Fort Ward State Park encompasses a total area of 137 acres of land that is located along Rich Passage on the southern part of Bainbridge Island in the state of Washington. The park is a part of the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District and is situated on land that was formerly a military base called Fort Ward.
To access the park, visitors can travel southwest of Winslow which is a downtown area in the city of Bainbridge Island and about six miles from Winslow Ferry. One thing that'll catch the attention of visitors to the park are the gun batteries that are located in the park. Visitors will have no doubt that this was indeed a military area.
The fort was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and officially commissioned in 1903 to defend the entrance to the Bremerton Naval Shipyard. During World War II, the navy used the fort as a training school for communication personnel. The fort was also used as a transmission (radio) station, and the Navy also built a submarine net across Rich Passage.
The Navy decommissioned the port in 1958, and two years later in 1960, the Washington State Park purchased Fort Ward. Since 2011, ownership of the Park has been held by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District. Today some of the activities that visitors to the park can enjoy include hiking, boating, water skiing, windsurfing, crabbing, fishing, scuba diving, and beachcombing.
Some of the conveniences in the park include a boat launch, picnic area, marine park, and a hiking trail. Dogs are permitted into Fort Ward Park although some regulations have to be followed. Some of the key rules regarding digs include that dogs must always be on a leash that is no longer than eight feet long. Additionally, dogs must be restrained when not leashed, and they must be kept away from restricted areas.