Discover magic in the Guillemot Stump House

Story: Stella Wenstob; Photos: George Stenberg

Nestled in a 200-year old maple grove, just 4.5 miles outside of Seabeck is a well-hidden gem, Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve. With several easy loop trails and beach access offering views of the Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains, this park is a great place to bring the whole family!

“Imaginations are inspired by the Stump House, a large hollowed out Western Red Cedar stump that has been outfitted with a door way, window openings and a split-shingle roof.“

Inside the stump house |  photo: George Stenberg

Inside the stump house | photo: George Stenberg

Local legend holds that the Stump House was originally built by Dirty Thompson an escaped convict.  The notches carved in the large stump also gives evidence to springboard logging practices, which dates the stumps creation to the 1890s. 

Stump house showing the springboard holes |  photo George Stenberg

Stump house showing the springboard holes | photo George Stenberg

Loggers would carve notches in the tree to insert springboards above the flare of the roots on the tree so that they could stand on them while they laboriously cut the tree down with large handsaws.  

Boardwalks mark the trail to the Stump House |  photo: George Stenberg

Boardwalks mark the trail to the Stump House | photo: George Stenberg

The park was originally a labor of love of the Reynolds family who bought the property in 1939.  Avid bird watchers, the Reynolds renamed the cove “Guillemot” after the black and white birds that frequented the cove.  In 1993, after many years of enjoying and caring for the land the family sold the property to the Trust for Public Land to preserve the natural beauty. 

photo: George Stenberg

photo: George Stenberg

Planning your trip to the Stump House

The trails in the Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve are all natural surface trails. The 184 acre park can be found at 19235 Stavis Bay Road NW, Seabeck. The park feature saltwater beach access and walking trails. No restroom facilities available at this site. Dogs are not permitted. The Reserve has a “Pack it in – Pack it out” policy. Please bring a bag or other container for trash and take it when you leave.

Directions: From Hwy.3, take Newberry Hill exit; travel to Seabeck Holly Road; turn right. Drive to Miami Beach Road; turn right - drive to "Y"; veer left onto Stavis Bay Road. Drive 4.5 miles to the entrance and parking lot.

The Guillemot Cove Reserve is managed by Kitsap County Parks |  Download map and trail guide

The Guillemot Cove Reserve is managed by Kitsap County Parks | Download map and trail guide