"Small Fortress yet Perceived to be Vital" Fort Columbia State Park by glabah

Fort Columbia State Park Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 31 photos

Compared to the size of Fort Stevens, Fort Canby, Fort Flagler or a few other fortresses guarding the entrance to ports and rivers from the Pacific Ocean, Fort Columbia isn't especially huge. However, it was at one time considered to be vital to the defense of the Columbia River.

After World War II, the park was determined to be surplus to the needs of the military, and it wound up in the hands of the State of Washington. While conversion to a State Park commenced at that time, plans were also in place for the underground facilities here to be used by vital state government functions should a nuclear assault happen upon Olympia, the state capitol.

Today, the park consists of a museum on the grounds, various outdoor displays with interpretive signs, and special guest houses in some of the old military housing.

Hiking trails of various lengths have been built through the forests above the park, and a few of those provide viewpoints.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice little park with a bit of history and some decent (not great) views of the Columbia River and the surrounding hills.
  • Cons:Not a huge amount of stuff here. Difficult to access if going westbound on highway 101, and dangerous to exit from if going to Highway 101 westbound.
  • Last visit to Fort Columbia State Park: Sep 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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