As we mentioned earlier, most of Oregon’s state parks are free, but as we got further north to more popular areas they began to charge. Mostly we respected the “parking fee” and just drove thru, not even stopping for a picnic. So instead of worrying about it when we entered Washington, we invested in an annual State Discovery pass. Only $30 as opposed to $5-10 for each and we will probably be in the state a month or more this year. So long story short we are stopping in a lot of Washington State Parks and displaying our placard proudly.
On the north eastern side of the peninsula is Port Townsend, a small village I actually visited with Randy’s state rental car when we were in Seattle years ago. That visit I remember walking in the quaint downtown window shopping. This time we visited Fort Worden really a bustling little old fort. In this and other parks we have noticed they are revamping the old buildings and renting for vacation accommodations. We think that is a brilliant idea to off set the costs of maintaining the parks and for a unique experience for the families renting.
Another brilliant idea I forgot to mention in Oregon is that their lottery program goes to the benefit of the State Parks. Maybe why most are free?? Having the funds benefit the park benefits all citizens and businesses alike, pretty smart in our opinion.
Fort Worden also had several educational facilities and meeting spaces as well as the old batteries and lighthouse. When we were there it was sooooo foggy as it is many days, we really couldn’t see the harbor, but there were lots of ship horns blaring from all directions. Would have been scary to be on the water. Notice the sailboat in the fog and how close to shore it is.
Point Wilson Lighthouse is scenic, but I don’t really think that it’s light would do any good in fog this thick. This is on the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the opening of the Seattle and other ports so you know it is busy with really large ships!!!
East of Port Townsend we visited Ft Flagler State Park. More repurposing for vacation rentals.
While in Hoquiam, Washington we went out to Ocean Shores and the Jetty and to Westport Light “State Park” and Grays Harbor Lighthouse although we would have visited even if not a SP. It is the tallest lighthouse in Washington and is currently a half mile from the shore, those jetties really work.
These are just a few of the state parks we visited. But our favorite adventures/places to visit (besides the lighthouses) were of course some waterfalls. The Dosewallip state park had this nice fall that didn’t require much driving or hiking but a little of each.
And then there was the Hamma Hamma Falls. The pictures on line looked amazing, so although it was 17 miles in 40 minutes up a winding and sometimes gravel road we had to go. Upon arriving it was kind of a let down. The photos showing a several terrace falls each emptying into pools must have been taken by a drone?? Because it was definitely not as scenic and there were no trails to get a better view. Curious as to why the road was even here as it dead ended on the other side of a bridge over the Hamma Hamma river, all that and a nice bridge to a trail head?? Either way here is what we saw.
Our last full day near Port Townsend we got adventurous. Hiking over 3 miles to view two different falls in the National Park with a 2 hour drive each way, but we had to do it!!! First was Marymere Falls a nice mostly flat walk until the end where there were stairs and switchbacks straight up for the views.
And finally Sol Duc Falls again a mostly flat hike to a lovely fall. Interestingly, on the maps, road signs and documentation we say it was “Sol Duc,” but when we got to the trail head it was “Sole Duck”?
Both of these were on the northern side of the peninsula on creeks/rivers that empty into Lake Crescent, it was a misty overcast day with temps in the 60s in mid August, not too bad. Below is a picture of Lake Crescent.
I have to say that moss is a real thing around here. We started seeing a lot of it in northern California in the red woods and it has followed us or us it ever since. Some of it is really kind of gross looking especially on dirt roads where it collects a lot of dust, and some looks like really nasty cotton candy, but like most things in nature it is beautiful in its own way!!! They talk more about it in the western rainforest region of the park, but we can attest that it is on all sides of the peninsula. Some more moss pictures.
Peace Love and mosses for all!!!