We spent some time exploring Fort Pickens and some of the batteries that are located within the National Seashore.
Fort Pickens was the largest of four forts built in the 1800’s by the United States Government to protect Pensacola Bay and the Naval Yard. Although it never had to be used against foreign enemies, it was used by the Union Army during the Civil War to protect against the Confederates. Ranger led tours are available but we chose to go on a self-guided tour of the huge fort.
Much of the fort is built using arches.
Civil War era cannons and a mortar are also on display at the fort.
One of the cannons atop Fort Pickens
The American Flag waves behind a mortar
With clear views of Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Pickens was in a great location to protect the area.
A great view of the Pensacola Lighthouse from the top of the fort
A great view of the Gulf of Mexico from the top of the fort
There are several batteries located throughout the area. Some were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
We explored Battery Worth where huge gun pits held twelve inch mortars that could launch 700 pound projectiles 7 to 9 miles away. After World War I all but four of the mortars were scrapped. In 1942 the battery became part of the Army-Navy Harbor Defense Command Post for the Pensacola area during World War II.
There were big guns lining the shoreline ready to protect against enemy ships.
Big Guns Along the Shoreline
Aimed over the Gulf of Mexico
One of the Batteries
This gun would pop up above the wall and come back down after firing
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” –Jacques Cousteau
A beach with perfect sugar white sand only a five minute walk from our campsite. I think I am in heaven!
Our home for a week is Ft. Pickens Campground in Gulf Islands National Seashore on Santa Rosa Island. I’ve been doing a lot of walking on the beach and beach chair sitting.
We’ve taken a couple of hikes on the half-mile Blackbird Marsh Nature Trail near the campground.
It is nest building time for Ospreys and several nests can be seen in the area. Ospreys are frequently seen soaring over the campground and a few of the nests can be viewed close up from the nature trail.
And the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico are breathtaking!
More of the Fort Pickens area coming up in my next post.