TRIO OF FORTS To uncover the best places to romp with your dog on the beach, hike to your heart’s content, be lulled by waves slapping on the shore and fling open your tent flap to the sun sparkling over the mountains, just ask some Olympic Peninsula residents for their favorite fort. Fort Flagler State Park, Fort Townsend State Park and Fort Worden State Park all are within a short drive from the Hood Canal Bridge and Port Townsend on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula.
Fort Worden State Park
The most popular of the three forts on the Peninsula, Fort Worden is the base camp for myriad activities and events in Port Townsend. Featuring more than 2 miles of saltwater shoreline, Fort Worden is a great place to bring the kids to explore and learn. Come kayak, swim, water ski, crab or dive in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Hidden gun emplacements, expansive parade lawns and restored Victorian-era officers homes place history front and center at the park. While today’s park hosts workshops, festivals and family reunions, the Fort Worden of 100 years ago was home to nearly 1,000 troops and officers training to defend the Puget Sound from potential invaders. At the Friends of Fort Worden Gift Shop, grab a self-guided walking tour map. Stop into the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, Commanding Officer’s House and Marine Science Center. Enjoy a meal in the Guard House Pub, and peruse the photogenic 1914 Point Wilson Lighthouse (p. 66). Nurture your creative side by attending a world-class conference or retreat at the fort. Stay in a barracks-turned-dormitory, a commanding officer’s home or a castle. Explore defunct coastal defense batteries, and imagine the compound teeming with enlisted men, officers and staff during World War I and II. With more than 11 miles of hiking trails — 2.6 miles being ADA friendly and 8.3 miles being bike friendly — there’s plenty to explore during your visit. Campers can enjoy this scenic and historic fort at two campgrounds with 80 campsites that can be reserved up to one year in advance. Both campgrounds have restrooms with showers. A Discover Pass is required to visit at a Fort Worden campsite, in the beach area
FORT WORDEN STATE PARK
Beachfront tent and RV sites boast some of the best views in the region. Hike or bike along miles of trails, including an interpretive trail. Visitors can explore the military museum, featuring displays about area history. The museum includes a gift shop. The park has 59 standard campsites, 55 full hook-up spaces, two primitive sites, one Cascadia Marine Trail site, one dump Step back in time when you visit Fort station and two restrooms. Flagler State Park on the northern tip of Forty-seven standard tent sites and two Marrowstone Island. Take a tour of a primitive sites are in the upper camping area. coastal defense fort established more than a For more information, visit parks.state. century ago to guard the entrance to Puget wa.us/508/Fort-Flagler. Sound. Built in the 1890s, the park now offers guided tours of the gun emplacements and the 1905 military hospital during the summer. Or find the batteries on your own, and wander through them at your leisure. Find hidden history at Fort Townsend Fort Flagler activities include hiking, State Park. boating, kite-flying, beach exploration, The forested park has a rich history in the saltwater fishing, clam digging and crabbing. armed forces, dating from pioneer days.
and at the main trailheads for day-use parking. For more information, visit parks.state. wa.us/511/Fort-Worden.
Fort Flagler State Park
46 OLYMPIC PENINSULA VISITORS GUIDE • SUMMER 2018
Fort Townsend State Park