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Fort Flagler SP & Port Townsend

Estimated time-frame for the day: 7AM-6PM (later for a meal stop)

Meetup at Tully's: 7AM|Depart from Tully's: 7:15AM|ETA at FFSP: 9:45/10AM

+Current forecast: Sunny. 0% chance of rain. High of 49. {looks GOOD!}

Drivers: Required Pass at FFSP: Discover Pass (

RT Mileage: 5-7 miles Elevation Gain: 150' High Point: 150' Rating: Easy+ (beach walking and some embankments to hike up/down)

{When we are finished enjoying Fort Flagler State Park, we'll head over to Port Townsend for a short walk and refreshments! We will likely enjoy dinner in PT}

Recommended Eats: Banana Leaf (Thai)|The Public House (burgers/seafood/salads)|Water Street Pizza|Finn's (expensive/divine seafood)|Honozono's (sushi & noodles)|Silverwater (Northwest cuisine)|Cellar Door (fine dining-Northwest menu)

(below: Fort Flagler SP)

Description/Excerpt from WTA:

History is full of irony. Five grand military installations originally established to protect Puget Sound from foreign invaders are now peaceful idylls: wit-ness Forts Ebey, Casey, Worden, Townsend, and Flagler. Fortunately, they never saw combat. Fortunate, too, that with their decommissioning in the 1950s they were converted to state parks that now protect over 2300 acres and 9 miles of prime Puget Sound coastline. At 780 acres, Fort Flagler on the northern tip of Marrowstone Island is the largest, consisting of over 3.5 miles of shoreline. It offers one of the finest beach hikes in the state. And if that isn't enough, there are miles of trails weaving through quiet forest and historic grounds to keep you more than content.

With over 7 miles of trail and 3.5 miles of coastline, hiking options are many at Fort Flagler. The following loop samples a few of the many facets of this wonderful seaside park. You'll walk on a wide beach with sweeping views out to islands, mountains, bays, and inlets. And you'll walk upon towering bluffs graced with stately trees and harboring relics that tell a century's worth of stories about life at Fort Flagler. Throw in some seabirds, frolicking deer and rabbits, and a surprise or two and you've got yourself quite a hiking lineup to look forward to.

Start your adventure on the wide cobblestone-strewn beach. Head east, enjoying a grand view across Port Townsend Bay to the Victorian city of Port Townsend. Admire Whidbey Island's lofty chalky bluffs hovering in the distance. An impressive fortress of bluffs soon begins to tower right above you as well. Gaze up at the tall trees teetering on them-there's a good chance a bald eagle or two will be peering down at you. After 1.5 miles of beach strolling, round Marrowstone Point. Enjoy a knock-out view of Admiralty Inlet with its flotilla of vessels plying choppy waters.

Continue hiking on a wide sandy beach, coming to an old weather-battered pier at 2.25 miles. It's time now to sample Flagler's interior. Find the trail leading from the beach 0.25 mile to the Battery Wansboro, perched high on a bluff. Via a series of short interconnecting trails, work your way back to your starting point. Follow the Lagoon Trail for 0.5 mile to the East Searchlight Trail. Turn right, proceeding 0.5 mile to the Anti-Aircraft Battery Trail. Then continue 0.7 mile to the Bankhead Trail, turning left, for an 0.8-mile hike back to your vehicle.

En route you'll pass a handful of historic structures and pass through quiet groves of fir, cedar, maple, and alder. It's quite peaceful.

Please Bring:

Water, lunch/energy snacks, day-hike essentials, clothing according to the forecast, sturdy/comfortable footwear + bag for soiled/wet pair(s), trekking poles (may be helpful for balance), binoculars and your camera! Also bring $20 to reimburse your driver for fuel costs and $$ for refreshments and possibly dining out.

(below: Fort Flagler SP)


From the west end of Hood Canal Bridge drive SR 104 for about 5 miles to SR 19. Head north for 9 miles on SR 19 to a four-way stop in Chimacum. Turn right onto Irondale Road, proceeding 1.6 miles to SR 116 in Port Hadlock.) Follow SR 116 east for 10 miles to its end at Fort Flagler State Park (don't miss SR 116's left turn about a mile beyond the Irondale Road-SR 116 intersection). Pro-ceed through the park entrance, turning left at a four-way intersection in 0.5 mile. Continue 1.4 miles to the road's end at a large day-use parking area. Water and restrooms available.


+Prepare for all weather conditions! (sun|wind|rain)

+Carpooling is necessary and strongly advised!

+If driving, bring/purchase a Discover Pass!

+Passengers: give your driver $20 for fuel!

Thank you :o)

Mike's cell|[masked]

(call or text)

(above: Port Townsend, WA)

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  • Valerie O.

    Thanks for a great day, Mike! I really enjoyed meeting everyone on my first Trailside meet up and look forward to future interesting outdoor adventures. Hope you all have a great week!

    February 4, 2013

  • Barb

    It was a wonderful hike. Thanks Mike

    February 3, 2013

  • Mike T.

    Fort Flagler SP is a wonderful place to hike and explore! Lots of history and a great stretch of beach to comb! Had an awesome day with fine people! Thank you Gavin for driving!!

    February 2, 2013

  • Mike T.

    @Gavin-awesome! Thanks so much!!

    January 31, 2013

  • Valerie O.

    This sounds like a great time, Mike, as long as the weather is halfway decent...! I have a Discover Pass and am willing to drive - 3 people are welcome to ride along with me. Only caveat for riders is fragrance-free/non-smoking - thanks.

    January 26, 2013

8 went

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