Twanoh State Park, situated on the shoreline of Hood Canal, features one of the warmest saltwater beaches in Washington state. This is because Hood Canal is one of the warmest saltwater bodies in Puget Sound. The 182-acre marine, camping park has 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline. The name of the park derives from the Native American Twana tribes, better known as the Skokomish, who made their home in the area.
The park derives its name from the word tewa´ duxq. Twana, Twanoh or tewa´ duxq refers to the territory that encompasses the entire Hood Canal watershed. It is comprised of nine Villages of which the Skokomish is the largest and where most of the descendants of these villages reside today. The Skokomish people still practice their hereditary and treaty rights throughout this territory.
Before becoming a state park, the land was logged in the 1890’s and a meandering trail through the forest reveals springboard notches carved in cedar trees from early logging practices. Further exploration of the campground and day use area highlights historic park buildings which were constructed in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Twanoh is popular for shellfish harvesting. Oyster beds are seeded annually, providing for ample harvests. Clam season usually is open from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 each year, while the park is open to oyster harvesting year round. There is a winter smelt run along the park beaches. In late fall, there is a chum salmon run in Twanoh Creek, but the creek is closed to fishing. Visitors also enjoy other recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, swimming, water skiing and 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.
The soil in the park is "glacial till," an unlayered sediment which was deposited by glaciers over most of western Washington. Twanoh Park is on Hood Canal, which is actually a "canal" in name only. Hood Canal is (in reality) a "fjord," a long narrow body of water open to the ocean and bordered at one end by steep cliffs or hills.
12190 E. State Route 106, Union, WA 98592
Located on the south shore of Hood Canal, eight miles west of Belfair, Wash. in Mason County.
Drive east on Hwy. 106 for 12 miles to the park.
Take a beautiful, one-hour ferry ride to Bremerton, then a half hour drive on Hwy. 3 southwest to Belfair. From Belfair, go west eight miles on Hwy. 106 to park entrance.