Situated inside Fort Stevens State Park at the mouth of the Columbia River, Point Adams has served as an important landmark for centuries. When Europeans first arrived in the area, it was the site of a large Clatsop settlement, and William Clark noted eight large houses on the site when they sailed past in 1805. The name of the landmark itself was coined on May 18, 1792, when Captain Robert Gray, a merchant mariner, sailed into the mouth of the Columbia River. He chose the name in honor of the then president of the United States, John Adams.
Point Adams later became part of Fort Stevens, a Civil War-era military fort established in 1863. The original earthen fort was built to keep British and Confederate gunboats from entering the mouth of the Columbia River. It was named after Union Army General Isaac I. Stevens, who also served as the first territorial governor of Washington state.
After World War II, Fort Stevens was considered obsolete, and it was turned over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for use as a headquarters in 1947. Then, in 1975, the site was officially designed as a state park after being leased to Oregon State Parks.
Today, visitors can visit the historic Fort Stevens and Point Adams. The park’s visitor center and museum interpret the site’s long history. Tours through the old earthen fort and artillery gun batteries are also available. Those with a passion for the outdoors will enjoy the golf course, fishing, 15 miles of multi-use trails, and access to Coffenbury Lake for swimming and boating. Picnic tables are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
There are several camping options available as well. All campsites are ADA accessible and come equipped with a picnic table and grill. Yurts and cabins are also available for rent. Restrooms, showers, a playground, and a dump station are on site.
Fort Stevens has everything from history, interpretive centers, camping, and natural wonders that highlight what makes Oregon such a unique and ecologically diverse state.