Fort Casey Travel Guide

  • Lighthouse and Big Gun from Fort Casey
    Lighthouse and Big Gun from Fort Casey
    by glabah
  • Beaches at Fort Casey State Park: small with view
    Beaches at Fort Casey State Park: small...
    by glabah
  • picnic tables on the beach at Keystone Cove
    picnic tables on the beach at Keystone...
    by glabah

Fort Casey Things to Do

  • Exploring the Old Fortress Ruins

    Unlike many of the other old fortifications around western Washington, there are two of the old guns that have been left in place to show how they could be lifted and collapsed down into the fortress and hidden.There are several signs showing how the fortress looked in the days when it was operational. Other than the spectacular views that are...

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  • Fort Casey Beaches in the Main Part of...

    There are two sections of beaches at Fort Casey: those located near the main part of the park, and those located by the ferry terminal. This tip covers those by the main part of the park, as the ones by the ferry terminal are quite different in terms of access and facilities.The beaches along the main part of the park are separated from the...

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  • Fortress Picnic Area

    The State Parks web site says that the picnic area of this park is closed during the winter months. However, there are three picnic areas in this park, and I am not exactly certain which areas are closed in winter. It does not seem as though this area would be easily closed, as the fortress area is a primary reason for visiting the state park.Where...

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  • Upper Picnic Area

    The State Parks web site says that the picnic area of this park is closed during the winter months. However, there are three picnic areas in this park, and I am not exactly certain which areas are closed in winter.However, I am quite certain this picnic area is one of the ones that is closed during those months.The area is sheltered by trees, and...

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  • Lower Picnic Areas

    The area to the north and south of the ferry termianal connecting Fort Casey State Park to Port Townsend have a number of picnic tables. The area on the south side is the most extensive, has a parking area and restrooms, and has a small beach that faces the diving area.Immediately north of the ferry terminal, there is a small grassy area between...

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  • The Admiralty Head Lighthouse

    The Admiralty Head lighthouse sits fairly high above the water, and fairly far back from the edge of the hill above Admiralty Inlet. Today, this lighthouse serves as an interpretive center and historic landmark.The current lighthouse was built in 1903, as the original lighthouse had to be removed during the construction of the military fortress...

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  • Diving at Fort Casey State Park

    I am no diver, and don't know much about what makes a good diving place and a bad diving place. However, I can tell you that there is a reserved scuba diving area in the waters off of Fort Casey State Park.This area is to the east (left, when looking towards Port Townsend) of the ferry terminal.The picnic area on this side of the ferry terminal...

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  • Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing

    There is some preserved forest at Fort Casey, and the area is a reasonably popular wintering ground for some species of salt water duck. Bald eagles are also reasonably common. Crockett Lake is a freshwater lake that is basically at sea level, and located on the inland side of the park. The closest part of the lake to the coastline is at the ferry...

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  • Wander around the Bunkers

    In 1858 this land was purchased by the US government and the Admiralty Head lighthouse was constructed. In 1890 it was taken over by the army and named “Fort Casey” in honor of Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey. This fort was built to protect the Puget Sound from would be naval attacks. In conjunction with the other members of the “triangle of...

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  • Wildlife

    I found these deer wandering around in the park, they are not alone. The park has many other animals including otters, raccoons, foxes, coyotes as well as many versions of waterfowl and in the water several marine species. Octopus, crabs, seals, cod, eel, and other sea life is accessible through the underwater extension of the park.

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  • Check Out the Guns

    In the late 1800’s the importance of defending Admiralty inlet was so important that three forts were built. Fort Casey, Fort Flagler and Fort Worden were built and constituted the “triangle of fire” which was considered adequate enough to thwart any threats by sea to the Puget Sound. The guns at Fort Casey are mounted on disappearing carriages,...

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  • Admiralty Head Lighthouse

    Admiralty Head lighthouse and Point Wilson lighthouse across the Admiralty Inlet make up two points which helped to guide ships into the Puget Sound. The turn from wind powered to steam power allowed ships to follow a path which only needed the reference point that was Point Wilson, so in 1922 the lighthouse was decommissioned. The light was moved...

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Fort Casey Restaurants

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    by glabah Written Oct 4, 2010

    While waiting at the bus stop across the street, I got into a conversation with some friendly locals. This included a discussion of the food at the restaurant. Unfortunately, there really are no other choices for food here, so this is really the only option in the area.

    However, from what the ladies at the bus stop told me, the food inside is horrible, and very overpriced - to the point that they may offer a "crab cake" the size of a quarter and charge greatly for it.

    Yet, there are a huge number of cars parked out front - though most of that could just be because it is the only place to eat anywhere around here.

    At the same time, the review in the newspaper I found sounds interesting, and so maybe one day I will try eating here.

    Favorite Dish: I have not eaten here, and based on what the local have told me I probably won't.

    Keystone Caf��, across street from Ferry Terminal

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Fort Casey Transportation

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    by glabah Updated Nov 17, 2010

    The two ferry terminals on the Port Townsend to Keystone (Coupville) are a study in contrasts: Port Townsend has its ferry terminal right in downtown with a number of businesses (indeed, the entire city) connected to it by sidewalks, and for a small town reasonably good transit service from a number of different locations.

    At the Widbey Island end of things, the ferry terminal is nowhere near either Coupville or Keystone, though it is slightly closer to Keystone. The only thing here is Fort Casey State Park. There is a camp ground, a beach, and a restaurant. There isn't anything at all near the ferry terminal.

    For the ferry route itself, please see my Port Townsend to Fort Casey Ferry tip, which is located in my Port Townsend materials.

    On most Washington State ferry routes, it is not necessary to pay going eastbound, but here on the Fort Casey to Port Townsend route you pay going both directions, no matter if you are a drive-on or walk-on passenger. The fee is $2.65 each way as of this writing.

    Due to the small size of the vessel, and the huge popularity of routes going to the Olympic National Park and cities on the Olympic Peninsula, the service may be crowded and reservations are recommended.

    Island Transit serves the ferry terminal with an hourly bus. However, the routes are radically different on weekdays vs. Saturdays. There is no service on Sundays.

    There is a waiting room for passengers inside the terminal building, but it is quite small, and only equipped with a vending machine for a few food and drink items.

    Walk-on passengers board at the terminal, and then vehicles are allowed to board. If there are any walk-on passengers that arrive after the road traffic is cleared, then they are allowed to board at the end of the auto traffic boarding process.

    ferry at Fort Casey / Keystone / Coupville Ferry Terminal on R, Camping Area on L Fort Casey ferry terminal: simple, small, adequate Bus Stop, Ferry Terminal Building, Island Transit Turnstyles at Fort Casey Ferry Terminal to Holding
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Cruise

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Fort Casey Warnings and Dangers

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    by glabah Updated May 30, 2014

    Fort Casey State Park isn't all that large, but there are several bluffs along the shoreline, and more importantly there are concrete walls without handrails everywhere that are part of the remains of the old fortifications.

    Therefore, watch your step, don't do anything too fast (don't go running over the top of a hill only to find there is nothing on the other side!) and keep control of your children when they are around the huge concrete dropoffs.

    Handrails are scattered here and there, but you probably shouldn't trust 100 year old hardware to hold you in place.

    Also, before climbing up on smething, make sure it has something under it to hold you. This goes for the potentially undermined edges of the bluffs as well as the fortress remains. Take a look especially at photo 3! You can't see that there is nothing holding you up until you are stainding on the platform, and by then it is too late!

    Don't Fall: around here it can kill you Few Handrails on Structures of 100 years ago all support gone from part of beach fortifications This isn't a place you want to fall to the beach Hand Rails are Here, but Only in Some Places
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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Fort Casey Off The Beaten Path

  • Main Restrooms have Eco-Roof

    The main restrooms at Fort Casey State Park (the ones by the main fortress structure and closest to the park headquarters) have what is called an "eco-roof".This is where plants are planted on the roof to help control the speed and quality of the water running off the roof.While there really isn't a requirement for such a roof here at Fort Casey...

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  • Composting Demonstration Trail

    Fort Casey State Park was selected as the home for a short trail that features a number of home composting ideas. These are demonstrations for consideration by visitors for possible home use. It also shows ways of fabricating composters out of cheap materials.]The composting demonstration trail is located right behind the Admiralty Head Lighthouse...

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