Twanoh State Park (pronounced tu-wa-nu-ho) is one of the few public access points to the water along the Hood Canal in Union, Washington. It offers camping, saltwater swimming and 2.5 miles of inland hiking trails. There’s also picnic tables and a creek.
The folks over at Explore Hood Canal say the word Twanoh comes from the Native American Twana tribes who thrived along the Puget Sound.
I’m still getting myself oriented to the geography here – especially the Sound. It’s a body of water from the ocean. By definition, it’s an estuary or an inlet. But to this California Girl, it looks like a lake because of how it’s bordered by land on either side. But then the water is salt water, not lakewater, and there are shells everywhere! Mind. Blown.
When we visited Twanoh State Park in August, we found it to be an interesting expanse of the shoreline because the water stays warm because it’s super shallow. This makes it a good spot for little kid swimming.
Like I said before, the entire ground on the beach and below water is made up of rocks and oyster shells. 😮
Like, literally everyyywhere. We liked walking out in the water and looking at the shells. I even bought water shoes after we left to adapt to this new way of life!! LOL.
Here’s what we found, shoe-wise! (affiliate links)
Unicorn Aqua Socks for Clara
Shark Aqua Socks for Wyatt
Rainbow Aqua Socks for Mommy
In fact, the majority of people had boots and buckets and were digging for oysters. A sign posted said it’s limited to 18 oysters per person! That seems like so much!
(Here’s some official info on that: Anyone over 14 years of age needs a shellfish license to harvest oysters. The daily limit is enforced. A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. The harvesting season for 2020 has ended. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.)
Fun fact: the first person I met at Twanoh was a gal in the bathroom who was from Santa Maria, California!! That’s like an hour south of where we lived in Paso Robles. Small world!!
Here’s a closer look at the park:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Twanoh State Park
ADDRESS: 12190 WA-106, Union, WA 98592
PARKING — Paid Discover Pass
A Discover Pass is required to park at Washington State Parks for access to campgrounds, parks, wildlife areas, trails, natural areas, wilderness areas and water access points. For details about the pass, see the state’s Discover Pass website.
- Day Pass: $10. Allows visitors to park at state recreation lands for one day.
- Annual Pass: $30. Allows visitors to park on state recreation lands for one year from the issue date.