Walkway along the Top of the Breakwater
Much of the marina next to the ferry terminal is private docking for privately owned vessels, and you must have a card key to enter.
However, as I walked past one of these gates that opens up to the marina, I noticed a sign that said "Public Access to Marina Breakwater, 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM". So, you are allowed to go all the way out to the breakwater?
Yes, you can get out there. There is a single floating walkway that divides the marina into two sections. Some of the berths along this walkway are reserved for visitors only, while a few others are boats that are for sale. Finding the way to the walkway is reasonably straightforward: if you come to a locked gate with a keycard entry you have gone the wrong way. It really isn't that difficult, and at the end of the floating walkway you will find yourself on a level concrete sidewalk that has been built across the top of the floating marina breakwater. There are benches, a few monuments, and a clear and unobstructed view out to the water and along Sinclair Inlet. The breakwater is a quite solid work, so even though it floats like the rest of the marina walkways it does not bounce as you walk along the top of it.
People do fish from this walkway, and it is possible to see various sea birds (especially in winter there are grebes and surf scoters on the water sometimes, as well as cormorants). It is also possible to see and hear sea lions and seals of various types from along the walkway. Be very careful around them if any of these decide to climb up onto the wall, as even a gentle love pat from one can cause some serious injuries.
Those with children will want to be very careful with them here, as there is no guard rail along the breakwater. It is possible for those who want to do so to tie up there boats to this walkway, so there are no obstructions for doing so. There are life rings available at frequent intervals should anyone actually fall in.
How to Get Here: From the main level of the ferry terminal, walk downstairs to the lower level. Here, there is a walkway along the shore line, where it is possible to get the ferry to Port Orchard and Annapolis. It is also the area where you have to be in order to access the Turner Joy Museum and several restaurants. As you walk along this walkway, you will come to one gateway to the marina with a sign that says "Public Access to Marina Breakwater, 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM". This is the entry point you need. You must then go down the ramp or the stairs to the actual water level section of the floating docks. If you go east too far you will come to a card-key operated door gate blocking the floating dock, and if you go east too far you will come to a card-key operated door gate blocking the floating dock. There is only one other alternative route, and that is to go out on one of the floating docks that has no such door gate across it. This one accessible floating walkway is the one you must take to get out to the breakwater.
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- Sailing and Boating
There are actually two parks in this complex of parks that surround a small bay that comes off of the Port Washington Narrows. There are a number of picnic areas, a small memorial, one covered picnic area, a number of fairly tall trees in the northern part of the park complex, and a fair amount of playground equipment.
A boat launch ramp leads into the Port Washington Narrows.
There are no busy streets nearby, creating a nice quiet respite from city noise at this location.
To get there from the ferry terminal, I walked north on Washington Avenue, and continued heading north on the roads that most closely followed the edge of Port Washington Narrows until I came to the park. Don't try crossing Washington Avenue, as you will only have to cross it again. This way, the only busy street you have to cross is the intersection with the Manette Bridge, and that has a traffic signal.
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Lower Roto Vista Park
Almost completely hidden under the Warren Avenue Bridge over the Port Washington Narrows, this small park is almost completely unknown. There are several picnic tables and benches on a grassy field beside the Port Washington Narrows, and that is about it.
To get to the park, you must go north on Elizabeth Avenue until it comes to an end. At the north end of the street there is a barrier with a gap in it, and a staircase down to a grassy field that sits on the bank of the water. There is very limited public parking near the park, and so it may be necessary to walk a few blocks to get to it.
The park is a fairly quiet and out of the way place, except for traffic noise from the bridge (which isn't too bad considering how busy the bridge is).
Please note the photo taken from the bridge near the park: once the shore goes under water, the bank slopes downward extremely steeply, and is extremely deep at this point. You can probably wade in the shallow part with some safety, but don't go very far out into Port Washington Narrows, as you will quickly run out of ground to stand on. There is also probably a very good chance of being washed into the depths if a boat goes by that is creating a large wake.
A sign near the entrane to the park says that part of the money to provide the furnishings for the park was provided by the Audubon Society.
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5th and Washington Viewpoint
If you walk north along Washington Avenue from the ferry terminal, you will go past a few buildings. Near a new condominium building, if you are on the east side of the intersection of 5th Street and Washington Avenue, you will see a staircase leading down to this viewpoint that overlooks the Port Washington Narrows from the end of Point Turner.
It is an out of the way place to enjoy the view, away from the noisy bustle that inhabits the transporation center at the ferry terminal, or the popular restaurants along the sidewalk near the ferry terminal. Even much of the traffic noise is blocked by the wall at the top of the stairs.
Enjoy the view!
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