Gherkins for specification, but not testing

Where do you store your exploratory tests during BDD that are not auto-generated?

How do you manage the mapping between tests (/checks) and Gherkin feature files?

What tools to you use to keeping the (existing) system documentation and test activities in sync?

I have this project on an existing solution with existing documentation in large word docs. We would like to introduce gherkin feature files (Given-When-Then) to elaborate and replace some of the documentation parts. One benefit would be to enable the link between system documentation and relevant tests.
So I want to map the Gherkins to tests/checks done by exploratory, MS Coded UI or service layer (xUnit). Tests are in a many-many relation to the gherkins. Currently tests are derived from users flows/scenarios and data variations over the flows.
I can read plenty of examples where “tests” are derived from gherkins (SpecFlow) and how gherkins can be returned to the user as “system documentation” (Pickles).