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Fort Worden Historical State Park

Fort Worden Historical State Park

visited 18 January 2004, 18 December 2022, and 15 July 2023

One of many forts constructed to protect Washington’s Pacific coast from foreign attack a century or more ago, Fort Worden now serves as a tourist attraction and conference center at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula.

Fort Worden was an active US Army base from 1902 to 1953, then briefly a juvenile detention facility, and since 1973 has been a state park.

Even though I live nearby, this park is one of our larger parks and it’s taken me a few times through to represent it adequately. Let’s start with its many historical buildings that now serve as museums, theatres, college grounds, and wedding sites:

While walking around this area, I happened upon a volunteer (whose name I sadly didn’t catch) with Friends of Fort Worden State Park. I asked him what I should see in an afternoon’s tour of the park. His advice: Hike up Artillery Hill and view the many gun batteries that were left behind when the Army closed the fort.

Great advice! This was a bounty of textures, shapes, and contours.

The US Coast Guard also has a long history in this site, having operated a lighthouse at this location since 1879. The current structure opened in 1914 and remains active today.

Point Wilson Lighthouse

And, of course, there are the long sandy beaches, which draw lots of visitors on summer weekends:

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