Located on Whidbey Island in Northwest Washington, Fort Casey is a relic to the wars that our fathers and grandfathers fought on our behalf. Constructed to protect the shores of the Western United States against a Pacific attack, after World War II the massive build-ups were deemed to be no longer necessary. Over time, they began to crumble and fall, but their history still remained.
Fort Casey, when active, was part of a group of forts that were called the “Triangle of Fire.” what makes Fort Casey unique, however, when compared to the other two forts in the triangle is that the fort itself is being restored. Best of all, accessing the watchtowers, massive guns, and even the lighthouse that overlooks Admiralty Inlet at the forts is easy for kids and adults who may have a disability, but there are still challenging climbs and warning signs that tell you that a fall could actually cause death.
That means adventure awaits!
What Makes Fort Casey Special?
For just $10, you get all day access to this nearly 500 acre park and the other state parks that are on Whidbey Island. If you’re planning an extended stay, a $30 annual pass allows you unlimited access to all of Washington’s state parks. The first thing you’ll notice when you come into Fort Casey is the expansive parade grounds. Even in the depths of winter, the lawn is green, lush, and inviting. Go ahead – let the kids find a hill and let them have a great time!
Exploring the ruins of the fort is self-guided all year. You can walk up the massive concrete steps that take you high in the air where watchmen once searched the waters for enemy ships and submarines. Crawl into a machine gun bunker and take a look through your grandfather’s eyes at what the world looked like during the war. You can explore numerous storage facilities, underground bunkers, and even take a walk down to the nearly 11,000 feet of rugged saltwater shoreline to search for hermit crabs if the tide is out a little bit!
A Clear Day Brings Forth Nature’s Majesty!
When the clouds and fog clear away and the sun breaks through, the landscapes that surround Fort Casey are absolutely magnificent! The Cascade Mountains are to the east, where Mount Baker proudly stands tall in snow-capped brilliance for much of the year. To the southwest are the Olympics and the Admiralty Inlet, which is the passageway between the Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
If you’re visiting during a beautiful day in the Summer, from late May to September 1, volunteers with the local Fort Casey Battalion also offer guided tours of the two 10-inch and two 3-inch historic guns that are proudly on display. The Inlet is a major shipping channel as many cargo ships are either headed into Seattle or are leaving for the open Pacific waters. You’ll also see many Navy and Coast Guard ships in the area and if you’re lucky, a submarine with full civilian escort will churn through the waters!
Love Camping? You Can Do It There Too!
Fort Casey offers 21 standard tent sites, as well as 14 utility sites with water and electricity. There is one restroom and one shower available for use as well. If you scheduled your visit well in advance, you can reserve on of the four pull-through campsites that are right out on the beach! Make sure you bring your boat as well because there are two saltwater launches available for a minimal fee too.
If your stay is an extended one, you might also consider visiting Fort Warden and Fort Flagler, the other two forts that compose the old Triangle of Fire.
Many men walked the shores of Fort Casey to make sure the freedoms of the United States were protected. Touch the walls, take a look through the sights of a 10-inch gun, and you’ll get a glimpse of those sacrifices when you visit this unique Washington location.