Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Fort Flagler State Park

Fort Flagler State Park is the bottom of the Triangle Of Fire, one of the 3 forts that guarded the entrance to the Puget Sound from the Straight of Juan de Fuca from the Pacific Ocean. If you love old military history, a visit to Fort Flagler, Fort Worden and Fort Casey are a must do. We left Whidbey Island early in the morning, on the ferry to Port Townsend. The ferry dock for the island side sits next to Fort Casey.

Sunrise at the dock.

The ferry slip area is being dredged currently, along Admiralty Inlet.

Walking around the ferry dock Alistaire spied a painted rock, tucked into the edge of trim on a small outbuilding. This one was from Bellingham Rocks.

Fort Flagler is easy to reach once off the ferry, less than 16 miles away. Head out of town on Hwy 20, then onto Hwy 19, then a left onto Hwy 116. The miles slip by quickly but pay attention after you go through Port Hadlock, as just past that Hwy 116 turns left. We almost missed the turn, and the road continues on straight as Oak Bay RD. Keep an eye out for that turn! Hwy 116 then crosses a low bridge onto Indian Island, which nearly all of the island belongs to the Navy. The road goes around the Magazine Base, passes Indian Island County Park and then winds around the bottom, and comes to a new low bridge that crosses the estuary that divides Indian and Marrowstone Islands. Stay on Hwy 116 as you cross Marrowstone Island, passing though Nordland and then onto the entrance for Fort Flagler State Park.

As you enter the park you will come to a 4 way stop. Lots to explore, and you have options down the 3 roads in front of you. To reach the main beach area, take a left.

As you drive down the road you will encounter Henry Bankhead. Ample parking on the left.

It once housed 8 large guns and has plenty of space for children to run around and hide in.

If instead you take a right at the 4 way it drops you down to Battery Wansboro. The views across to Whidbey Island are fantastic (you look across towards Greenbank), with Mount Baker and the Central Cascade Mountains visible.

Wansboro has 2 guns.

The boys loved the big one.

Back on the road to the beach you pass the upper campground (for tents) and then drop down to the beach, where the year round RV campground is located. The beaches here are stellar. Looking back to Whidbey Island, the view is of Ebey’s Landing, Fort Casey and the ferry dock, with Mount Baker rising above.

Look across the way and follow the ferry to Port Townsend, and you can see downtown Port Townsend.

An intact shell, the size of my hand, covered in barnacles on the both sides. The top of one side had a rock attached, with seaweed attached, growing on it.

Walker, with his favorite of seaweed….Bull whips.

Bull Kelp.

Looking down the spit, with the Olympic Mountains in the distance. The big crane at Indian Island is visible, on the Navy base. On the other side of the spit is Kilisut Harbor, which is heavily wind swept. It’s open and windy here.

The seaweed here is amazing and healthy. It attaches to rocks, which are also covered in barnacles.

Near the end of the spit, the wind just cuts across you. The bay goes all the way down to the bridge dividing the two islands and is how boaters can reach Mystery Bay State Park.

We explored more of the park, and there is so much to see. More batteries, more historical sites, homes and the views are off the charts. It’s a park to give a couple days or visits to.

Discover Parking Pass is required or a $10 day use fee.


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