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Fort Ward Park

Fort Ward Park

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Inside Bainbridge Article

Park Overview

Fort Ward Park is a 137-acre marine park with 4,300 feet of saltwater shoreline on Rich Passage. Many of the structures in the park reflect the historic military significance of the area, but the park is well developed for day use. There is an underwater park for scuba divers, a two-lane boat ramp and a long, rocky beach along Rich Passage. This park is on the Cascadia Marine Trail, campsites are on a first come first serve basis for paddle craft users only. There are limited services available and we ask that patrons practice “leave no trace” principals.

Park hours/updates:

Open year round, 8 a.m. to dusk.

Picnic and Day-use Facilities

There are 12 unsheltered picnic tables with grills, available first come, first served. The upper picnic area is accessible by automobile. The lower picnic area (along Rich Passage) is accessible by foot only.


Boat launch is available free of charge.

Driving Directions

Located on the southwest side of Bainbridge Island, along Rich Passage in Kitsap County.
Park address:
2241 Pleasant Beach (beach area)
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

From Hwy. 305:
Turn west on High School Rd. Travel to T-intersection (approximately three miles), and turn left onto Fletcher Bay Rd. Continue on Fletcher Bay Rd. to T-intersection, then turn right on to Lynwood Center Road. This takes you past Lynnwood Center and turns into Pleasant Beach Drive. Continue to Y-intersection stay to the right on to Pleasant Beach Drive to go to the Fort Ward boat ramp.

To get to the Upper Fort Ward Picnic area, at the Y-intersection stay to the left to continue on Oddfellows Road. Veer right onto Blakely Avenue and take a right onto Country Club Road. Take the next right onto Fort Ward Hill Road. Park entrance is on the right, approximately one and a half miles.


After World War II, the U.S. Navy used a radio tower (once located adjacent to the park and east of the upper picnic area) to send messages to Navy Command in Seattle at Pier 91.

In 1903, Fort Ward was offically commissioned as a seacoast fort with the primary objective of protecting the Bremerton Naval Shipyard. Two gun batteries are located in the park. During World War II, the navy used the fort as a radio station and training school for communication personnel and installed a submarine net across Rich Passage. In 1958, the navy decommissioned the fort, and State Parks purchased Fort Ward in 1960. Ownership of the Park was transferred to the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District June 4, 2011.



Water Activities


• 3 mi. Hiking Trails

• Boating (saltwater)
• 1 boat ramp (saltwater)
• Diving
• Fishing (saltwater)
• Personal Watercraft (saltwater)
• Water Skiing (saltwater)
• Crabbing

• Beachcombing
• Bird Watching
• 2 Fire Circles
• Sailboarding
• Wildlife Viewing

A paved road parallels the beach where people can ride bikes, walk or jog.




Fish & Sea Life

• Bobcats
• Chipmunks
• Coyotes
• Deer
• Foxes
• Otters
• Rabbits
• Raccoons
• Skunks
• Squirrels
• Weasels

• Crows or Ravens
• Doves or Pigeons
• Ducks
• Eagles
• Geese
• Grouse
• Gulls
• Hawks
• Herons
• Hummingbirds
• Jays
• Ospreys
• Owls
• Pheasants
• Quail
• Woodpeckers
• Wrens

• Clams
• Crabs
• Mussels
• Octopuses
• Oysters
• Scallops
• Sea Birds
• Sea Cucumbers
• Seals
• Shellfish
• Shrimp
• Squid
• Starfish
• Whales
• Bass
• Cod
• Eel
• Perch
• Red Snapper
• Salmon
• Shark
• Steelhead
• Tuna

Environmental Features

Physical Features


Plant Life




• Cedar
• Douglas Fir
• Hemlock
• Spruce
• Yew
• Alder
• Apple
• Ash
• Cherry
• Maple
• Daisy
• Foxglove
• Berries
• Ferns
• Moss or Lichens
• Seaweed
• Thistle
• Poison Oak


fort ward panorama
fort ward walk
fort ward batteries
fort ward batteries


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