This is a premiere spot for bird watching. The Cascadia Marine Trail site is located on the lower beach section of this two level park. The park can serve as a base camp for circumnavigation of Marrowstone Island via the Port Townsend Canal or exploration of the western shores of Admiralty Inlet.
Location: The county park is on the western side of the north end of Oak Bay, immediately south of Portage Canal.
Hazards: At higher tides, make sure your tent is placed appropriately. Spit is very exposed to winds from the south. During storm events, the spit may be inundated. Tidal current in Portage Canal can range up to 3 knots and rips and large standing waves may form at either end, particularly at low tide.
Water: The beach section has water available. The upland section has water faucets, but it requires a .25 mile hike up the road to access.
Sanitation: Pit toilets at the north end of beachfront road along the launch ramp.
Overflow: In the rest of the campground or day-use areas
Fires: No open fires allowed
Fees: $15.00 per group
Special Considerations: Cascadia Marine Trail camping is allowed on the undeveloped portions of the spit, but campers must choose tent sites wisely to stay above the high tide line. October 31-May 1, the spit is closed to drive-in camping. During this season, all established campsites are available to CMT travelers. The campsites by the toilet are on the highest ground, and are preferred for winter camping.
Natural History: Oak Bay County Park's defining feature is a tidal lagoon sheltered by a sand and gravel spit. Formed by wind and wave action, spits are unstable and dynamic. Heavy storms and tidal events regularly rearrange the rip-rap installed to armor the spit. Instead of continual sea wall maintenance, the long-term plan for the park is to let the elements continue to sculpt this unique shore form. Visitors will appreciate the ever-changing beach and the rich habitat it provides for wildlife. Bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for a range of birds, including Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Brant, Scoters, Loons, Harlequin Duck, Black Turnstone, and Black Oystercatcher.