Located 10 miles west of Astoria, Fort Stevens was built in 1864 and remained an active military reservation until 1947. The fort guarded the mouth of the Columbia River during the period from the Civil War-era until the end of World War II. The name was given after former governor of Washington Territory General Isaac Stevens, who was killed in Virginia in 1862.
Early 20th century was characterized by signification development of the military site. Eight concrete gun batteries at Fort Stevens and Battery Russel were built to defend the Oregon territory. Battery Russel is located to the south from the other gun batteries and faced to the ocean. On Sunday, June 21, 1942, at 11.30 p.m., Japanese Navy submarine I-25 bypassed U.S. Coastal waters and attacked Battery Russel. Approximately seventeen shells were fired in the Battery Russel' direction. Fortunately, there were no serious consequences, just the minimal property damage. It's still unclear why the Battery Russel' soldiers received the order not to fire back.
The Fort Stevens was only one a continental U.S. military base to be attacked by a foreign army since the War of 1812.
After World War II, the fort was deactivated, the guns removed, some buildings were demolished, but almost all batteries are available for exploration today.
Opened to the public in 1955, 4,300-acre Fort Stevens State Park offers an exploration of history and wildlife. The park is known for its recreational opportunities as well.
Historic Military Site
Take a walking tour and explore the primary military defense installation with massive concrete gun batteries and other old structures, Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River, and see old photos, weapons exhibits, scale model of the Battery Russel 10'' gun in the Visitor Center. Guided tours are available during the summer season.
Shipwreck of the Peter Iredale
The skeleton of the 100 years old shipwreck of the Peter Iredale is a popular park's attraction. Peter Iredale Shipwreck ran ashore on Clatsop Spit, south of the Columbia River channel on October 25, 1906. Located within Fort Stevens State Park, the wreckage is considered one of the most accessible and long-lasting in the world.
Fort Stevens Hiking Trails
There are over six miles of hiking and nine miles of biking trails.
Delaura Dune Trail - the 4 miles hiking trail along the coast.
Kestrel Dune Trail - the 1.3-mile biking trail along the coast to the Peter Iredale Shipwreck.
Coffenbury Lake Trail - the 2-mile long loop hiking trail around the Coffenbury Lake.
Battery Russel Trail - the 1-mile trail along the dune's ridge from Battery Russel to the north end of Coffenbury Lake.
Coffenbury Lake is a 56-acre typical coastal lake, containing water of rain falls and snow that was trapped between sandy dunes decades ago. There are no inflowing or outflowing streams. Fluctuation of level depends on seasonal changes in the water table. The narrow but about a mile long, the freshwater lake is situated in Fort Stevens State Park, right at the mouth of the Columbia River. The lake was named after George Washington Coffenberry (Coffenbury), the first pioneer settler from West Virginia who became a four-term county judge for the Clatsop County just before establishing the Oregon Territorial Court in 1849.
Coffenbury Lake features with its a unique location in the coastal dense forest filled with a variety of wildlife. Around the lake, you will be able to find the squirrel, marten, otter, mink, skunk, beaver, and a wide diversity of birds. You might be lucky to see elk or deer coming from the forest to drink water.
Warm water temperature during summer makes the lake a perfect place for warmwater fish reproduction and, eventually, for fishing. Anglers can catch largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, brown bullhead, and yellow perch. The lake, also, is stocked with adult hatchery steelhead in winter and with legal size rainbow trout.
The water in Coffenbury Lake is warm in summer that makes it a great destination for swimming, boating, canoeing, and paddling. Motorized boats with a 10 mph speed limit are permitted (gas-powered boats are not allowed). There are fishing docks, boat ramps, a sandy beach, and picnic sites.
South Jetty | South Clatsop | Point Adams
The 9.7-mile rocky Jetties - South Jetty on the Oregon side and North Jetty on the Washington side were built between 1885 and 1895 to keep the mouth of the Columbia River from moving, to prevent beach sand from clogging the river mouth.
A giant sandy Clatsop Spit is located on the northwestern edge of Fort Stevens State Park.
Located east of Clatsop Split and the South Jetty, Point Adams is the southern edge of the mouth of the Columbia River.
Drive from the Fort Stevens Park entrance 3.9 miles to a parking area C at the jetty. The 20-foot viewing platform provides an impressive view of the ocean, waves in action and busy navigation traffic along the South Jetty.
Besides hiking, fishing, and various water activities, the state park offers other exciting opportunities. Learn about the military historic site, get close to the corroded skeleton of the Peter Ireland Shipwreck, drive to the South Jetty parking area C to view the ocean and busy navigation traffic at the mouth of the Columbia River.
Region: North Oregon Coast • USA
Operated: Oregon State Park
Acreage: 4,300 acres
Access allowed: Year-round, day-use
Service: Information center, museum, picnicking sites, boat ramp, drinking water, garbage service, fishing decks, restrooms
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Fees: $5 per vehicle per day
12-month day-use parking permit for State Parks
24-month day-use parking permit for State Parks.
Usage: Moderate to heavy
GPS Coordinates: 46.188, -123.971
Driving Directions to the Fort Stevens State Park
From the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 30 in Astoria, follow 3.2 miles to southwest to Warrenton/Seaside/Airport. Turn right onto Fort Stevens Highway Spur, then turn left onto Fort Stevens/Main St. Turn right onto SW 18th St, which merges onto NW Ridge Rd. Drive 3.5 miles to Fort Stevens State Park.
Address: 100 Peter Iredale Rd, Hammond, OR 97121
Phone: 503-861-3170 x 21
Fees: $5 per vehicle per day or 12- or 24-month day-use permit for State Parks
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Camping: 170 full-hookup sites, over 300 electrical sites with water, 6 tent sites with water nearby, 15 yurts, 11 deluxe cabins
Festivals and Events
Civil War Reenactment in Fort Stevens State Park takes place at the beginning of September.