You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.

Washington State Parks

USA Parks
Olympic & Kitsap Peninsulas Region
Fort Ward State Park
Campfire and Hotdogs ©
Roasting hot dogs over an open fire.
Cool Swim ©
2241 Pleasant Beach
Bainbridge Island, Washington   98110

Phone: 206-842-4041
Fort Ward State Park is a 137-acre marine park with 4,300 feet of saltwater shoreline on Rich Passage. Many of the structures in the park reflect the historic military significance of the area, but the park is well developed for day use. There is an underwater park for scuba divers, a two-lane boat ramp and a long, rocky beach along Rich Passage. Fort Ward is located along Rich Passage with views of the Olympic Mountains and various marine-life habitats. The park is 137 acres of dense forest and features a rocky beach along the Puget Sound.

Park hours/updates:

Summer: 8 a.m. to dusk.Winter: 8 a.m. to dusk; upper day-use area closed Oct 18, reopens April 8.
Nature of the Area
Wildlife Mammals Birds Fish & Sea Life? Bobcats? Chipmunks? Coyotes? Deer or Elk? Foxes? Otters? Rabbits? Raccoons? Skunks? Squirrels? Weasels? Crows or Ravens? Doves or Pigeons? Ducks? Eagles? Geese? Grouse? Gulls? Hawks? Herons? Hummingbirds? Jays? Ospreys? Owls? Pheasants? Quail? Woodpeckers? Wrens ?Clams? Crabs? Mussels? Octopuses? Oysters? Scallops? Sea Birds? Sea Cucumbers? Seals? Shellfish? Shrimp? Squid? Starfish? Whales? Bass? Cod? Eel? Perch? Red Snapper? Salmon? Shark? Steelhead? Tuna

Environmental Features Physical Features Plant Life? Cedar? Douglas Fir? Hemlock? Spruce? Yew? Alder? Apple? Ash? Cherry? Maple? Daisy? Foxglove? Berries? Ferns? Moss or Lichens? Seaweed? Thistle? Poison Oak

History of the Area
After World War II, the U.S. Navy used a radio tower (once located adjacent to the park and east of the upper picnic area) to send messages to Navy Command in Seattle at Pier 91.

In 1903, Fort Ward was offically commissioned as a seacoast fort with the primary objective of protecting the Bremerton Naval Shipyard. Two gun batteries are located in the park. During World War II, the navy used the fort as a radio station and training school for communication personnel and installed a submarine net across Rich Passage. In 1958, the navy decommissioned the fort, and State Parks purchased Fort Ward in 1960.

A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
Park Store
Available in the area ? Groceries? Pay phone
This is a day-use park, but one water trail campsite is available only to those arriving by human-powered watercraft. The campsite is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental
There is one boat ramp. Be advised Rich Passage has swift currents during tidal exchanges.

A daily watercraft launching permit and a trailer dumping permit is available at the park. Annual permits also may be purchased at State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff is available.

There are 16 unsheltered picnic tables with grills, available first-come, first-served. The upper picnic area is accessible by automobile. The lower picnic area (along Rich Passage) is accessible by foot only.
Area Attractions
Trails Water Activities Other? 2 mi. Hiking Trails? Boating (saltwater)? 1 boat ramp (saltwater)? Diving? Fishing (saltwater)? Personal Watercraft (saltwater)? Water Skiing (saltwater)? Crabbing? Beachcombing? Bird Watching? 2 Fire Circles? Sailboarding? Wildlife Viewing

A paved road parallels the beach where people can ride bikes, walk or jog.
Things To Do in the Area
Take command and be the Skipper Rent one of our Larson powerboats by the hour or the entire day. Take in the scenery or zip around the sound in a speedboat, deck boat, or cruiser. If you don't have the need for speed rent one of our Kayaks, Canoes or Pedal Boats. You can enjoy the scenery at your pace. Whatever your desire may be here at Gig Harbor you will make memories that will last a lifetime.
18.1 miles from park*

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Eagle Tree RV Park
16280 State Highway 305
Poulsboy, WA

Located on the southwest side of Bainbridge Island, along Rich Passage.

From Hwy. 305: Turn west on High School Rd. Travel to T-intersection (approximately three miles), and turn left onto Fletcher Bay Rd. Continue on Fletcher Bay Rd. to T-intersection, then turn right. This takes you past Linnwood Center. Continue to Y-intersection. Veer right to go to the Fort Ward boat ramp, or veer left to find park entrance and upper picnic area. To get to park entrance, continue on left fork to Country Club Rd., and turn right. Turn right again on Fort Ward Rd. Park entrance is on right. (NOTE: The route is well signed from High School Rd.)


Washington State Parks