Freshwater Bay is an ideal, tranquil location to launch kayaks and small boats. Snorkelers and stand-up paddle boarders are often seen here, too. Once on the protected bay it is quite common to come face-to-face with any number of marine mammals, i.e. river otter, orca, harbor seals, dolphins, whales, etc.
Park users enjoy fishing, beachcombing, crabbing, birdwatching, and picnicking. Upper picnic area, restrooms, and covered picnic shelters are open May 15 through September 15 only. The five-acre picnic area, naturally landscaped with Western Red Cedar and ferns, is located on the bluff above the bay. It’s a good place to beat the heat if it gets warm in the summer, and a quiet place for reflection or a marriage proposal in the off season. This area can be accessed on foot from the parking area year round. The lower picnic site, concrete launch ramp and beach access areas are open year round. The Park is located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca 10 miles west of Port Angeles off State Highway 112 and 3 miles north on Freshwater Bay Road.
Local lore: Freshwater Bay is salt water, but the early explorers knew that there was sweet water available from the Elwha River. Consequently, the protected waters got to be known as Freshwater Bay. And, the stream waters of Salt Creek, that should have provided sweet water, were named Salt Creek because of the brackish, salty taste created by the tide moving the salt water inland. That’s the legend, at least.