Pritchard Park sits at the mouth of Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, facing the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. With a network of upland trails and beachfront, this park offers numerous hiking opportunities that take visitors through natural Puget Sound landscapes as well as significant historical sites.
The western parking area provides quick access to the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the federal government authorized the internment of Japanese Americans. This site on Bainbridge Island was the first place in the country where Japanese Americans were rounded up against their will and relocated to concentration camps. The trail here winds past the memorial along the same route people took to board the boats that would take them away from their homes.
Heading east from the memorial, visitors can choose to head down to the beach or wander through the upland forest. Along the beach you will enjoy views of ferries plying the waters between Bainbridge and the intricate Seattle skyline in the distance. As you near the eastern end of the beach, marked by a metal retaining wall, you’ll arrive at the other historical landmark, the former site of the Wyckoff wood treatment facility. This area is now a superfund site.
The upland facility at Bill Point, which treated wooden beams with creosote is off limits to visitors due to creosote contamination. Some of that contamination made its way down to the beach. Extensive clean up efforts have been completed but the beach around Bill’s Point may still contain creosote and the EPA recommends steering clear until clean up efforts have been completed, especially for young children and pets. If you do choose to continue on the beach around Bill Point, wear rubber boots and avoid sand with an oily sheen.
Paralleling the beach is the network of upland trails. These trails traverse across the park while offering a couple different connections to the beach for a loop through the entire park. Wherever you choose to wander here, you are sure to experience the dynamic nature of Puget Sound.