Fort Columbia State Park Things to Do

  • Museum in former enlisted men's barracks
    Museum in former enlisted men's barracks
    by mtncorg
  • Barracks sleeping room
    Barracks sleeping room
    by mtncorg
  • 6-inch shell and range info from Battery Murphy
    6-inch shell and range info from Battery...
    by mtncorg

Most Recent Things to Do in Fort Columbia State Park

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Fort Columbia Museums Closed Until Further Notice

    by glabah Written Sep 17, 2012
    Enlisted Man's Barracks now Interpretive Center

    For various reasons, the two buildings that previously served as the museums at Fort Columbia State Park have been closed to the public until further notice. This announcement was posted to the Washington State Parks web site for this state park.

    Unfortunately I can't tell if this notice is still in effect as I stopped by the park during hours when the museums are not normally open anyway.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Fort Columbia Museums Closed Until Further Notice

    by glabah Written Sep 17, 2012
    Commanding Officer's House, now House Museum

    For various reasons, the two buildings that previously served as the museums at Fort Columbia State Park have been closed to the public until further notice. This announcement was posted to the Washington State Parks web site for this state park.

    Unfortunately I can't tell if this notice is still in effect as I stopped by the park during hours when the museums are not normally open anyway.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Hiking Trails through Forest with Views

    by glabah Written Sep 16, 2012
    Map of Trails at Fort Columbia

    Other than the short trails that are scattered around the main grounds, there are approximately 3 miles of trails scattered through Fort Columbia State Park. The trails make several loops.

    Much of the area around the fort, except for the preserved cuts to maintain the fort grounds, are preserved second growth forest. Despite the thickness of the trees, several viewpoints are available on the trails and are even marked as such on the map.

    This map of the trails is located near the flagpole. However, it is difficult to see the yellow trails, even when viewing the map in person. They appear to have faded quite a bit off the map.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    BATTERY 246

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    6-inch gun of Battery 246 and mists beyond
    3 more images

    Each of the three Columbia River mouth forts received new 6-inch batteries during World War II. The 6-inch guns could reach out to 16 miles - farther than even Fort Stevens’ 10-inchers. The guns were mounted on barbette pedestals - the barbettes being the armored screens behind which the gun crews worked. The two 6-inch guns here are two of only six such cannons that survive today. The guns at Battery 245 at Fort Stevens a 5-inchers, similar in appearance and probably taken off a obsolete World War II destroyer.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    BATTERY CRENSHAW

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gun pits of Battery Crenshaw
    3 more images

    This battery consisted of three rapid-fire 3-inch guns that were protecting the Columbia River minefields from potential enemy minesweeping operations. These guns were declared obsolete after World War I and were removed … just about the time that control over the minefields was switched from Fort Stevens to here.

    Mines were stored and controlled from an area just west of Battery Murphy.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    BATTERY MURPHY

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gun pit ofBattery Murphy looking out at the river
    1 more image

    Battery Murphy was the supporting cast to Battery Jules Ord with its two 6-inch disappearing guns. You can wander beneath the revetments, looking through the old shell rooms with the tell-tail iron rails on the ceilings that were used to move shell and powder to the shell hoists and the guns above. Unlike the 8-inch guns of Battery Ord, these guns remained at the fort until the end of World War II. Battery Murphy, like its neighbor Battery Crenshaw, was named after men who were killed in the Philippines in 1900.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    BATTERY JULES ORD

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Battery Ord looking out over Columbia to Oregon
    4 more images

    This was the initial heart of Fort Columbia. Three 8-inch disappearing guns which could pop up and blast away at enemy traffic in the river mouth. Earthen revetments in front made the guns almost impossible to spot - though the barracks housing behind may have given the enemy a clue. The guns here were removed during World War I when they and 77 other 8-inch guns from other coastal defense posts around the country were earmarked as possible conversion into railway guns for use on the Western Front in France. Of the 80 guns taken, only three ever made it to France. The guns here were never replaced. In fact the eastern gun pit was filled in because of drainage problems. The fort was pretty much inactivated after World War I, especially with the removal of its main armament. It would not be until World War II that new purposes were found. Jules Ord was a lieutenant who was killed at the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War of 1898 - the same battle which would catapult Theodore Roosevelt into the White House.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    COMMANDER’S HOUSE

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Commander's House at Fort Columbia

    The commanding officer always got the big house and Fort Columbia was no exception. Washington State Parks has furnished the house as a period museum, giving you an idea of what life must have been like - for the commander’s family, at least, at the turn of the 19th century. This was the smallest of the three forts and the commander oversaw a few hundred men at the fort’s peak as opposed to over 2500 at Fort Stevens across the river.

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

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    MUSEUM

    by mtncorg Written Jul 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum in former enlisted men's barracks
    3 more images

    This should be your first stop here at the fort as the exhibits will go a long way in explaining the history and purpose of the fort. The museum is housed within what was an enlisted men’s’ barracks and interposed with general exhibits on the history of the fort and the region are displays of what barracks life was for the soldiers: mess hall dining table, mess hall kitchen, sleeping room, and barber shop. A very informative film will give you the nuts and bolts of Fort Columbia before setting you lose with your self-guiding pamphlet that will let you discover this period piece of American coastal defense emanating from the time of President Grover Cleveland.

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

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Fort Columbia State Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

68 travelers online now

Comments

Fort Columbia State Park Travel Guide

Fort Columbia State Park Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Fort Columbia State Park things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Fort Columbia State Park sightseeing.

View all Fort Columbia State Park hotels