Fort Simcoe State Park

Fort Simcoe State Park is a 200-acre, day-use heritage park in south central Washington on the Yakama Indian Nation Reservation. The park is primarily an interpretive effort, telling the story of mid-19th century army life and providing insights into the life ways of local Native American culture. Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in an old oak grove watered by natural springs, Fort Simcoe was an 1850s-era military installation established to keep peace between the settlers and the Indians.
Due to its unique historic significance, the park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 1974. Before the fort era, the site was an Indian campground where many trails crossed. The park features rich interpretive opportunities, which explore mid-19th century life and the clash of cultures that took place when settlers and Indians vied for the same territory.

Fort Simcoe State Park is one of the largest gathering areas in the Northwest of the Lewis's woodpecker. Named after explorer Meriwether Lewis of the Corps of Discovery, Lewis’s woodpeckers are among the most specialized of all American woodpeckers in fly-catching behavior. Unlike other American woodpeckers, 60% of the Lewis’s feeding time is spent fly catching. The woodpeckers can be located throughout the park, with the best viewing areas near the officer’s houses and the picnic area.
  1. Activities
  2. Camping
  3. History
  4. Maps

Picnic & Day-Use Facilities
The park provides four sheltered and 45 unsheltered picnic tables. Restrooms, running water, and ample parking are available, with no fees. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Activities
Trails
  • 0.8 miles of hiking trails
Other Activities & Features
  • Bird watching
  • Museum
  • Two horseshoe pits
  • Volleyball field
  • Wildlife viewing
Interpretive Opportunities
The park has an interpretive center and three officer's buildings that are open to the public from April 1 to October 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The entire park is of interpretive value. Group tours are offered for a fee. Tours the rest of the year may be made by appointment, call 509-874-2372.

Five original buildings are still standing at the fort, the commander's house, three captain's houses, and a blockhouse. Various other buildings have been recreated to appear original. Houses are filled with period furnishings.

A family weekend in May celebrates "Military Days" and Fort Simcoe History. Events may include military re-enactors and living history specialists, traditional tribal dancers, flag raising ceremony, military displays, antique car shows, free cake, and refreshments.

Additional Information
  • Fort Simcoe has large open grassy areas for baseball, football, softball, and soccer.
  • Wildlife viewing is seasonal and bird watching is year-round.