You won't have to stick your little toe into the water at Twanoh State Park; the water is so nice, you can probably dunk yourself all at once. Known for its warm saltwater swimming, scenic beauty and abundant shellfish, Twanoh has been a plum getaway spot since 1923, when it became a state park.
The park has the feel of an old-time camping resort but with modern amenities. Floatie-clad toddlers splash in the swim area with parents nearby. Kayakers and paddlers share space with seals, and boaters motor out in search of the perfect crabbing or fishing spot. At low tide, oyster shuckers emerge, carrying pails and hand tools. Buy a shellfish license and join them or walk down the beach watching for orange sea stars, purple crabs and other intertidal creatures.
Need a break from the beach? The park's southern half contains a hiking trail through a green forest of moss-draped trees that filter sunlight. The trail runs along a creek that is filled with Chum salmon in fall.
As a park, Twanoh came of age during the Great Depression, and New Deal history fans will find a significant, intact grouping of Civilian Conservation Corps buildings. The rustic architecture made famous by the National Park Service in the 1930s is visible in the large covered kitchen shelters and several of the park's structures.
As the day winds down, it may be a good time to check out the badminton area, horseshoe pits and volleyball court. Or grill up that seafood, tuck the kids into their sleeping bags and kick back for some quiet campfire time.
Twanoh State Park is a 188-acre, marine camping park with 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal in South Puget Sound.
Automated pay station: This park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit.
Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.
Picnic & day-use facilities
The park offers two kitchen shelters with electricity, plus 125 uncovered picnic tables. One kitchen shelter can accommodate up to 150 people and can be reserved online or by calling (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688. The other kitchen shelter accommodates up to 40 people and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- 2.5 miles of hiking trails
Water activities & features
- 100 feet of dock
- 200 feet of moorage
- Fishing (saltwater)
- Oyster harvesting
- Personal watercraft use
- Watercraft launch
Other activities & features
- Badminton area
- Beach exploration
- Bird watching
- Fire circles (20)
- Horseshoe pit
- Volleyball field
- Tennis court
- Wildlife viewing
A plaque stands along the road in nearby Union. It commemorates Captain George Vancouver, the first European to sail into Hood Canal in search of the Northwest Passage.
- Campers and day-users must bring their own play equipment, balls, racquets, horse shoes, etc.
- Oyster season is open year round. Oysters must be shelled on the beach. A shellfish license is required to shuck oysters or to crab. This license is sold anywhere fishing licenses are sold. Please check Department of Fish and Wildlife fishing publications for daily limits and information. Regulations are available wherever fishing licenses are sold. Anyone over 14 years of age needs a shellfish license to harvest oysters. The daily limit is 18 oysters.
- A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
- Gathering firewood is prohibited, but firewood is sold at the park.
- Printable park brochure (PDF).
On Puget Sound in Mason County, Twanoh State Park has one watercraft launch and 100 feet of dock.
Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following:
- An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit); or
- An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or
- A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit. A daily watercraft launching permit for $7 and a trailer dumping permit for $5 may be purchased at the park. Annual permits also may be purchased at Washington State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff are available.
The park also provides seven moorage buoys and 200 feet of moorage. Moorage fees are charged year round for mooring at docks, floats, and buoys from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m. Daily and annual permits are available. For more information, call 360-902-8844.
This facility is open year round, 24 hours a day. The floating docks are removed in the winter. There is a stationary pumpout located at the end of the moorage float.
Latitude: 47° 22' 44.81" N (47.3791)
Longitude: 122° 58' 11.28" W (-122.9697)
The campground has 25 standard campsites, 22 full-hookup sites, two restrooms, and one shower. Maximum site length is 35 feet (may have limited availability). The park has one campsite that is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail (PDF). It is available to those arriving by wind- or human-powered watercraft on a first-come, first-served basis. The site has a picnic table and a fire ring.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.
Gathering firewood is not allowed, but packaged firewood is available for purchase from the campground host or local stores.
Reservations & fees
Twanoh State Park is one of the oldest state parks in Washington. It was officially dedicated and opened to the public on June 9, 1923. Twanoh was the first state park to be purchased; earlier parks had been citizen land donations. Although initial development was limited, the park grew popular and soon became overwhelmed with visitors.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" work relief programs provided the money and man¬power to develop new facilities at Twanoh. In 1933, with funding from the Public Works Administration, National Park Service (NPS) architects were hired to design new facilities, including bathhouses, picnic shelters and a caretaker's house. All buildings were designed in the NPS's signature "rustic" style, using local materials intended to blend in with the landscape.
Construction was performed by local contractors until a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was assigned to the park. During the Great Depression, more than a dozen CCC camps were established in Washington state parks. Camp Twanoh opened in 1935 and operated through 1938.
Most of the structures and landscape features developed during this period remain in the western half of the park, making Twanoh one of the most intact examples of Great Depression-era park architecture in Washington's state park system.