What: Twelve historic wood-frame buildings still stand on the site of this former military fort. Walk on an interpretive trail next to a massive gun. The interpretive center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also rent a vacation home for the night.
When: The park is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the summer and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter.
Where: Chinook, about five miles east of Ilwaco
Activities: Hiking, bird watching, interpretive trails and a museum
Getting there: From Interstate 5, take Highway 8 west, then U.S. 101 south. The park is two miles west of the Astoria Bridge.
Cost: There is no longer a fee for day use of Washington State Parks.
Of note: There are five miles of hiking trails. The park also has 25 unsheltered picnic areas. For information on reserving a rental home, call 1-888-226-7688.
History: Fort Columbia is one of the few intact coastal defensive sites in the United States, It was built from 1896 to 1904 to defend the Columbia River. It was given to the state in 1950.
Information: parks.wa.gov, 1-888-226 7688