Welcome to Ft Stevens State Park – where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.
Ft Stevens campground is quite large with more than 8 loops and almost 500 sites. Yes, it is large but each loop feels quaint and small (albeit it can feel crowded on weekends and during the summer). They offer bike rentals, there’s a swimming lake, easy access to the beach, a Fort historic museum, and endless activities.
Campground: Ft. Stevens State Park
Location: Astoria, Oregon
Site: D-119 (back-in)
Services: W/E (50 AMP)
Comments: One of our favorite state parks. We love the biking trails and hiking trails and the ability to drive on the beach and make campfires. Also the area is steeped in history with the fort (an attack by a Japanese submarine), the Graveyard of the Pacific, and Lewis and Clark. And its’ proximity to the Columbia River means there is always something to do (museums, pilot and ship watching, restaurants, etc.). We love this place.
There is plenty of hiking directly from our campsite with both paved trails and sand/dirt trails going through the forest and/or to and along the beach. We didn’t bring our bicycles this time so we spent the days hoofing it around the park going through the rain forests, to the Columbia River, and along the beach. There is even a wreck of the British Ship, the Peter Iredale (from 1906) along the beach. We never get tired of exploring the area.
The Ft Stevens Visitor Center offers a terrific museum, rose garden, and a number of batteries you can walk around and tour (self-guided). You could spend hours and hours walking around the old ruins of the fort and all the batteries.
The small quaint village of Hammond is just outside of the state park and the city of Astoria is just a few miles away over the bridge along the Columbia River. Astoria offers full amenities and some terrific maritime museums, some of our favorites.
And for the best part, we drove our car out onto the beach for a campfire and made dinner on the fire, watched the sunset, and just relaxed and enjoyed the peace and solitude of the beach. Of course we had to find the ideal time when the wind wasn’t blowing hard and it was nice and warm. We were also very careful to know exactly how to drive off the beach in the dark (i.e., know exactly where the beach road ramp was located). No problem, we made it even in the pitch black of the night. We had a wonderful evening.