Foulweather Bluff

Why You Should Visit

Near the very northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, a stand of 70-foot-tall red alders welcomes visitors to the Foulweather Bluff Preserve. Just beyond this stand is another grove, where second-growth western red cedar and western hemlock share space with the occasional Douglas-fir. Foulweather Bluff's most vital natural feature is its brackish marsh, a sheltering, moist haven for insects, fish, birds and mammals. The combination of forest, marsh, and 3,800 feet of beach makes the Foulweather Bluff Preserve one of the most valuable wildlife havens on the Kitsap Peninsula.


Two miles northwest of Hansville on Kitsap Peninsula


101 Acres

Why the Conservancy Selected this Site

The marsh is as close to a pristine coastal lagoon as can be found in the entire Puget Sound basin. Once common in the wet bottomlands of Western Washington, old-growth forests containing red cedar have declined significantly during the 20th century. These cedars, protected from future logging by The Nature Conservancy, will eventually dominate the preserve's forest.

This preserve was established in 1967, when the Rawson family donated the land to the Conservancy and established a trust fund for the long-term management of the preserve. Today the preserve contains 100 acres of marsh, beach and woodland. It stands as a testament to the vision of Dr. Rawson and a committed group of landowners who ensured wildlife a continuing home at Foulweather Bluff.

What the Conservancy is Doing

Dedicated volunteers answer visitors’ questions and monitor this site for inappropriate uses, such as shelling, driftwood removal, fires and camping. Stewardship on the site includes removal of non-native plants such as bull thistle, ivy and holly.  

What to See: Plants

More than 300 species of plants are found in the preserve. The brackish coastal marsh is home to more than 50 plant species – a vibrant mosaic of wetland plants, with common spike-rush and seacoast bulrush at one end and hard stem bulrush and cattail at the other.The lowland forest, with its lush native understory of ocean spray, salmonberry, sword fern and salal, supports a wonderful variety of critters.

What to See: Animals

Coastal water birds are seen in all seasons, especially November to March when the wintering species are found. Seen off shore are goldeneyes, scoters, buffleheads, wigeons and many more. The lowland forest supports many different bird species: winter wrens inhabit the forest floor, red-breasted nuthatches work the tree trunks, chestnut-backed chickadees forage for insects on the conifer boughs. The call of the pileated woodpecker resounds through the trees. In the brackish marsh, great blue herons silently stalk their prey while bald eagles and osprey soar overhead.

No pets allowed on the preserve.

The Foulweather Bluff Preserve is open year-round, during daylight hours only. Please stay on the marked foot trail through forest when walking to the beach. The tidelands are part of the preserve and visitors are not permitted to take any materials from them, including shells.

  • From Bainbridge Island, take Route 305 across Agate Pass. Turn right immediately on Suquamish Way and continue through Suquamish to Hansville. 
  • From Hansville, proceed 2.8 miles on Twin Spits Road.
  • The preserve is on the left; parking is only on the dirt road shoulder there. Look for the trail access between two "no parking dusk-to-dawn" signs.

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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