Ebeys Landing Getaways
Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve provides a vivid historical record of Pacific Northwest history, including the first exploration of Puget Sound by Captain George Vancouver in 1792; early settlement by Colonel Isaac Ebey, an important figure in Washington Territory; growth and settlement resulting from the Oregon Trail and the Westward migration; the Donation Land Laws (1850-1855); and the continued growth and settlement of the Puget Sound area.
Within the fast growing Puget Sound region, Ebey's landing NHR has quickly become the remaining area where a broad spectrum of Northwest history is still clearly visible in the landscape. The historical landscape of the reserve appears to today's visitors much as it did a century ago, when New England sea captains were drawn to Penn Cove. Historic farms are still farmed, forests harvested and century-old buildings used as homes or places of businesses.
Unlike many National Park units, the 25 square mile historical reserve encompasses a mixture of federal, state, county and private property, all managed in a way that preserves its historic essence. This means that changes in the cultural landscape will continue, but in a way that respects the past.
There are two state parks within Ebey's Landing NHR as well as the historic waterfront town of Coupeville, one of the oldest towns in Washington State. This National Historic Reserve spans 25 square miles. A good place to begin your visit to Ebey's Landing is the Visitor Information Display at the entry of the Island County Historical Museum on Coupeville's waterfront. Here you can collect information about the reserve and determine which sites you'd like to see. Access to Ebey's Landing NHR display is free. Entrance to the Island County Historical Museum requires an admission fee of $2.00 per person.
Other sites within the reserve include interpretive waysides. These sites with informative panels are located throughout Ebey's Landing NHR. They touch on a wide range of historical and natural resource themes. Free self-guided driving/bicycling tour will show you the reserve's scenery, introduce you to its recreational opportunities, and help you learn about its history. You can obtain a copy of the tour brochure at the Island County Historical Museum, Admiralty Head Lighthouse or by writing or calling the reserve office. The tour can take anywhere from 1-1/2 hours to a full day, depending on your pace and interests.
Coupeville's historic wharf lies on the south shore of Penn Cove. Once a center of commerce and a major stopping point for the "mosquito fleet" the not so distant past is still apparent. The wharf extends 400 feet into the Cove with over 100 homes and stores, on the National Register of Historic Places, behind it on shore.
Fort Casey State Park, one of two state parks within the Reserve, is home to the Admiralty Head Lighthouse and a World War I coastal defense fort. Interpretive displays and a gift shop are located in the lighthouse and open to the public. In addition to touring the historic sites day hiking opportunities are plentiful in the Reserve. Miles of scenic beaches stretch between Fort Casey and Fort Ebey state parks. Trails border historic farms, beaches and a historic cemetery.