A Walk in the Wetlands

                A stone’s throw from Twin Spits Road, a special trail offers solitude among the salmonberry and a vision of blue sky dappled with thousands of green alder leaves. The Hansville Greenway Trail through the Alder Wetlands pulls hikers away from rumbling cars and trucks and into a world of chirping chickadees, croaking frogs and crowing roosters.

                “The whole idea was to connect downtown Hansville to the Greenway, but we almost gave up,” said Ken Shawcroft, one of the Hansville Greenway founders.

                Trail founders finally overcame private property issues—a donation of land helped—and began planning a trail that offered a walkway to downtown and the Greenway’s only fully accessible pathway for people of all abilities. The trail includes three wide boardwalks covered in non-slip webbing. One of the boardwalks is about 40 yards long. Boardwalks are necessary to protect the wetlands beneath.

                The trail is surfaced with small size compacted gravel offering easy access for wheelchairs, bikes and strollers.

                “We have a neighbor who takes his leaf blower and blows the leaves off the trails. That doesn’t happen on other parts of the Greenway,” says Art Ellison, a long-time Greenway volunteer who takes care of much of the maintenance on the wetlands trail.

                A pond was constructed and was visible for a short time from a peaceful viewing platform bordered on three sides by generous benches. Volunteers directed water from the adjacent neighborhood to fill the pond. The idea was that people could sit at the platform to enjoy it. Over time, it filled with silt and tall grass now hides it from view, although it is home for a variety of birds and insects.

                The platform is dedicated to Helen Leckner, mother of Dori Leckner, a Kitsap County Parks senior maintenance supervisor. Dori was a good friend to the Greenway and donated the necessary funds for platform’s construction.

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                It bears mentioning that parking is scarce at the trail. It is best to park at Norwegian Point Park and walk to the trail. Parking is possible along Shoreview Drive, but be careful not to get off the shoulder as the ground is very soft and wet.

                “It’s a very popular trail,” says Art. “And it has the only trash can on the Greenway.”

By Cynthia Taggart