Manchester State Park
Set on the shore of Rich Passage, Manchester State Park makes the perfect getaway for day-trippers or Puget Sound campers on a Kitsap Peninsula road trip.
Military and maritime buffs will find intrigue at Manchester. The park is known for the large brick structure that was once a torpedo warehouse and an adjacent concrete casemate that once housed firing triggers and cables to the underwater torpedoes. The term "torpedo" was used to describe underwater mines in the early 20th century, when the fort was built to protect the shipyards at Bremerton. Middle Point, as the fort was called, stocked an underwater mine field during World War II.
These days, the former torpedo warehouse, with its stone fireplace, weathered beamed ceiling and windowless arches, has become a coveted wedding venue, reunion site and picnic spot against a forested backdrop of maple and Douglas-fir.
Located near Port Orchard, Manchester includes 2 miles of hiking trails, but the park's main attraction is its 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline. Kayaking, swimming and diving (bring your own gear) allow visitors to take full advantage of this classic beach park with a view of Bainbridge Island on a clear day.
Manchester State Park is a 128-acre camping park with stunning views and an interesting military history. A volleyball court and a horseshoe pit are maintained for park visitors.
Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
Use our interactive ADA recreation map (PDF) to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.
Picnic & day-use facilities
The old brick Torpedo Warehouse, built in 1901, is a large historic day-use facility ideal for weddings, reunions and company events. Additionally, there are two small picnic shelters available for reservations at the park. The Torpedo Warehouse and picnic shelter's can be reserved from 1 Apr - 31 Oct and are available for first come, first served outside of the reservation season.Thirty day-use picnic tables are available first come, first served. Most of the picnic sites have braziers. For the Torpedo Warehouse and picnic shelters click here: Day-Use Reservations
- 1.9 miles of hiking trails
Water activities & features
- Fishing (saltwater)
Other activities & features
- Bird watching
- Horseshoe pit
- Mountain biking
- Volleyball field
- Wildlife viewing
- A volleyball net doubles as a badminton net.
- Horseshoe players may use their own shoes or check out equipment at the Welcome Center.
- The beach is closed for shellfish harvesting.
- Beach access; rock shoreline, no dock
- Metal detecting requires registration and is allowed in designated park areas. Beach metal detecting is not allowed at this park. Metal detecting form click here Metal Detecting Information
- All professional filming and photography requires a permit. Permits take up to 60 days to process. Click here for more information Film and Photography Permit Information
- A recreational license is required for fishing at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- Printable park brochure (PDF).
- Kayaks or small watercraft may be carried to the beach area for launching.
- Beach access has 15 minute parking available to load and unload
- Shoreline is rocky and does not have a dock
- Nearest boat launch and dock is in the town of Manchester; 2 miles from park
- Overnight parking available for campers kayaking to Blake Island
The park has 35 standard campsites, 15 partial-hookup sites, and two restrooms and showers. Maximum site length is 60 feet (limited availability). One dump station is located near the entrance. Reservations can be made 9 months in advance of selected date, May 15 - Sept 15. Campsites are available first come, first served between Sept. 16 - May 14. There are three hiker / biker campsites available only to hikers and bikers and two sites available to those arriving by wind- and human-powered watercraft. All available only on a first-come, first-served basis. These sites include a picnic table. Braziers are not provided.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.
One group camp is available which will accommodate 20 to 130 people. It includes a large fire circle, 12 RV hookups, plus a covered shelter with eight picnic tables, and electricity. Several unsheltered picnic tables and braziers are also in the camp. There are two unisex restrooms and showers (ADA accessible). A horseshoe pit is available and equipment can be checked out at the Welcome Center. Reservation season is open 15 May -15 Sept. The group camp is not available outside of the reservation season. Fees are a flat rate of $249.14 with tax per night. No additional fees are required at the park. All group camp visitors will require a day-use pass or annual Discover Pass and must vacate by 10 pm.
Reservations & fees
Manchester State Park has its origins as a fort established by the Coast Artillery Corps in the early 1900s. The fort, called Middle Point, was intended to help defend the Puget Sound from incoming enemy watercraft. In conjunction with Fort Ward (across the water on Bainbridge Island), Middle Point's primary mission was to protect the Bremerton shipyard by operating a minefield set in Rich Passage. The fort was developed in a hurry but was shut down soon after in 1910 when leadership decided that the defenses at Fort Ward were adequate.
Several structures remain from the park's era as a costal defense fort. A large brick torpedo storehouse is the central feature of the park's day-use area. Despite its ornate design, the structure served a utilitarian function: holding underwater mines (during that time, the word "torpedo" was a term for underwater mines). The storehouse was later used as an officer's club, barracks and mess hall, and is now used as a picnic shelter. The small concrete building to the east of the storehouse was a mining casemate that held controls for the underwater mines, which were operated remotely.
Battery Mitchell lies along the park's shoreline. The concrete structure was completed but never fitted with the pair of rapid-fire three-inch guns it was built for. As was the practice at the time, the battery was given the name of an army officer who had given honorable service, in this case Lieutenant Robert B. Mitchell. Mitchell served with the Artillery Corps in the Philippine-American War and died in 1904.
During World War Two, the property was converted to a Navy fuel supply depot and fire-fighting station. The property was declared surplus by the federal government in the 1960s and was acquired by Washington for use as a state park in 1970. The park is named for the nearby town of Manchester.