Coachman Inn, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

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About the Area

Fort Casey State Park

Fort Casey State Park is a historic state park, harking back to the day when the Puget Sound was considered a militarily important location. The U.S. government bought the land where the park now stands for $400 in 1858, and built the Admiralty Head Lighthouse on the 10 acres.

A short distance from Oak Harbor, visiting the Fort Casey State Park is a great day trip from the Coachman Inn in Oak Harbor.

In 1890, however, the area was taken over by the Army, and named after Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey. He was the very last U.S. Army chief of engineers.

Fort Casey was teamed with Fort Worden and Fort Flagler to create a "triangle of fire" that would protect the Puget Sound entrance from any invaders. However, to build the fort, it required that the old lighthouse be removed from the area. In 1903, another lighthouse was constructed on the site where it now stands. Currently the lighthouse acts as an interpretive center for the park, and has been designated the Admiralty Head Lighthouse historic landmark.

Since 1980, the park has been incorporated as part of the Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve. There is a display at the coast artillery post which has four historic guns for viewing.

The views at the park are stunning, with visitors able to enjoy seeing the Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are interpretive tours in the lighthouse seasonally and by appointment.

There are 68 unsheltered picnic tables at the park, making it a popular place for day trips and nature viewing. The park features 1.8 miles of hiking trails as well, where you may see chipmunks, coyotes, deer, elk, foxes, otters rabbits, raccoons, skunks and squirrels.

There are also a variety of bird species in the park, including crows, ducks, herons, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and more.

The park offers two boat ramps into the inlet, and saltwater boating, fishing and diving. While in a boat, visitors are likely to catch a glimpse of a variety of sea life. There are many species found in the park, including crab, octopus, scallop, sea cucumbers, seals, starfish, cod, eel, perch, salmon and steelhead.

The park also includes a popular area for flying remote control gliders and a large field used by the army as a parade field, but now used as a popular kite-flying venue. It is a windswept park, but the views are fantastic.

To dive in the area, watch for deep recesses, where you're likely to find octopus and the larger fish. There are erratic currents in the region, particularly at the top, so use care. There are large numbers of nudibranch, anemones and coral at the bottom. The park and the nearby Keystone area are known as one of the best place on the Puget Sound to take underwater photos.

The friendly Coachman Inn front desk staff will gladly tell you more about the Whidbey Island parks during your stay with them.

Before you check out Fort Casey Park on Whidbey Island, check into the nearby Coachman Inn, where we have been voted Best of Whidbey Island for two years running and awarded the AAA Three Diamond rating, their highest rating for vacation lodging. To check availability, call the Coachman now at 800-635-0043 or click here.

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