It seems like you can see forever from Devil’s Head. The tip of Pierce County’s Key Peninsula has sweeping views of Puget Sound, its wooded islands, its snow-capped mountains.
It’s travel poster stuff. And now, it’s in public hands.
But don’t put on your hiking boots just yet; it will be some time before its publicly accessible.
The 94-acre swath at the toe of the Key Peninsula was acquired by Pierce County Tuesday with the help of a coalition of conservation partners, including the Cascade Land Conservancy, according to a news release.
It includes about a mile of shoreline, two bald eagle nesting sites, wetlands, old growth timber and a pocket estuary, the news release says.
The $3.4 million land purchase closed Tuesday.
The land was bought from Inspiration Inn, LLC. Owner Tim Jopp originally wanted to put a retreat and conference facility there.
Buying it took years of work and cooperation from a number of parties, including elected county officials, county employees, the Cascade Land Conservancy, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the Nisqually Tribe of Indians, the Greater Peninsula Conservancy, the Key Peninsula Parks District and the Washington Water Trails
Association, the news release said.
Funds for the purchase came from the Pierce County Conservation Futures program, the state Wildlife and Recreation Program and the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
The Cascade Land Conservancy worked with the various parties to bring about the deal, the news release said.
“Now we have this jewel in the Sound for the people of this region to enjoy forever,” Ryan Mello, Pierce County conservation director for the group, said in the news release.
Pierce County Parks and Recreation will own the land. There’s no direct access at the moment. Plans call for a longterm use as a regional park for hiking, kayaking, beach walking and other activities.
The upland portion could include a picnic area, viewpoint and easy trail to the beach on the west side of the property, the news release said.
Mount Rainier and the Olympic mountains will be visible from a scenic viewpoint.
“People who are interested in conservation and recreation have dreamed for years of preserving Devil’s Head, which provides incredible views of the natural landmarks that make this such a special place to live,” Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy said in the news release.