Fort Ward State Park
Located six miles from the Winslow ferry terminal at the island’s south end, Fort Ward State Park (www.parks.wa.gov) has 137 acres for day-use picnicking, bird-watching, boating, and scuba diving on a mile-long beach. There’s no camping, but a one-mile path loops through the park. Like many of the state parks surrounding Puget Sound, this one began as a military fort.
Established in 1891 to protect the Bremerton Naval Yard, it and Fort Manchester (now Manchester State Park) faced each other across Rich Passage. Underwater nets were placed offshore during World War II to snag any Japanese subs that might stray into these waters—but none did.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition