Friday, August 8, 2008

About the Hansville Greenway

What and where is the Hansville Greenway

The Hansville Greenway was conceived as a four-mile corridor of protected forest, wetlands, lake, beaver ponds and streams – linking the beaches of Hood Canal to Puget Sound. The Intent of the Greenway is to maintain and enhance habitat for the plants and animals historically native to the Buck Lake area while providing compatible educational and recreational opportunities. The Greenway has grown into a property of more than 300 acres plus additional trail easements. With this expansion the trail system will soon form a loop of roughly 8 miles.

The Hansville Greenway is located northeast of Seattle, in the semi-rural community of greater Hansville, at the north tip of the Kitsap peninsula, in Washington State. The predominant features of the area are the extensive waterfront beaches of Hood Canal, Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet, broad vistas of the Cascade & Olympic Mountains and Whidbey Island, open fields with active agriculture, expansive forest lands, wetlands, beaver ponds, Buck Lake County Park, Point No Point County Park, Point No Point Lighthouse and the new Norwegian Point Park, which is still under construction.

Natural History

Much of Kitsap County has been shaped by glaciers, which covered the Puget Sound area numerous times over thousands of years. A large mass of the glacial ice became buried by sediments, slowly melting, thus forming Buck Lake. The lake is approximately 24 feet deep and covers an area of 20+ acres. The two beaver ponds south of Buck Lake also have as their bottom strata similar sedimentary materials, keeping their waters from draining downward.

Most of the soils around Buck Lake and the two beaver ponds are surface sediments left by glaciation from the Pleistocene Period. During the last major glaciation, the ice on the Kitsap Peninsula was 900 to 1200 meters thick.

Buck Lake’s water is water shed run-off and groundwater seepage. It’s drainage system is located at its north east end, which then flows north to Admiralty Inlet. The north beaver pond (Upper Hawks Pond), an elongated pond, has approximately 17 acres of water. The water level in this pond is kept stable by a beaver dam at its southern end.

The south beaver pond's 30 acres has a more rounded shape and is generally more open than its northern counterpart. Water seeping through the north beaver pond dam helps feed the south beaver pond. A beaver dam at the southwest edge of the south pond maintains steady water level. Water seeping through this south pond dam eventually meets Hawk’s Hole Creek, which flows westerly and drains into Hood Canal.

Cultural History

Thousands of years ago native Americans lived on and harvested their living from these and surrounding lands. The native Americans of this particular area, the S'Klallams, are historically linked to the Salish speaking people who lived from the Central British Columbia coast to northwest Oregon and the interior Fraser and Columbia River basins. The Salish speaking people were well established in the Puget Sound Basin by 1400 A. D. The Port Gamble S'Klallam reservation is located south of the Hansville Greenway at Little Boston.

Over the years these native peoples have gathered berries, bulbs, roots, herbal and medicinal plants, hunted on these acres as well as fished and gathered shelled organisms from the nearby waters of Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and Puget Sound.
The community of Hansville was founded in the late 1800's as a logging and fishing town. In the early 1900's Hansville began to gain a reputation as a summer resort where fishing was excellent. During this period Buck Lake also became a favorite place to visit.

Besides water recreation activities fine fishing was found there too. Deer were abundant
and often seen drinking at the lake. An unusual phenomenon observed at Buck Lake caused residents of long ago to suspect there was underground gas or hydraulic pressure in the lake's waters. They observed, at different times, water in the lake being forced up in a column as high as the tallest trees and with a great roaring sound.

The first recorded settler at Buck Lake was John Frederick’s who had a farm overlooking the lake.

In 1922, the Puget Mill Company of Port Gamble logged forestlands surrounding and including the Hansville Greenway. The mill laid an extensive system of rail so log trains could haul the newly cut wood to Gamble Bay south of present Little Boston. The logs were dumped into bay waters and then floated north to Port Gamble for milling.

As you walk in this greenway area some of the trails you walk or see are old railroad grades from early logging operations of that era. The most current logging done in the Hansville Greenway was the clear cutting operation on Pope and Talbot land around the south beaver pond in 1980.

Located in The Forest are several ancient western red cedar stumps with springboard plank notches. Springboards were used by loggers in historic logging operations to obtain a straight log while cutting a log above the stump. They obtained the nickname “springboard” planks because of the bouncing or “springing” action of the planks when a tandem handsaw was being used for cutting.

For further information, decriptions, suggested hikes, maps and flora and fauna lists, visit
The Hansville Greenway website

Welcome to the Greenway

1 comment:

kjs said...

Just a minor correction to this wonderful description of the Hansville Greenway. Itis located northwest, not northeast, of Seattle.