Post Summary: What to Expect at The Stump House in Guillemot Cove Nature Preserve
Looking for a unique and fun hike in Kitsap Country?
You don’t have to go far to see the Keebler Elves house (we’re joking) – it’s nestled right along the Puget Sound! If you’re seeking fun and easy hikes near Seattle to do with the whole family, it doesn’t get any better than this!
This iconic Pacific Northwest Stump House is a short hike and fun adventure for the whole family. Visitors can explore inside, learn about the history of the stump house, and even spot some resident wildlife nearby too!
Keep reading for directions (and tips on hiking and parking), the best time of day to visit, and so much more.
How To Reach The Stump House in Guillemot Cove, Washington
History of The Stump House and Guillemot Cove
In 1939, The Reynolds Family (avid bird watchers), discovered the cove on a family weekend trip. After, they bought a total of 158 acres of the Guillemot Cove property to preserve the undisturbed habitat of the birds and woodland creatures that lived there.
They spent time cleaning up the property (farmers built several shacks in the 1800s) and discovered The Stump House. Legend says a criminal named Dirty Thompson built it to hide out from the law.
They decided to keep this fun piece of history, and added a roof to it during the cleanup.
When the Reynolds were ready to sell the property, they were worried it would be developed and the preserve go to waste. Therefore, they lowered the land price and enabled the Trust for Public Land to purchase the entire property to become a nature preserve.
Now, we can all enjoy its beauty, resident critters, and beautiful trails still to this day!
Best Time To Visit The Stump House
Any time of day is a good time to visit the Stump house.
Well, actually, we don’t recommend going at night. It’s not considered one of these haunted places in Washington, but the idea of visiting under moonlight still gives us the heebie jeebies!
Weekend will tend to be naturally busier, but this isn’t a place for huge crowds anyways. You may only find one or two other groups along the trails during your visit.
If you want to catch some wildlife sightings on your visit, then we recommend coming closer to dawn or dusk. This is when the critters come out in the meadows, so you might get lucky and spot some birds!
What To Bring on This Washington Hike
To reach the Stump House, you should prepare as you would any other Washington state hiking trail.
Expect rain (but hope for sunshine!) and wear proper footwear. The trail is laced with tree roots (aka tripping hazards!) so watch where you step too!
There are no bathrooms in the park, so it’s also important to go to the bathroom before visiting the park.
Don’t forget about the 10 hiking essentials, brush up on your hiking etiquette, and wear the proper hiking boots for the wet Pacific Northwest weather!
Directions To The Stump House
Although the trail to the Stump house is straightforward and easy to follow, the trailhead is kind of out of the way!
Short Version: Type “Guillemot Cove Trailhead” into Google Maps
The closest town to Guillemot Cove Natural Preserve is Silverdale, WA. From Silverdale, drive west on the Seabeck Highway for about 15 miles. After Seabeck, take NW Stavis Bay Road for another 14 miles.
Right before you reach the water, look out for signs that indicate you are entering Guillemot Cove. There should be a large pullout to park your car.
Note: Because this is a natural preserve, no pets are allowed in the park. Please keep your furry friends at home for this adventure!
The Stump House Trail
There are several interconnected trails in the park. The trail to the Stump House is roughly one mile downhill, and another 0.25 miles across the creek and into the woods and estuary.
Once you reach the creek and estuary at the bottom, the Stump House trail starts in the meadow across from the old barn.
Part of the meadow is quite soggy (especially in the wetter months). Therefore, take note to watch where you step!
The trail ends at the Stump House, which is a large hollowed out cedar tree stump with a shingled roof. Explore to your hearts content, but remember to leave no trace, and DEFINITELY don’t leave your mark anywhere on the tree!
The closest accommodations to the Stump House would be in Silverdale, Bremerton, or Poulsbo. You could also stay on Baninbridge Island and make a day trip to go see the Stump House!
Either way, staying anywhere in Kitsap County makes for a wonderful weekend getaway from Seattle.
It isn’t too far from the city, has a lot to offer, and provides plenty of nature and quiet corners to rest and recharge from your busy life!
Other Things To Do Nearby
Olympic National Park: Venture over to the Northwest (Port Angeles) or Southwest (Union) side and explore all the fun things to do in Olympic National Park! Follow our photographers guide to the Olympics, or carve your own adventure!
The Alderbrook Resort: Just a little bit more south in Union is one of the most romantic places to stay! Book a weekend getaway at the Alderbrook Resort for restoration, exploration, and dreamy scenery!
Gig Harbor: From the marina to the darling walkable downtown, there’s something in Gig Harbor for everyone! Come for the day, or stay overnight in a sweet bed and breakfast for a complete stay.