Fort Stevens was the primary military defense installation in the three fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River (Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington were the other two). The fort served for 84 years, beginning with the Civil War and closing at the end of World War II. Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 3,700 acre park offering exploration of history, nature, and recreational opportunities.
And you can help fund historic programs and restoration at the park! The Friends of Old Fort Stevens will run Wood on Wheels this summer, selling and delivering firewood right to your site. Check it out when you arrive!
Camping, beachcombing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, an historic shipwreck and an historic military area make Fort Stevens a uniquely diversified park. A network of nine miles of bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trails allow you to explore the park through spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine.
Coffenbury Lake has two swimming areas, a picnic area, restrooms, and a boat ramp (10 mph boating speed limit). Two other smaller lakes offer boat ramps for fishing and canoeing.
Throughout the year, you can browse through displays dating back to the Civil War at the museum, visit the only enclosed Civil War earthworks site on the west coast, and explore the gun batteries.
During the summer, watch the blacksmiths work, tour a rare 90-year old underground gun battery that served as a World War II command center, and take a truck tour of the fortifications spanning the Spanish-American War and World War II (tour available at a nominal charge).
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