ward state

Fort Ward State Park

Fort Ward State Park is a state park located along Rich Passage on the southern end of Bainbridge Island in Washington. Fort Ward State Park is part of the Washington State Park System, on land which the former military base, Fort Ward, was located.

Covering of dense forest and underbrush, it is an area full of beauty. Impressive views of Rich Passage, the Olympic Mountains and varied marine wildlife can be seen at the park. Common activities include boating, fishing, picnicking, jogging, walking and bicycling. Clam digging, bird watching and scuba diving are other favorite activities of park visitors.

The original Fort Ward was built before World War I. Some of the gun emplacements and bunkers remain, including the Francis Nash Bunker which has had numerous mysterious suicides inside of its infamous cage room. Other standing structures from the base include two reservoirs, one atop the parade grounds and another much less known one just off of Toe Jam Hill.

Fort Ward State Park is a satellite park of Fay Bainbridge State Park, located approximately northeast. Other state parks in the area include Kitsap Memorial State Park, Illahee State Park, Scenic Beach State Park and visible across Rich Passage is Manchester State Park.

Visitor services are available in downtown Bainbridge Island or the nearby city of Poulsbo, Washington. Both cities have various community events throughout the summer months.


Fort Ward State Park has a public boat ramp and a parking lot for about 25 cars and boat trailers. The boat launch is concrete, donated by the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club. There are vault toilets located in the parking area near the boat launch ramp.

There are two picnic areas located in the park. The lower picnic area along the beach is accessible only by foot or bicycle and has eight picnic sites. The upper picnic area is accessible by car and also has eight picnic sites. Each picnic area has vault toilets as well as potable water.

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