Fort Stevens State Park Travel Guide

  • Fort Stevens State Park
    by glabah
  • Darker Shore Bird one of Several in Large Flock
    Darker Shore Bird one of Several in...
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  • Shore Bird group at Fort Stevens
    Shore Bird group at Fort Stevens
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Fort Stevens State Park Things to Do

  • Wreck of the Peter Iredale

    287 feet long, 30 feet wide and 23 feet from water line to keel, this 4 masted bark was built by Riston of Mayport, England in 1890. It served the Peter Iredale and John Porter Line for 16 years, mostly hauling grain between the Pacific Northwest and Australia and coal and wood to England.On October 26, 1906, the ship was running light from Salina...

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  • South Jetty Observation Deck

    Located at the very northwest corner of Fort Stevens State Park, this observation deck allows for an elevated view out to the Ocean at the end of the natural peninsula, and at the start of the artificial peninsula that was formed out of thousands of large rocks. This "South Jetty" helps create a section of calm water for ships entering the Columbia...

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  • Wreck of the Peter Iredale

    On the beach at Ft. Stevens State Park sits the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a ship that ran aground here in 1906. Today, a few beams and a rusting section of the bow are all that remain. If the tide is cooperative, you can walk right up to the wreck. (Just be prepared to run away from the occasional large wave...)

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  • WILDLIFE BLINDS AT CLATSOP SPIT

    At the Spit’s end, part of the sands curl back from the South Jetty towards the original Point Adams upon which Fort Stevens was located. There is a large parking lot for river beach access - you might notice every parking lot at Fort Stevens is on the large size - and strolling along the river beach gives you great views down the river channel...

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  • BATTERY RUSSELL

    Located about a mile south of the main batteries at Fort Stevens, Battery Russell’s two 10-inch disappearing guns faced the seaward approach as opposed to the river mouth itself. It was at this battery at which Fort Stevens came under attack for the only time in its 84 year history when on June 21, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-25 fired off a...

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  • BATTERY CLARK

    The eight 12-inch mortars of Battery Clark was another important piece of the artillery equation here at Fort Stevens. They did not have the range of the 10-inch guns but they could provide a fearsome impact delivering 1000 pound shells on plunging arcs which could easily penetrate ship decks - ships were mainly armored on the sides, guns and...

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  • BATTERY SMUR AND THE MINEFIELDS

    Mine fields were placed in the Columbia River as an integral defensive feature. Enemy vessels not only had to survive artillery fire but then had to navigate through the mines. The mines were anchored to the river bottom and could be electrically exploded from the Mine Control Room at the Fort. They mine controllers would wait until the enemy ship...

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  • OLD EARTHEN FORT

    This reconstructed fort sits on the site of the original Fort Stevens - named for the Washington Territorial governor Isaac Stevens who was killed at the Civil War Battle of Chantilly in 1862. The fort consists of nine earthen sides an d a moat. When the fort was placed here there were no jetties and this was the end of what was then Point Adams,...

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  • BATTERY 245

    Three new batteries were built at the river mouth during World War II. One was built here at Fort Stevens - Battery 245 - just to the west of Battery Mishler. Two 6-inch guns were placed on barbette mounts - mounts like those you find on naval ships with armored screens giving protection to the gun crews within. The two guns sitting here today are...

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  • ARTILLERY BATTERIES

    Artillery was the main method of defense employed at the three river mouth forts. The first batteries at Fort Stevens were installed at the end of the American Civil War in 1864. The main batteries were developed later after an 1885 study by the then Secretary of War Endicott - serving under President Grover Cleveland - recommended a large scale...

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  • FORT STEVENS - MUSEUM

    The namesake fort for which the park is named is located a couple of miles north of the campground areas along the south bank of the Columbia River. The fort dates back to 1864 when artillery guns were placed here and across the river at Cape Disappointment to protect the Columbia River mouth from possible Confederate or British raiders. The fort,...

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  • COFFENBURY LAKE

    Coffenbury Lake is maybe the second favorite draw at Fort Stevens. The mile long lake is a prime example of several such lakes found in the Clatsop Plains - an area that stretches from the Columbia River south to Tillamook Head by Seaside. The Plains developed from sand deposited by ocean waves. This sand was sculpted into linear dune formations...

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  • SOUTH JETTY

    Two jetties - North and South - extend out into the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to ameliorate the effects of the Pacific Ocean on the Columbia River Bar. The Bar has earned the nickname ‘Graveyard of the Pacific’ because of some 2000 vessels sinking in the area since 1792 when Robert Gray first discovered the mouth of the river. There have been...

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  • BEACH

    The vast long beach that sweeps south from the mouth of the Columbia River all the way to Tillamook Head - interrupted only by the river mouth of the Necanicum River between Gearhart and Seaside - is the main attraction for visitors to Fort Stevens. Most beach visitors will congregate near the large parking lot by the shipwreck remains of the Peter...

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  • Civil War Reenactment

    Organized by NCWC and Friend of Old Fort Stevens, this is a great event to attend weather you are a history buff or a flunky like me. The reenactors really get into character of the era and not just the dress. Lots is going on throughout both camps all day - from field hospital demonstrations to traitor executions, and the battles are a real eye...

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Fort Stevens State Park Restaurants

  • Nankani's Profile Photo
    Stuffing her face with a freshly grilled 'dog'.

    by Nankani Written Aug 12, 2003

    Well Since this is a State Park and Campground there are no restaurants. Only thing available is an Espresso Stand. You can of course go 5 miles to the nearest town for restaurants. But nothing like cooking food over a hot campfire.

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    • Camping
    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park

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Fort Stevens State Park Local Customs

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    Fat little young porcinis

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

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    Hit the season right anywhere in this section of the World and a mycological heaven is revealed. The number of species of fungi that you can come across on a simple walk is amazing. There is something about the dune-forest-bog ecosystem that the mushrooms thrive on. The average 70+ inches of rain a year might also have something to do with it.

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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Food and Dining

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Fort Stevens State Park Off The Beaten Path

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    Some of the unknown victims buried here 4 more images

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Even though Fort Stevens was never involved in any significant actions, it was a military post and with time, there tends to be people that die at such places. Those people also tend to be very young as you can see from the dates on the grave markers. You can also find local later veterans buried here, as well, and others who are known and unknown - probably drowning victims in the perilous waters off the fort. Several bodies from Fort Canby across the river were also moved over to this cemetery. Most of the soldiers were part of the Coast Artillery - the US Army for almost fifty years, 1902-1950, split the artillery into two arms: the mobile or field artillery and the fixed or coastal artillery. Coast Guardsmen and even a couple of Aviation Signal Corps troops are buried here from the active time period of the fort.

    You reach the cemetery by following signs for the ‘military cemetery’ that you first come across just before entering the Fort Stevens State Park grounds from neighboring Hammond. Instead of going to the Military Museum, you follow the sign and turn left, winding past private homes - several of which were formerly officer housing and one now a B/B - until you reach the cemetery at the road’s end.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

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