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 19th 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 for 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. Because of the weather conditions, in 1906 the ship grounded on the shore, and later became embedded in the sand. You can get close to the ship's remnants at the low-tide.
Fort Stevens Hiking Trails
There are over 5 miles of hiking and seven miles of biking trails. At low-tide you can get close to the remnants.
Delaura Dune Trail - the 4 miles hiking trail along the coast
Kestrel Dune Trail - the 1.3-mile biking trail along the coast to Wreck of the PeterIredale
Coffenbury Lake Trail - the 2-mile long hiking trail around Coffenbury Lake
Battery Russel Trail - the 1-mile trail along the dune's ridge from the north end of Coffenbury Lake to Battery Russel
Fifty-acre freshwater Coffenbury Lake has 2 swimming areas, sandy beaches, boat ramp and regularly stocked with trout.
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 Highawy 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 site, over 300 electrical sites with water, 6 tent sites with water nearby, 15 yurts, 11 deluxe cabins