Gales Rip through Point Wilson

It sounded like our camp was going to come apart; the good news was at least I didn’t have to worry with snapping my mooring.

Point Wilson

Fort Worden State Park is a popular area and with good reason. Not only does it have many different activities to offer guests, but it’s close proximity to Port Townsend is a plus as well.

However, it’s popularity can work against it if you perfer to go camping for solitude or tranquility. But there is a solution; just go camping in the off season. Having both the campgrounds and the entire park to virutally ourselves more then makes up for the cool and wet weather.

It sounded like our camp was going to come apart; the good news was at least I didn’t have to worry with snapping my mooring.
Point Wilson Lighthouse
Automated in 1976, the old Point Wilson LIghthouse is starting to show signs of negelect.

This lack of crowds is the perfect time to enjoy the lower campground located on Point Wilson just opposite the beach of Point Wilson and its historic lighthouse. There are beautiful views of the sound from most sites and they all have full hookups.

Construction on the fort began in 1897 and was active between the years 1902 to 1953. For those of you reading this not from the area, much of the fort can be seen in An Officer and a Gentlemen. In 1957 the state of Washington purchased the property to us as a juvinelle detention facitlity. It finally rolled over to its current duties as a state park in 1973.

One of the most unique opportunies you can do at this park is explore all the different Battery’s. I count about 14 different stuctures with all their stairways, rooms, and dark halls. You can easliy spend a day exploring and never visit the same room twice.


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Point Wilson Lighthouse
The historic Point Wilson Lighthouse was automated in 1976 and USCG personal left the housing in 2000.
Point Wilson
Point Wilson Lighthouse on a cold winters day.

Windy Winter

Earlier I mentioned dealing with the cold weather to take advantage of the light crowds. What turned out to be not so easy to deal with was the near gale force winds we had to deal with our first night in the campsite. I carry a pole mounted wireless weather station that I put up at basecamp. It’s just a habit of years of being on the water.

That night we had constant winds of 30 knots with gust somewhat higher. Make for a very restless night in camp. It sounded like our camp was going to come apart; the good news was at least I didn’t have to worry with snapping my mooring

There is an upper campsite that might have been more sheltered but apparently it closes for the winter season. But it might be something to take into consideration if you have a choice.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Renee Haynes


  2. Kathleen Peterson

    Enjoying your blog just as much as I love your IG pictures. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and your wonderful shots of Washington. Kathleen (mizpete)

    1. Steve Weileman

      Thank you for the kind words, Kathleen! It’s a labor of love. 🙂

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