Trails, parks, plans, and pizza; NPS plots future of recreation at Mitchell Hill/Wescott Bay

Park volunteers install a puncheon over a creek on a temporary trail between Bell Point at English Camp and Westcott Bay. - Contributed photo/NPS
Park volunteers install a puncheon over a creek on a temporary trail between Bell Point at English Camp and Westcott Bay.
— image credit: Contributed photo/NPS

Islanders can talk about parks and trails, and enjoy freshly baked pizza as part of a Mitchell Hill and Westcott Bay Trails Workshop, Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Mullis Senior Center.

San Juan Island National Historical Park, which is sponsoring the workshop to gather input on trail use and design, is in the process of drafting a development concept plan for 382 acres of uplands, forests and shoreline that became part of English Camp in 2010 and 2013.

According to park Integrated Resources Manager Jerald Weaver, the vision is to establish a system of trails for non-motorized use at Mitchell Hill and Westcott Bay that honors the unique character of these secluded coastal wetland and forest areas. Input from the workshop will help provide a blueprint for future facilities and recreation for each new area.

“Our goal is to provide walking, bicycling and equestrian trail experiences, along with enhanced accessibility to these trails,” Weaver said. “We want to foster cooperation between the park, trail users and neighboring landowners, and we need help from islanders in guiding development of a trail system at English Camp that both meets the needs of the park and enhances our island community -- please come join the conversation.”

The trails connect English Camp to adjoining properties, support a diversity of recreation, and are an integral part of the island-wide community trail system.

The Trails Workshop will consist of two parts: focus on existing trail use and conditions, and exploring and planning for the future, looking specifically at potential multiple and single-use trails, access to trails and trailheads, resource protection, and opportunities for interpretation and visitor-support facilities.


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