The dates have been set for two Western Washington paddling events. Paddle Bainbridge will be July 13-14, and Paddle Kitsap will be Aug. 10-11.
Both events are annual overnight trips on the newly established Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail. Each trip is open to any human-powered watercraft, including kayaks, standup paddleboards and canoes. Beginning to advanced outdoor enthusiasts of all ages are welcome to join.
Paddle Bainbridge is a 27-mile circumnavigation of Bainbridge Island. It includes paddling the swift waters of Agate Pass and offers sweeping views of Mount Rainier and the Seattle skyline. Participants often see seals, sea lions, porpoises and other wildlife.
Paddle Kitsap features a new route this year. The course will go from Silverdale to Poulsbo, with an overnight stay at Illahee State Park. The trip will be 20 miles this year, instead of the 35 miles it has been the first five years.
Both trips are organized by Olympic Outdoor Center. They are fully supported, with food, shuttles and logistics taken care of by organizers. Paddlers will need to take only a few supplies with them while on the water. There also will be safety boaters on the water for protection. Participants can use their own watercraft or rent from a local outfitter. They can paddle on their own or with a group.
A portion of the proceeds from each trip goes to the North Kitsap Trails Association, which helps preserve and protect water access in North Kitsap. The association created the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail, a 238-mile water trail along Hood Canal and Puget Sound with 90 public access points.
For additional information and to register for either trip, go to olympicoutdoorcenter.com or contact the center at 360-297-4659 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the store at 32379 Rainier Ave., Port Gamble.