Marrowstone Island: Indian Island Park to Fort Flagler

Enjoy a "wind run" with ebb current on this 10 nm paddle up the eastern shore of Marrowstone Island, and play in the tidal rapid off Marrowstone Point. The trip is one-way, requiring a shuttle, and wind from the south.

Launch Points

Indian Island Park: From the Hood Canal Bridge, continue north and turn right on SR 19. Follow this to the four-way stop in Chimacum, then turn right on Chimacum Road. In Hadlock, turn right on Oak Bay Rd (SR 116). Turn Left on Flagler Rd (SR 116) signed for Fort Flagler. From the center of  the bridge over the Port Townsend Canal, drive 0.7 miles and turn right onto Indian Island Park access road. Go to the parking lot at the end. No parking pass or permit is needed here. There is a port-a-potty (closed in winter). Launching  at low tides can be muddy.

Fort Flagler: For the shuttle, stage a car at the Fort Flagler north boat ramp. You'll need a Discover Pass here. There are bathrooms and showers. If your arrival will be near dusk (park closing), contact the Park and provide them your license plate numbers.

on the water

Kayaking from Indian Island County Park, go around the spit to the right. Paddle for 2.8nm against the beginning ebb current until rounding Liplip Point. One constraint in this trip is fighting both the wind and the ebb to get to Liplip, so allow some time for this and use the usual tactics such as staying close to shore. What you see when leaving the launch is the most resistance. After Liplip, paddle a 5.3 nm run with the ebb, and a south wind. The beach along this stretch is limited at very high tides. The recommended lunch spot is at East Beach County Park, approximately  half-way on the trip.

It is feasible to make repeated passes playing in the tidal rapids off Marrowstone Point. Container ship wakes create exciting conditions. Continue  1.7 nm further west to Fort Flagler boat ramp.


  • A south wind is ideal. Southeast winds mean you have quartering seas.

  • If a participant has a problem with boat control, they can paddle into an eddy on the north side of Marrowostone Point.

  • If a participant doesn’t wish to play in the tidal rapid, they can stay in very shallow water hugging the point, then turn left into the eddy and wait it out on the beach.

  • Standing waves seem at their best with an ebb (at station 0.3mile NE of Marrowstone Point) between 2.8 and 3.4 knots.

Information for Leaders

The Mountaineers has a commercial use permit with Washington State Parks for all free and fee-based outings at state parks. Leaders should carry a print or digital copy of our  commercial use permit to show rangers they may encounter. 

  • Difficulty: Sea Kayak IV
  • Length: 10.0 nm
  • NOAA Port Townsend No. 18464
  • NOAA Puget Sound: Northern Part No. 18441
  • MapTech Puget Sound Chart No. 100
  • Sea Trails Port Townsend, Dungeness Spit to Marrowstone Island WA103

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  • Marrowstone Island
  • Indian Island County Park to Fort Flagler

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