more than 300 emrelated spending. Trail and greenway systems have
ployees. "4
become the central focus of tourist activities in some
communities and the impetus for kick-starting a
stagnating economy.
"P
ROPERTIES ALONG T HE TRAIL HAVE TAKEN
•
According to a 1998 study, the direct economic
impact of rhe Grear Allegheny Passage exceeded
$14 m illion a year- even though the trail was
only half-fmished at chat rime. 6 In Confluence,
Pennsylvania, one of the project's first rrailhead
towns, the trail has encouraged the developmenr
of several new businesses and a rise in real estate
values. 7
•
In the months following the opening of the
Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville, Colorado, the city
reported a 19 percent increase in sales rax revenues.
OFF ... I 'VE GOT A LIST OF 300 PROSPECTIVE BUYERS
WAI T ING FOR PROPERT Y ALONG T H E RIVER AND
TRAIL, AND THEY'RE WILLING TO WAIT JUST FOR
T HOSE PROPElUl ES."
-SUZAN BEAL, A SALES ASSOCIATE WITH
COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE
•
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Owners of restaurants and lodging facilities
report that they are serving customers who have
come into town specifically to ride rhe trail. The
trail has helped Leadville recover from the
economic blow of a mine closure in 1999.8
•
The Mineral Wells to Weatherford Rail-Trail near
Dallas, Texas arrracts approximately 300,000
people an nually and generates local revenues of
$2 million. 9
•
Visitors to Ohio's Little Miami Scenic Trail spend
an average of $13.54 per visit just on food, beverages and transportation to the t rail. In addition,
they spend an estimated $277 per person each
year on clothing, equipment and accessories to
use during these trail trips. The total economic
benefit is impressive considering there are an
estimated 150,000 rrail users per year. 10
•
The Mispillion River Greenway in Milford,
Delaware, is credited with inspiring downtown
reinvestment and a net gain in new businesses,
with more than 250 people now working in a
downtown that was nearly vacant 10 years ago. 11
IMPACTS ON PROPERTY VALUES
Trails and greenways increase the natural beauty of
communities. They also have been shown to bolster
property values and make adjacent properties easier to
sell. Perhaps the most famo us example of the ability of
dedicated greenspace to have such an impact is New
York C ity's Central Park. Within 15 years of its
completion, property values doubled and the city
raised millions of dollars through taxes. 12 These
economic impacts are seen across the country:
•
A 1998 study of property values along the
Mountain Bay Trail in Brown C0tmty, Wisconsin
shows that lots adjacent to the trail sold faster
and for an average of 9 percent more than similar
property not located next
•
to
the trail. ' '
[n a 2002 survey of recent home buyers sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and
the National Association of H o me Builders, trails
ranked as the second most important community
amenity out of a list of 18 choices. 14
COMBINING ENVIRONMENTAL AND
ECONOMIC BENEFITS
Trails and greenways can play an important role in
improving water quality and mitigating Aood damage.
G reenways preserve critical open space that provides
natural buffer zones to protect streams, rivers and
lakes from pollution run-off caused by fertilizer and
pesticide use on yards and farms. They also can serve
as flood plains that absorb excess water and mitigate
dam age caused by floods. Such conservation efforts
make good sense because they save communities
money in the long run.
•
The estimated annual value of rhe water fil tration
attributed to wetlands along a three-mile stretch
of Georgia's Alchoy River is $3 million. 16
•
The lowest cost estimate for a water treatment
alternative to narural water filtration created by
wetlands in the Conagree Bortomland Swamp in
South Carolina was $5 million .17
•
Approximately I 0 million homes are located in
Aood plains across America. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that
Aooding causes more rhan $1 billion in property
J arnages every year. '8 Converting these areas ro
greenways would free that money co be spenr on
other needed projects. After years of devastating
losses from flooding, Tulsa, Oklahoma, designed
a greenway along Mingo C reek that preserved
and enhanced the floodplain to include woodlands, wetlands, parks and trails. As a result of
this and other imporrant measures, Aood insurance rates in Tulsa dropped by 25 percent. l9
"T
HE TRAI L IS ALREADY ATTRACTING A LOT OF
l'EOPLE, AND WE'RE JUST STARTING TO MARKET IT.
IT"S A MAJOR ASSET FOR OUR REGION. NOT O NLY
BECAUSE OFTHETOUIUST DOLLARS IT'S AT TRACTING, BUT ALSO BECAUSE IT'S A KEY PIECE OF OUR
•
Realizing the selling power of greenways, developers of the Shepherd's Vineyard housing
development in Apex, North Carolina added
$5,000 to the price of 40 homes adjacent to the
regional greenway. Those homes were still the
first to sell. 15
ECONOM IC REBUILDING EFFORTS."
- U.S. CONGRESSMAN JOHN P. MURTHA (D- PENN.)
SPEAKING OF THE GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE
II
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
124
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
HELPFUL RESOURCES
Steve Lerner and William Poole, "The Economic Benefits of
Parks and Open Space," San Francisco: The Trust for Public
Land, 1999. Available on the TPL Web site ar www.rpl.org/
tier2_cl.cfm?folder_id=725.
Roger L. Moore, Ph.D., and Kelly Barthlow, The Economic
Impacts and Uses ofLong-Distance 'Hails. Washington, D.C.:
National Park Service, 1998.
Pennsylvania Economy League, Inc., and Stephen Farber, Ph.D.,
An Economic Impact Studyfar the Allegheny Trail Alliance,
Pirrsburgh: January 1999. Available from rhe Pennsylvania
Economy League, Inc., (412) 471-1477.
5 Greg Lindsey and Michael Przybylski, Economic Considerations in Planning Urban Greenways.· A BriefReview, Indiana
University Purdue Univel'sity ar Indianapolis, Center for
Urban Policy and the Environment, June 1998.
6 Srephen Farber, Universiry of Pittsburgh and Penn~ylvania
Economy League, Tnc., An Economic impact study for the
Allegheny Trail Alliance, January 1999, i-ii.
7 Enhancing America's Communities, p. 17.
8 Ibid., p. 11.
9 A Guide to 7innsportation Enhancements, National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse, 1999, p. 11.
I 0 Ohio-Kencud,')'-lndiana Regional Council of Governments,
The Impacts ofRail-Trails, A Study ofUsers and Nem·by Property
Ownersfrom Three Trails, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Deparrmenr of
rhe lncerior, National Park Service, Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, February 1992. For sale by the U.S.
Governmenc Priming Office, Supr. ofDocumems, Mail Stop:
SSOP, Washington, D.C. 20402-9328, ISBN 0-16-041677-9.
Greg Lindsey and Michael Przybylski, Economic Consideratiom
i11 Planning Urban Gremways: A BriefReview, Indiana
University Purdue University ar Indianapolis, Cemer for
Urban Policy and the Environment, June 1998. Available
online ar www.urbancemer.iupui.edu/reports/
Grnwy%20PDF%20Files/98-C 14%20EconCon UrGrwy.pdf.
Trail Users Study, little Miami Scenic Trail , l 999, p. 15-32.
I I Enhancing Amnica's Communities, p. 14.
l 2 Neighborhood Open Space Coalition, Urban Open Space:
An Investment that Pays, New York Ciry, 1990.
13 Recreation trails, Crime, and Property Values: Brown County's
Mountain-Bay Trail and the Proposed Fox River Trail, Brown
Counry Planning Commission, Green Bay, July 6, 1998.
14 Consumer's Survey on Smart Choicesfor Home Buyers, Narional
Associarion of Realtors and National Associarion of Home
Builders, April 2002.
15 Don Hopey, "Prime Location on the Trail," Rails-to-Trails,
Fall/Wimer 1999, p.18.
ENDNOTES
1 The Impacts ofRail-Trails, A Study ofUsers and Nearby Property
Oumersfrom Three Trails, National Park Service, Rivers, Trails
and Conservation A~sistance Program, 1992.
2 Testimony before rhe Commiccee on the Judiciary of rhe U.S.
House of Represencacives, June 20, 2002.
3 Steve Lerner and William Poole, The Economic Benefits ofParks
and Open Space, The Trust for Public Land, p. 4.
4 E>ihancingAmerica's Communities: A Guide to Transportation
Enhancements, National Transportation Enhancements
Clearinghouse, November 2002, p. 11.
Trails and
Greenways 1
..
I
16 Steve Lerner and William Poole, The Economic Benefits of
Pm·ks and Open Space, The Trust for Public Land, 1999, p. 4 1.
17 Floodplain Managemenr Associarion, "Economic Benefirs of
Wetlands," MFA News, July 1994.
18 "Narional Flood Insurance Progranl," Federal Emergency
Management Agency, www.fema.gov/fima/nfip.shcm, accessed
April I, 2003.
19 ''Reducing Flood Damage - Naturally - in Tulsa," American Rivers, www.amrivers.org/Aoodplainsroolkit/rulsa.hrm,
accessed April 1, 2003.
A.BOUT fl lf.:. CLEARl'.'J(.,l !OUS.E: A project of Rails-co-Trails
Conservancy, the Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse provides technical
assisrance, information resources and referrals co r.rail and greenway advocates
and developers across the nation. Services are available co individuals,
government agencies, communities, gra~roors organizations and anyone else
who is seeking co create or manage trails and greenways.
TRAILS AND G REENWAYS CLEARINGHOUSE • 1100 17TH STREET, NW, IOTH FLOOR • WAS H INGTO N, DC 20036
TO LL FREE, 1-877-GRl'.'WAYS • E-MA IL g reen [email protected] sact. o rg • WE B S ITE, www.t railsa ndg ree n ways.org
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
125
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Skip Navigation
~ Related t opics:
5enefits of Trails and Greenwa_ys
Accessibility
Economic impact
Health & trails
Ralls to trails
Safe Trails Forum
Planning
Hos ted by AmericanTralls.org
Building a better life through greenways and trails
The environmental, health, economic, and community benefits oftmilsfor walking and riding.
~ More resources:
f ,rom Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse
Bibliography
Q11ot;;itions
Glossary
Acronyms
Tools
Products & services
Greenways are corridors of protected open space managed for
conservation and recreation purposes. Greenways often follow natural
land or water features, and link natur e reserves, parks, cu ltural features
and historic sites with each other and with populated areas. Greenways
can be publicly or privately owned, and some are the result of
public/private partnerships. Trails are paths used for walking, bicycling,
horseback riding or other forms of recreation or transportation.
Some greenways include trails, while others do not. Some appeal to people, while others attract
~ For more
opportunities for
training on trail
design, construction,
and management
see the National
wildlife. From the hills of inland America to the beaches and barrier islands of the coast, greenways
Trails Training
provide a vast network linking America's special places.
Partnership area.
Why Establish Trails and Greenwa ys?
"To make a greenway is
to make a community. "
--Charles E. Little,
Author of Greenways for
America
Trails and greenways provide countless opportunities for
economic renewal and growth. Increased property values
and tourism and recreation-related spending on items
such as bicycles, in-line skates and lodging are just a few
of the ways trails and greenways postively impact
community economies.
*
In a 1992 study, the National Park Service estimated
the average economic activity associated with three
multi-purpose trails in Florida, California and Iowa was
$1.5 million annually.!
* According to a study conducted by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, birdwatchers spend over
$5.2 billion annually.2
Promoting Healthy Living
Many people realize exercise is important for maintaining good health in all stages of life; however
many do not regularly exercise. The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that 60% of American adults
are not regularly active and another 25% are not active at all.3 In communities across the country,
people do not have access to trai ls, parks, or other recreation areas close to their homes. Trails
and greenways provide a safe, inexpensive avenue for regu lar exercise for people living in rural,
urban and suburban areas.
''Three new gift shops have recently opened, another bike shop, a jewelry store, an antique and
used furniture store, a thrift shop, a Wendy's Restaurant and a pizza and sandwich shop have also
crnpped up.All this is happening, and only with the PROSPECT of the trai l opening in July.There is
an air of excitement and anticipation now within this community. Something Connellsville has not
felt for many years." - Chris Wagner, Executive Director of the Greater Connellsville Chamber of
MARCH, 2008
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Commerce, Pennsylvania
Environmental Benefits
Greenways protect important habitat and provide corridors for people and wildlife. The preserved
Pinhook Swamp between Fl orida's Osceola National Forest and Georgia's Okefenokee National
Wildlife Refuge protects a vital wild life corridor. This important swampland ecosystem sustains
numerous species including the Florida black bear, timber rattlesnake and the Florida sandhill
crane.
Trails and greenways help improve air and water quality. For example, communities with trails
provide enjoyable and safe options for transportation, which reduces air pollution. By protecting
land along rivers and streams, greenways prevent soil erosion and filter pollution caused by
agricultural and road runoff.
Greenways also serve as natural floodplains. According to the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, flooding causes over $1 billion In property damages every year. By restoring developed
floodplains to their natural state, many riverside communities are preventing potential flood
damage.
Finally, trails and greenways are hands-on environmental classrooms. People of all ages ca n see
for themselves the precious and intriguing natural world from which they often feel so fa r
removed.
Preserving Our History and Culture
Trai ls and greenways have the power to con nect us to our heritage by preserving historic places
and by providing access to them. They can give people a sense of place and an understanding of
the enormity of past events, such as Native American trai ls and vast battle- fields. Trails and
greenways draw the public to historic sites. The six-mile Bethabara Trai l and Greenway in WinstonSalem, North Carolina draws people to the birthplace of the city, the original Moravian Christian
village founded in the late 1700s. Other trails preserve transportation corridors. Ra il-trails along
historic ra il corridors provide a glance at the importance of t his mode of tra nsportation. Many canal
paths, preserved for their historic importance as a transportation route before the advent of
railroads, are now used by thousands of people each year for bicycling, running, hiking and
strolling. Many historic structures along canal towpaths, such as taverns and locks, have been
preserved.
Create Greenways and Trails; Build a Better Life
As new dvelopment and suburbs are buit farther and farther from cities, open spaces have
disappeared at an alarming rate. People spend far too much time in traffic, detract.Ing from time
that could be better spent with their families and friends.
Through their votes, thousands of Americans have said 'yes' to preserving open spaces,
greenways, farmlands and other important habitat. During the 1998 election, voters In 44 states
approved over 150 conservation-related ballot initiatives. Trails and greenways provide what many
Americans seek - close-to-home recreational areas, community meeting places, historic
preservation, educational experiences, natural landscapes and beautification. Both trails and
greenways help commun ities build pride by ensuring that their neighborhoods are good places to
live, so that chi ldren can safely walk or bike to a park, school, or to a neighbor's home. Trails and
greenways help make communities more attractive and friendly places to live.
Resources
1. The Impacts of Rail-Trails, A Study of Users and Nearby Property Owners from Three Trails,
National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, 1992.
2. Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails and Greenway Corridors, National Park Service,
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, 4th edition, 1995.
3. Physical Activity and Health : A Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 1996.
Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the Natronal Trails Training Partnership!
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
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MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
.A-r-'Active
_
''( Transportation
't
U
home
@
what
@
who
@
why
@
how
@
<J) FAQs
where
Campaign
What is Active Transportation?
~Issues
A(-
Champions
Walking
"For decades, walking has been the forgotten mode of
" ' Products
"r Rosourcos
"r Nows & Events
"r Partners
"r AT & Transit
A(- Other Campaigns
transportation. Yet walking is a critical component of our urban
transportation system and a practical transportation choice with
powerful benefits for both individuals and their
communities" (America W alks).
There is great potential for increasing the number of walking
trips in the United States. According to the 2001 National
Household Travel Survey, 8.6 percent of all trips are made on
foot; however, 25 percent of trips in the United States are a
quartet mile or less. Many of these shorter trips could easily be
made by walking.
Walking is easy to do and usually requires no special gear,
skills or facilities. Unsurprisingly, it is the most popular form of
physical activity in the Uni1ed States (Glasgow, 2001 ).
~
According to a 2002 Survey, over half of Americans would like
to walk more for exercise or transportation. Specifically, 63
percent claimed they would like to walk more for errands, while
38 percent would like to walk to work more. While walking is
mainly associated with exercise, relaxation and fun, 35 percent
of respondents also cite walking as a "good way to get around."
1 ~ 11J1foi
People point out a number of reasons for not walking more. But
communities, groups and ~ndividuals can often improve the
walking environment throtJgh relatively simple changes.
BJcyd
~£ D:a,~
D.J.uv.£
d:;o ~~·6
High trraffic speeds make pedestrians feel less safe and
therefore deter walking. Higher speed crashes are much more
dangerous for pedeslrians. Traffic calming can help reduce
vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian safety.
Incomplete, poorly maintained o r missing sidewalks
Absen1, discontinuous or blocked sidewalks deter people from
walking or force pedestrians onto the street or shoulder.
Lack of safe street crossings
A number of crossing aids, either alone or in combination, can
be used to help pedestrians cross slreets more safely.
Crime/personal safety concerns
In some areas, the fear of crime may be a greater barrier than
actual crimes. Walking with a friend is a great way to alleviate
safety concerns.
Dirty or unattractive walking environment
Keep your neighborhood c lean by organizing a neighborhood
clean-up day or encouraging littering prevenfon programs.
landscaping and street improvements can also help create a
more inviting pedestrian environment.
See the PBIC website or the Resources section of this site for
more Information on these bafflers and improvements. Find
inspiration from the 2005 Top Ten Best U.S. W alking Cities.
MARCH, 2008
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TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
128
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Appendix B
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MARCH, 2008
129
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
Traffic Safety Commission and WSDOT, provides information about School Walk
Route Plans:
o direction on how to deveop and implement school walk routes
o procedures to identify pedestrian safety deficiencies along walk routes
o ways for school administrators to work with local public works agencies
Back to Top of Page
Evaluation
• Safe Routes to School Student In-Class Travel Tally Survey Form - The Student
Travel Tally Sheet is intended to help track the number of children walking and
biking to and from school
• Safe Routes to School Parent Survey Form - The Parent Survey Form is intended
to collect information from parents about how their children travel to and from
school, what barriers there are to walking or biking to and from school, and their
attitudes about walking and biking to school
• Safe Routes to School Student In-Class Travel Survey and Parent Survey
Instructions - Instructions for the two forms above.
• Safe Routes to School, School Environment Site Assessment - This tool assess
three aspects of a school environment, planning/policy, the physical environment
and behavior, that can either encourage or discuourage children and famil ies from
walking or bicycling to school.
Back to Top of Page
Funding Program
• 2005/2006 Awarded Safe Routes to School Projects - This is a list of all projects
that were awarded grants for funding from WSDOT in 2006.
• 2005/2006 Unfunded Safe Routes to School Projects - This is a list of all projects
that were not selected for funding from WSDOT in 2006.
• 2004/2005 Awarded Safe Routes to School Projects - This is a list of all projects
that were awarded grants for funding from WSDOT in 2005.
• 2004/2005 Unfunded Safe Routes to School Projects - This is a list of the
remainder of 2004 projects submitted in 2005, which did not receive on offer of
funding in that cycle.
• Washington Safe Routes to School Brochure - Success stories from 2004/2005.
Back to Top of Page
Other related links:
• The Washington Center for Safe Routes to School is a clearinghouse of
information hosted by the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and Feet First -Featuring education curriculum materials.
• The National Safe Routes to School Clearinghouse a SRTS Guide, an online
library and a variety of SRTS support materials. The National Safe Routes to
School Clearinghouse hotline is 1-866-610-SRTS (7787)
• Federal Highway Administration Safe Routes Program
• Washington Traffic Safety Commission School Zone Safety Program
Traffic & Roads I Site Index I Contact WSDOT I WSDOT Business I WSDOT Home
MARCH, 2008
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
130
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Trails System Data
Appendix C
From
To
PRIORITY 1 TRAILS
Bourgault-Sunnvside Tr
Camo Govey Looo
Garno Govev Trail
Garno Govev Trail
Camo Govev Trail
Camp Govey Trail
Garno Govev Trail
Camp Govev Trail
Fir Creek Trail
Fir Creek Trail
Foothills Park Loop
Goldsborouah Creek Looo
Goldsborouah Creek Trail
Hartstene Is SP new
Hartstene Is SP Trail
Kenndey Cr Salmon Trail
Kennedy Cr Salmon Trail
Kennedy Creek Trail
Lake Isabel S Looo link
Lake Isabel SP E Looo
Lake Isabel SP Loop w
Lake Isabel SP N Looo
Lake Isabel SP S link
Lake Isabel SP S Looo
MCRA Outside Looo
Menards Landina Trail
North Bav Trail
North Bay Trail
Oakland Bav Park Looo
Oakland Bay Trail
Oakland Bav Trail
Potlatch SP Loop
S Fork Skokomish Trail
Shetton Creek Trail
Shelton-Bellair Trail
Shelton-Skokomish Trail
Shelton-Skokomish Trail
SR3 sideoath
Truman Glick Park Loop
Twanoh-Mason Lk
Twanoh-Mason Lk
Twanoh-Mason Lk
Vance Gorae Trail
Vance Gorae Trail
W Tahuya DNR
WTahuva DNR
US101/WOFW
Camo Govey TH
N end hiah bridae
N terminus
Old r/r arade north
Camp Govey Trailhead
Vance Cr hiah bridae
N terminus
Garno GoveY TH
FS Rd 23
Hoodsport-Cushman Trail
Goldsborouah Creek Trail
E end existina trail
DNR rd TH
Hartstene Is SP TH
Looaina road access
Old Olvmoic Hwv
Kennedy Cr Salmon Loop
Lake Isabel S Looo
Lake Isabel SP N Looo
Lake Isabel SP TH
Lake Isabel SP N Looo
Deliaht Park Rd
Deliaht Park Rd
MCRA
Menards Trailhead
Allvn Trail
N Allvn WDFW access
Oakland Bav Park
WDFW acce:;:;
Railroad Ave
Potlatch SP
HS Bridae
7th St
Shelton city limits
Shelton Sorinas path end
Shelton SorinQs Rd
Theler Wetlands
Truman Glick TH
Twanoh jct
Twanoh SP S bclv
Tacoma Power trans. line
Fir Creek Trail
Camp Govey Trail
Jiaas Lake
Wildberrv Lake
Purdy Cutoff
Camo Govev Trail
s end hiah bridae
Vance Cr hiah bridae
Road 23
FS Rd 23
S terminus r/r arade
Vance Cr hiah bridae
FS Rd 23
Road 800 (Vance Cr)
Hoodsoort-Cushman Trail
Goldsborouah Creek Trail
W end existina trail
Forest iunction
E beach
Loop end
Kennedy Cr Salmon Looo
S county line
Lake Isabel S Looo
Looo end
Lake Isabel SP Loop N
Looo end
Lake Isabel SP S Loop
Looo end
MCRA
Point
N Ailvn WDFW access
WDFW hatcherv
Oakland Bav Park
E beach
SR 3 - R/R trestle
Potlatch SP
HS Bridae Overlook
Northcliff Rd
Mason Co Rec Area
us 101
SR 102
Clifton Lane
Truman Glick TH
Mason Lake CP jct
Tacoma Power trans. line
Mason Lake CP
Lake Haven Trail
Lake Haven Traill
Menards Landing
Menards Landina
Priority 1 Trails
Lengtn
Miles
0.97
0.16
0.12
0.50
0.09
0.23
1.97
0.13
0.35
1.34
0.61
0.18
0.57
0.71
0.29
0.37
0.62
0.97
0.11
0.37
0.34
0.73
0.07
1.33
0.65
0.24
0.67
1:ox1stmg
Standard Condition
Road
Bridae
Medium
Medium
Wildland
Medium
Road
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Wildland
1.00
1.18
0.30
0.48
0.32
0.18
0.85
1.63
0.98
0.56
1.18
0.72
1.70
1.44
0.91
0.36
0.30
5.67
3.47
37.92
Wildlarid
Wildland
Medium
Wildland
Wildland
Road
Road
Road
UNOEV
UNOEV
UNOEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
GOOD
GOOD
UNDEV
GOOD
FAIR
UNDEV
UNDEV
FAIR
GOOD
UNDEV
GOOD
FAIR
FAIR
UNDEV
POOR
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
FAIR
UNDEV
FAIR
POOR
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
GOOD
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
t're<Jommant
Landowner
Potential
Near
School?
Likely
Users
nopo sea
Standard
Mason Co
Green Oia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Mason Co
Private
Private
WSPRC
WSPRC
Private
Private
Green Dia
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
Mason Co
Mason Co
WSDOT
Private
Mason Co
WDFW
WSDOT
WSPRC
USFS
Private
Mason Co
Mason Co
WSDOT
WSDOT
Mason Co
City Tacoma
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
DNR
ONR
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Potential
Potential
Yes
Potenlial
No
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potenlial
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Polential
Potential
Potential
Potenl.ial
Potential
Yes
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
No
No
No
No
No
No
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
y
y
N
N
y
y
y
N
N
N
N
N
N
y
N
y
N
N
N
N
N
N
y
y
y
N
y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Hike-bike
Hike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Hike
Hike
Hike-bike
Hike
Horse-bike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike·bike
Hike-bike
Hike
Hike
Horse-bike
Hike
Horse-hike
Hike
Hike-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Hike-bike
Hike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Hike
Hike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
High
Hiah
Hiah
Hiah
Hiah
High
Hiah
Hiah
Medium
Medium
Medium
Hi ah
Hiah
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Hiah
Medium
Medium
Medium
High
Hiah
Hiah
Hiah
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Wildland
Wildland
Medium
Wildland
..u ..
Priority
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
Trail Name
From
To
PRIORITY 2 TRAILS
13th St oath
Allyn Trail
BeHair Plateau Trail
BeHair Trail
BeHair Trail
Bourqault Nature Looo
Bouraault-Sunnvside Tr
Bourqault-Sunnyside Tr
BPA Hood Canal Trail
Brockdale Rd sidepath
CamP Govev Trail
Camp Govey Trail
Dow Mt Summit Trail
Goldsborouqh Creek Trail
Goldsborouah Creek Trail
Goldsborauqh Creek Trail
Hartstene Is access
Hartstene Is SP cutoff
Hoodsoort Trail Looo
Hoodsoort-Cushman Trail
Hoodsoart-Cushman Trail
Hoodsoort·Cushman Trail
Hoodsoart-Cushman Trail
Huff and Puff E link
Huff and Puff N link
Huff and Puff Trail
Huff and Puff W link
Jarrell Cove SP Loop
Jerrell Cove access
Jerrell Cove N dock
Jerrell Cove Trail
Lake Haven Trail
Lake Haven Trail
Lake Haven Trail
Lake Limerick link
MCRA Inside Loop
N Fork Skokomish Trail
N Fork Skokomish Trail
Nahwatzel Lake Trail
North Island Dr sidepath
Oakland Bav Park cutoff
Oakland Bay Trail
Price Lake Trail
S Fork Skokomish Trail
Shelton·Bettair Trail
Shelton-BeHair Trail
Shelton-Bettair Trail
Shelton-BeHair Trail
Shelton-Skokomish Trail
Skokomish Forks Trail
Near E St
Partaqe Trail
Theler Wetlands
Bellair SP
Bellair SP
Purdy Cutoff
Sunnvside Rd
US101 S Fork bridqe
SR t t9
KStreet
Matlock ict
FS Rd 23
Hoodsoort-Cushman Trail
E AIR bridQe
Shelton SR3
US101
E Hartstene Is Rd
Hartstene Is SP Trail E
Hoodsoort Trail SP
Hoodsoort Trail SP
FS Rd 24
Hoodsoort
Foothills Co Park
Huff and Puff Trail
Huff and Puff Trail
Shelton Sprinos Rd TH
Huff and Puff Trail
Jarrell Cove SP
Winaert Rd
Near restrooms
Winaert Rd
Lake Haven Rd
Vance Gorae Trail
Uooer Vance Cr Trail
Mason Lake Rd
MCRA
Tacoma Powerline Trail
Skokomish Forks Trail
Nahwatzel Beach Dr
Harstene Is bridqe
Oakland Bav Park Trail
SR3 trestle
DNRroad
HS Bridoe Overlook
BPA Transmission line
SR3
MCRA
Leave AIR r/w
SR 102
S Fork Skokomish Trail
Northcliff Rd
Allyn Waterfront Park
Shelton-Bellair Trail
Old Bellair Hwv
Old Bellair Hwv
Overlook
US101 S Fork bridae
Bourqault Rd
N Fork Skokomish Trail
John's Prairie Rd
S terminus r/r arade
HS BridQe
Hoodsoort-Cushman Trail
Matlock junction
Goldsborouah Cr Trail
E end existinQ
DNA road trailhead
Hartstene Is SP Trail W
Hoodsoart Trail SP
Dow Mt Summit Trail
Bia Creek Camooround
Foothills Co Park
Hoodsoart Trail SP
Huff and Puff Trail
Huff and Puff Trail
Shelton Sprinos Rd TH
Huff and Puff Trail
Jarrell Cove SP
Jarrell Cove Trail
N dock
Jerrell Cove Trail
Lake Haven
Unn.>r Vance Cr Trail
Lake Haven Rd
Shelton-Bellair Trail
MCRA
Skokomish Forks Trail
S Fork Skokomish Trail
N lake shore
E Hartstene Is Rd
Oakland Bav
Shelton-Bellair Trail
N shore of Price Lake
Skokomish Forks Trail
SR3
Leave AIR r/w
Puaet Sound-Pacific AIR
SR3
Skokomish River
N Fork Skokomish Trail
Length
Miles
0.32
1.19
1.06
2.72
0.35
0.32
0.49
0.25
Existi ng
Predominant
Standard Condition Landowner
Hiah
1.48
0.47
4.32
2.84
3.00
10.38
1.62
0.08
0.42
0.09
0.61
5.13
0.12
1.74
0.96
0.05
0.12
1.30
0.05
0.43
0.25
0.08
0.45
0.10
0.70
1.21
0.86
0.32
3.17
2.35
0.93
3.30
0.19
3.07
0.11
0.54
14.26
2.81
3.50
1.40
4.60
2.55
Hiqh
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
GOOD
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
GOOD
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
FAIR
GOOD
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
GOOD
GOOD
GOOD
GOOD
GOOD
UNDEV
FAIR
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
POOR
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
UNDEV
Citv Shelton
WSDOT
Private
WSDOT
WSDOT
Mason Co
WSDOT
WDFW
BPA
City Shelton
Green Dia
Green Dia
DNA
Green Dia
Private
Private
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
DNA
WSPRC
Private
Private
City Shelton
Citv Shelton
City Shelton
Citv Shelton
WSPRC
WSPRC
WSPRC
Mason Co
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
USA
Mason Co
Green Dia
Green Dia
Green Dia
Mason Co
Mason Co
USA
DNA
Green Dia
USA
USA
BPA
Private
WSDOT
Green Dia
ADA
Potential
Yes
Yes
Potential
Potential
Yes
Yes
Potential
Potential
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
No
Potential
No
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
No
No
No
No
No
No
Potential
Yes
No
No
No
Potential
No
Potential
No
No
Yes
Potential
Potential
Potential
Potential
No
Near
School?
Likely
Users
Proposed
Standard
Priority
y
Hike-bike
Hike-bike
Hike-bike
Hike-bike
Hike-bike
Hike
Hike-bike
Hike-bike
Horse·bike
Hike-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-bike
Hike-bike
Horse-bike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Horse-bike
Hike-bike
Hike-bike
Horse-bike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Horse-bike
Hike·bike
Horse-hike
Horse-hike
Hike
Hike
Hike
Horse-bike
Hike
Horse-hike
Horse· bike
Hike-bike
Horse-bike
Hike-bike
Horse-bike
Horse-hike
Hiah
Hiqh
Medium
Hiqh
Hiah
Hiqh
Medium
Medium
Medium
Hiqh
Hiqh
Medium
Wildland
Hiqh
Hiah
Hiqh
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Wildland
Wildland
Medium
Hiqh
Wildland
Wildland
Medium
Medium
Medium
Hiqh
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Hiah
Wildland
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
N
y
y
y
N
N
N
N
y
N
N
N
N
y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
y
y
y
y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
y
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
y
N
y
N
N
131
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
Trail Name
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
Trails System Data
Appendix C
132
TRAILS, BIKEWAYS AND W ATER TRAILS
MASON COUNTY REGIONAL TRAILS PLAN
MARCH, 2008
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