Fort Ebey has an incredible setting on the windswept, west coast of central Whidbey Island, just a short drive from Coupeville. It has 3-miles of beach overlooking Admiralty Inlet, hemmed in by steep cliffs and coastal forest.
Fort Ebey was previously part of a WWII coastal defence system protecting Puget Sound from attack. Fortunately no shots were ever fired, other than in training sessions.
This 651-acre camping park also has an abundance of hiking trails, including a 1-mile trail up to a military battery on a spectacular bluff. You can also skip the hike and drive up to the bluff, to enjoy some of the best coastal views in Washington State.
Other popular recreational activites at Fort Ebey include mountain biking, fishing at Lake Pondilla, paragliding, and surfing.
A Discover Pass is required to visit Fort Ebey State Park. Dogs are permitted, but only on a leash.
10 best things to do at Fort Ebey
1. Take the short trail down to the beach.
Park at the north parking lot at Fort Ebey, then take a short walk down the dirt path to the beach.
2. Spend a relaxing day on the beach.
Fort Ebey has a long stretch of log strewn beach, perfect for beachcombing or a sunbathing. However, like all Pacific Northwest beaches, the water at Fort Ebey is too cold for swimming.
3. Drive up to the military battery on the bluff.
Drive up to the parking lot at the bluff at Fort Ebey State Park, to see the 1942 military battery and two gun emplacements. This battery (formerly known as Battery 428) was part of a coastal defence system that protected Puget Sound from invasion, but became obsolete post WWII. You can even walk inside these underground chambers, and peer out through a cool, underground lookout! Don't forget your flashlight.
Step outside to enjoy incredible views of Admiralty Inlet, Port Townsend and the Olympic Mountains from the bluff at Fort Ebey, with plenty of picnic tables for lunch. You might even catch sight of some paragliders propelling themselves off the cliff edge. Don't miss the incredible west facing sunsets from up here.
4. Hike the 1-mile trail up to the military battery on the bluff.
The most popular hike at Fort Ebey State Park, is the 1-mile trail from the beach to the bluff, where you can see the military battery with secret underground rooms and concrete bunkers. The walk is along a cliff edge, so not recommended for children. Fort Ebey has 28-miles of hiking trails, marked on this map.
5. Enjoy a picnic at one of the tables.
There are plenty of tables with magnificent water views at Fort Ebey State Park, including a cluster of tables on the bluff, with panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
6. Watch the surfers riding the dangerous reef break.
Watch surfers navigating the waves breaking over the reef at Fort Ebey, the most popular place to surf on Whidbey Island.
7. Savor the distant views of the Olympic Mountains.
8. Go bass fishing in Lake Pondilla.
Take the trail from the beach parking lot, to beautiful Lake Pondilla at Fort Ebey State Park. This pristine, wilderness lake is surrounded by thick forest, and you might catch sight of bald eagles soaring through the trees. Lake Pondilla is a kettle lake, formed by the last glacial retreat 16,000 years ago (leaving behind a giant bowl or "kettle" from a melting block of ice). You can fish for smallmouth bass, but a fishing license is required.
9. Book a camping site.
Fort Ebey State Park has 39 standard and 11 partial hook-up campsites in a forested area behind the bluff.
10. Go mountain biking.
Explore over 10 miles of mountain bike trails at Fort Ebey.