The reserve encompasses a sand-and-cobble beach, bluffs with dramatic views down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, two state parks (Ft. Casey and Ft. Ebey; see separate listings), and several privately held pioneer farms homesteaded in the early 1850s. The first and largest reserve of its kind holds nearly 400 nationally registered historic structures (including those located within the town of Coupeville), most of them from the 19th century. Miles of trails lead along the beach and through the woods. Cedar Gulch, south of the main entrance to Ft. Ebey, has a lovely picnic area in a wooded ravine above the beach.
Ft. Casey and Keystone State Park. The 467-acre Ft. Casey State Park, on a bluff overlooking sweeping views of Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Port Townsend ferry landing, was one of three forts (the "Triangle of Death") built after 1890 to protect the entrance to Admiralty Inlet from a naval invasion. Look for the concrete gun emplacement and a couple of 8-inch "disappearing"
guns. The charming Admiralty Head Lighthouse Interpretive Center is north of the gunnery emplacements. There are also grassy picnic sites, rocky fishing spots, waterfront campsites, and a boat launch. A Washington State Discover Pass is required ($30/year or $10/day; see www.discoverpass.wa.gov). Once you're done exploring the park, take the ferry from here to Port Townsend for a quick side trip or long lunch. 2 miles west of Rte. 20, 98239. 360/678–4519. www.parks.wa.gov/parks. Discover Pass required; $30/year or $10/day. Park open daily 8 am–dusk; lighthouse hrs vary by season, usually open 11–5.
Ft. Ebey State Park. In late May and early June, Ft. Ebey State Park blazes with native rhododendrons. West of Coupeville on Point Partridge, it has 3 miles of shoreline, campsites in the woods, trails to the headlands, a freshwater lake for fishing, World War II gun emplacements, wildflower meadows, spectacular views down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and miles of hiking and biking trails. A Washington State Discover Pass is required. 3 mi west of Rte. 20. 360/678–4636. www.parks.wa.gov. Washington State Discover Pass required ($30/year or $10/day). Daily sunrise–sunset.
Coupeville, Washington, United States