Fort Columbia State Park
Just a couple of miles west of the Astoria-Megler Bridge on Highway 101, Fort Columbia State Park (360/642-3028, www.parks.wa.gov, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Apr.–Sept.) is a National Historic Site built in the late 1890s. It, along with Fort Canby and Fort Stephens in Oregon, formed a triad of military bases guarding the mouth of the Columbia.
Fort Columbia remained in use through World War II but never engaged in battle. It still has 30 of the original buildings, along with various concrete batteries and two rapid-firing six-inch guns that face out over the mouth of the Columbia.
A couple of delightful trails wind through the steep country along the river and an interpretive center in the enlisted men’s barracks features two floors’ worth of history. History buffs should also make time for the old Commander’s House, furnished with period pieces.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition