Fort Casey State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Welcome to Fort Casey State Park, a 467-acre marine camping park, three miles from Coupeville on Whidbey Island in Washington’s Puget Sound. Set among Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce, alder, cherry and apple trees, the campground offers views of the Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Just a short walk away you’ll find Fort Casey’s old military fort, a place of immense historical beauty. Established in the late 1800s, the park was used as a training facility until the mid-1940s and includes a 1903 vintage lighthouse, a military fort with bunkers and batteries, and four historic guns constructed by the United States Army.

But it’s not just the incredible history that attracts campers and day visitors to this fantastic state park. You can also explore Keystone Spit and Crocket Lake as well as 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline. Outdoor recreation is popular here - fish for salmon beside the ferry terminal, fly your kite on the endless greens next to the fort, and visit the interpretive center and gift shop tucked away inside the old lighthouse. Picnics are also popular because of the park’s stunning natural beauty – particularly in the springtime when you’ll see rhododendrons, roses, ferns, and foxgloves. Keep an eye out for all sorts of wildlife, such as chipmunks, fox, otters, and deer, while birders can look out for eagles, gulls, hawks, and herons.

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Transportation in Fort Casey State Park

Driving

Fort Casey State Park is located three miles south of Coupeville on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound in Washington. Please note that before you get to the park, the speed limit on the highway drops from 45 to 25 rather quickly so be on the lookout for this. Within the park, the speed limit is five miles per hour. Plenty of parking is available within the park, such as at the ferry holding area, near the lighthouse, and the dive park. Guests staying overnight can park their RVs in the campground. Please note that a Discover Pass is required for day visits to the park. These can be bought online.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Fort Casey State Park

Campsites in Fort Casey State Park

Reservations camping

Main Campground

Fort Casey State Park has a total of 22 standard campsites and 13 partial-utility campsites for RVs and trailers (up to 40 feet in length) next to the Keystone ferry terminal. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit, and campers have access to modern restrooms with hot showers. Campsites can be reserved between May and September.

Facilities include two boat launch areas, a lighthouse and gift shop, picnic area, and park store. Tours of the historic gun batteries at Fort Casey are available seasonally. There is also a remote-control glider area, a parade field for kite flying, and a restaurant within walking distance of the campground.

Campers should be aware of quiet hours between 10pm and 6:30am. Generators may be operated only between 8am and 9pm. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash at all times.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Fort Casey State Park

In-Season

Glider and Kite Flying

The grassy fields near the military fort are popular spots for flying your kite at Fort Casey State Park. There is also a designated area for flying your remote-control gliders. These wide open spaces are great spots to take advantage of the wind on a good summer’s day, as well as admire views of the fort, Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Picnics

Fort Casey State Park is the perfect picnic spot. There are 68 unsheltered picnic tables to choose from, available on a first come, first served basis. Campers and day visitors can make use of these areas in the summer season but please note that the picnic area is closed from October to April each year.

Interpretive Tours

Be sure to check out the exhibits at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse to learn about the history of Fort Casey State Park. These exhibitions include information on local Native American tribes, the construction of Fort Casey as well as the construction of the Red Bluff Lighthouse. Guided tours of the gun batteries are available between May and September. These 45 minute tours are led by the Fort Casey Volunteer Battalion, and are held on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. The center is open every day between June and August, Friday to Monday in September, and on weekends in October. It is also open over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Off-Season

Wildlife Watching

There are a variety of animals to be found in Fort Casey State Park. Keep your eyes peeled around the campsite and on trails around the park for fascinating woodland creatures, such as squirrels, foxes, chipmunks, rabbits, otters, and even coyotes. Birders can sport a variety of interesting birdlife in the park too, from herons and hawks, to hummingbirds, owls, and eagles.

Fishing

Anglers have much to look forward to at Fort Casey State Park. Launch your boat next to the ferry terminal and fish for some of the best salmon in the region. Other fish in the area include cod, perch, and steelhead. Alternatively, scour the 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline for all sorts of marine life, such as crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers, and even octopus and seals. Please note that a recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at any Washington State Park.

Hike to the Fort

There are nearly two miles of hiking trails to explore within Fort Casey State Park. We recommend taking the interpretive trail that leads to the military fort where you can discover the old bunkers and batteries, and admire four historic guns constructed by the United States Army, including two ten-inch disappearing guns and two three-inch mounted guns.

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