Fort Flagler Historical State Park
Step into U.S. military history at Fort Flagler Historical State Park on the northern tip of Marrowstone Island. Tour and explore a significant coastal defense fort established more than a century ago to guard the entrance to Puget Sound.
Built in the late 1890s and manned during World War I, World War II and the Korean War, Fort Flagler now features a military museum and gift shop. The park offers guided tours of the gun emplacements and other facilities during the summer. Or find the batteries on your own and wander through them at leisure.
Fort Flagler activities include hiking, boating, kite-flying, beach exploration, saltwater fishing, clam digging and crabbing. Experienced paragliders can bring their wings and ride thermals up to stupendous aerial views.
Historic officers' vacation houses can be booked for group gatherings and romantic getaways. Beachfront tent and RV sites boast some of the best views in the region. So gaze out on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north, the Olympic Peninsula to the west and Whidbey Island to the east, and breathe deep of the ocean air.
The group of forts built to guard the entrace to Puget Sound (Fort Flagler, Fort Worden and Fort Casey) is a must-see for military, armament and maritime enthusiasts. Fort Flagler's off-the-beaten track location and its wide, manicured former parade lawns make it a winning destination.
Fort Flagler Historical State Park is a 1,451-acre, marine camping park surrounded on three sides by 19,100 feet of saltwater shoreline.
Automated pay station: This park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit.
- Hiking trail
Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.
Picnic & day-use facilities
The park provides one reservable kitchen shelter with a power outlet and water on the west side of the island across the road from the Kilisut Harbor launch and concession area. The shelter has five picnic tables and a large fire ring. Restroom facilities and water are nearby. Maximum 100 people.
The park provides numerous unsheltered picnic tables, all scattered throughout the park with the largest number located on the beach, available first come, first served.
- Beachcomber Cafe at Fort Flagler is here for all your needs while visiting the park. Beachcomber Cafe serves up hot sandwiches and burgers as well as a variety of beverages including espresso. In addition, they also have a variety of snacks and grocery items, beach toys, clothing, camping supplies, bagged ice and fire wood. The Beachcomber cafe is open weekends in April, May, and September and daily now through Labor Day. Hours are 11-6. You can also visit them on Facebook.
- Olympic Kayak Tours offers full day, half day, sunset and evening bioluminescence tours at Fort Flagler State Park. Your experienced guide will take you to see world renowned bird watching, ample marine life, beautiful shorelines and majestic evening sunsets. Tours are offered April through October. For tour information and reservations, contact them online, or visit them on Facebook or Instagram.
- 5 miles of hiking/biking trails
- 2 miles of beach trail
- Interpretive trail
Water activities & features
- 256 feet of dock and moorage
- Moorage buoys (7)
- Personal watercraft use
- Saltwater fishing
- Watercraft launches (2)
Other activities & features
- Kite flying
- Museum with gift shop
Visitors may explore the military museum, featuring displays about area history. The museum includes a gift shop. Both are open daily, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. For group visitors or special arrangements, call (360) 385-3701. Admission to the museum is by donation.
Gun emplacement guided tours: A guided walking tour of the historic gun emplacements and other historic sites are offered on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. Learn about Fort operations and what life was like for the soldiers. The tour lasts approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. A donation of $2 - $5 is suggested for tours. Tours begin the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Hospital guided tours: Step back in time as you take a guided tour of a 1905 military hospital. Hear about the incredible history of this beautiful building that was awarded the Mary P. Johnson award for Historic Preservation in 2012. Tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. Donations are appreciated for all tours. Tours begin the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.
GROUP TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
To request a State Park interpretive program at Fort Flagler, please fill out the form at the link below.
Fort Flagler Interpretive Program Form
Have questions? Please email Kelsey.Lang@parks.wa.gov.
- In addition to the trails, there are 12.5 miles of roads and 2 miles of beachfront to explore. Check regulations for clamming season.
- A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- Printable park brochure (PDF).
Located in Jefferson County on Puget Sound, Fort Flagler offers two boat ramps, 256-feet of moorage dock and 7 mooring buoys. Moorage docks are seasonal, removed between September 30 and the first week of April, weather depending. Additional information can be found in the Boating Program.
Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following:
- An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit; or
- An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or
- A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit. A daily watercraft launching permit for $7 and a trailer dumping permit for $5 may be purchased 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.
Moorage fees are charged year round for mooring at docks, floats, and buoys from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m. Daily and annual permits are available. For more information, call 360-902-8844.
Latitude: 48º 5' 27.96" N (48.0911)
Longitude: 122º 43' 10.99" W (-122.7197)
The park has 59 standard sites, 55 full-hookup sites, two hiker/biker sites, one Cascadia Marine Trail (PDF) site, one dump station, two restrooms.
The upper camping area consists of forty-six standard tent sites and two hiker/biker sites. This area is suitable for tents and some sites can accommodate RV’s up to 20 feet. There are four walk-in sites that are reservable. The hiker/biker sites are first come first served.
Twelve standard sites and 55 full-hookup sites are in the lower camp area and have easy access to the beach. Maximum site length is 50 feet (limited availability).
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.
The park provides two primitive group camps with vault toilets, and a group shelter, water, picnic tables and fire rings.
The Scout Camp accommodates tents only and has a maximum occupancy of 40 people. There is a fire ring and one open-sided shelter.
The Wagon Wheel Camp accommodates both RVs and tents. It offers a covered picnic shelter and has a maximum occupancy of 100 people. There are two vault toilets and no hookups. Fees vary with size of the group.
Reservations & fees
Lower Beach Campground (sites (48-116) are reservable 9 months in advance beginning April 1 - October 31.
Upper Forest Campground (sites 1 - 47) are reservable 9 months in advance beginning May 1 - September 30.
Named for Brigadier General Daniel Webster Flagler, Fort Flagler was one of five fortifications built in the Puget Sound area at the turn of the 20th century. These posts were established to prevent a hostile fleet from reaching the Bremerton Naval Yard and to provide protection for developing cities in the area.
The fort’s purpose was primarily defense, but these shores never saw any action. Soldiers spent their time here training for battles overseas, keeping up the grounds, and competing in friendly games like baseball.
The fort evolved many times throughout periods of war and peace. During times of peace the fort was put into caretaker status to save costs. In 1937, the Army realized that the neglected buildings had rot and mold caused by frequent rain, so many of the original structures were demolished. In 1941, the fort saw a quick renovation, in preparation to the United States' anticipated entry into World War II, with the construction of mobilization buildings to once again house soldiers. These structures were meant to be temporary, but most have lasted more than 70 years.
During the early 1900s, technology saw rapid advancements. By 1938, most of the 26 original guns had either been removed or scrapped. Many were removed during WWI to be converted into railway artillery for use in Europe; two of the 10-inch guns were sent to Canada. The guns currently located at Battery Wansboro were brought from Fort Wint in the Philippines to put on display.
Following WWII, the Army sent amphibious units at Fort Flagler, Fort Worden, and Fort Casey to use the beaches for amphibious training. These forts, at Admiralty Inlet, were meant to be the base for the West Coast amphibious units, but the United States’ entrance into the Korean Conflict changed this. Fort Flagler was decommissioned shortly after, in 1953. The State of Washington purchased the property in 1955 and designated it a State Park.