Manchester State Park
Description of the hike: Manchester State Park is surprisingly peaceful, given its roots.
The park is on the site of Middle Point, a fort that protected the Bremerton Shipyard from potential enemy ships in the early 1900s (Fort Ward on Bainbridge Island was also tasked with this task). There have never been any attacks, but the 111-acre park still provides an interesting history lesson.
The large brick building that serves as a picnic shelter is the old Torpedo Storehouse. The building was storing mines for an underwater minefield placed in Rich Passage. The strategy was for personnel from the nearby Mining Casement to monitor the arrival of any enemy ships and then detonate the nearest mine.
This area is a good place to start a hike in Manchester. Find the trail with the best views of Puget Sound by following the coast road east of the beach near the Torpedo Storehouse. The road becomes a trail at Battery Mitchell, an unfinished remnant of war. The battery was supposed to have two large guns to help defend Rich Passage, but they were never installed.
From the Battery, the trail traces the shoreline and offers views of the ferries and freighters crossing Puget Sound. After a short distance, the trail climbs a staircase and returns inland. The interior trails can be linked back to the Torpedo Storehouse area or a bit of a walk in the woods.
Another short hike option in the park is the interpretive trail near the park entrance. The The quarter-mile trail offers visitors a tour of Bigleaf Maple, Red Alder, and Hazelnut. The kiosk at the trailhead has recommendations from Washington State University’s Master Gardner program for native plants to plant at home.
Instructions: From National Route 16 at Port Orchard take the Sedgewick Road exit and follow the road (also Route 160) east 2.4 miles. Turn left on Long Lake Road and travel 1.8 miles to Woods Road. Turn right and continue 4.1 miles to Hilldale Road. Turn right and continue for 0.8 km to the park.
Difficulty level : 2 (5 is the hardest, 1 is the easiest).
Round trip miles: There are 1.9 km of trails in the park.
Elevation gain: 350 feet.
Best time of year: All year.
Menu: A card can be downloaded from the park website.
Past: Discover Pass.
Also: The park is named after the neighboring city of Manchester. The park was transferred from the Army to the Navy, which during World War II used part of it as a fuel depot and firefighting station. It was acquired by the state in 1970. The park offers a campsite with 35 sites for tents and 15 utility sites. The maximum site length is 60 feet. Campsites are available on a first come, first served basis from September 16 to May 14. 15 can be prepared up to nine months in advance. Manchester State Park is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail, a network of parks that can be used by paddlers in Puget Sound. Dogs must be kept on a leash or owners could be fined $ 87. There are several geocaches hidden in the park, according to geocaching.com.
This story was originally published February 23, 2017 6:19 am.