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8/25/2020

Things to do in the San Juan's - Explore Fort Whitman and Battery Harrison on Goat Island

If you like to explore ruins and go on easy hikes, this is the place for you.


     Re-posted from 2012

You can find Goat Island at the south end of Swinomish channel just before the dredged channel terminates in Skagit Bay.  ( a few miles from Deception Pass)
Fort Whitman and Battery Harrison were built in the early 1900's to defend Deception Pass and Sartoga Passage, thus protecting Puget Sound.

The battery  had four six inch guns, so the concrete structure is quite long. Originally designed to be  invisible from the water and now totally overgrown you can land your dinghy and hike up the trail in about ten minutes.

Directions:  From the dredged  navigation channel on the north side of Goat Island (Swinomish Channel) look for the many pilings grouped together marking the old wharf, all you will see is a lot of rows of close together pilings with steel brackets still attached at the top. (look for the rusty old steel brackets, that's your only clue that makes these pilings look different from all the others.) Anchor to one side or tie to a piling. and then run your dinghy to shore directly behind the old wharf pilings and scramble up the  bank looking for trail heading westward.  At high tide the beach is pretty much submerged and may not look like a place to land.  Spotting the seldom used trail is really hard, you may do some bush whacking, just remember the battery is west of where you land and a couple hundred feet back from the top of the cliff.  
Have fun, its a fun and very short hike up to the old battery, oh and bring a flashlight.
Goat Island, Fort Whitman, Battery Harrison, Swinomish Channel
steel railings, doors, long gone

Goat Island, Fort Whitman, Battery Harrison, Swinomish Channel
trees have taken back the island

Goat Island, Fort Whitman, Battery Harrison, Swinomish Channel
the round pit is where one of four guns was anchored

Goat Island, Fort Whitman, Battery Harrison, Swinomish Channel
 rooms and hallways are  interconnected


If you want some  more off the beaten path places to explore, try this post.

1 comment:

  1. These are great pix of the fortress. Thanks for the landing and trail instructions. Very helpful.

    ReplyDelete

If you have a pic you think worth sharing, e-mail it or its url to me, the comment box wont accept pics