Trail from BI to coast in the works

The new Puget Sound to Pacific Collaborative is bringing communities together to plan and build a 200-mile multi-use trail from the ferry docks on Bainbridge Island, Kingston and Port Townsend to the Pacific Coast at La Push.

Far more than a recreational trail, PS2P would be the spine of an “active transportation” corridor and greenway that shifts short commutes away from automobiles to human-scaled and people-powered travel modes like walking and bicycling. It aligns with transportation and climate goals and policies at every level of state and local government.

“One hundred miles are already complete, after thirty-five years of hard work by advocates and local agencies that know the value of giving people a place to get outside,” said Steve Durrant, P2SP project director. “That leaves only 100 miles to build to fill the gaps, make the connections and improve safety to make PS2P all it can be for our communities.”

The PS2P Collaborative network would be bookended by the Olympic Discovery Trail and the planned Sound to Olympics Trail, linking communities and local connecting trails along the route.

Once completed, the PS2P would be the western end of the 3,400-mile Great American Rail-Trail. When combined with the Washington State Parks Palouse to Cascade trail from North Bend to the Idaho border, and a planned route from downtown Seattle to North Bend, it will provide a unified transportation alternative trail across the state.

The PS2P Collaborative includes and is funded by the Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation, the North Kitsap Trails Association and the Peninsula Trails Coalition.

With Port Angeles as lead applicant, the PS2P Collaborative is seeking $16.13 million in funding through the federal Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Co-applicant agencies include Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallam counties; the cities of BI, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, Port Townsend, Sequim and Forks; the Quileute and Suquamish Tribes; the Port of Port Townsend; and the state DOT.

The RAISE grant would fund planning and design of 34 multi-use trail segments across the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas and BI. Together, the trails would fill in approximately 100 miles of gaps between existing trails. Construction funding would be sought in future years.

“Trails are touchpoints to so many of our values and goals — sustainability and connectivity, recreation and community health, climate resilience, preservation of our natural lands,” said Mary Meier, BI Parks & Trails Foundation executive director. “Even as we plan the STO across Bainbridge Island, it feels monumental to be part of this much larger, regional trail planning effort, alongside so many other communities.”

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