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Georgia Travel Articles - Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski National Monument offers visitors the chance to experience many interesting and exciting activities and events year-round. Fort Pulaski itself is a large-scale outdoor exhibit. The main structure, together with outlying works including demilune, drawbridges, ditches, and dikes, is a fine example of historic military architecture.

Indoor exhibits highlight the history of Fort Pulaski from the fort's construction, to its eventual fall due to advancing military technology.

Places To Go

Picnic Area
Come enjoy Fort Pulaski's large picnic grounds. Covered and outdoor settings let you and your family sit back and relax on scenic Cockspur Island.

Historic North Pier
Visit the historic North Pier where long ago countless materials and goods were brought to construct and later supply Fort Pulaski. Enjoy excellent views of the Savannah River while watching the passing ships.

Battery Hambright
Explore Battery Hambright, built to protect the entrance of the Savannah River in the late 19th century during the Spanish-American War.

John Wesley Memorial
Landing on Cockspur Island in 1736, John Wesley is said to have preached his first sermon in the new world nearby. Today, a monument stands to honor his passing through Cockspur Island.

Cockspur Island Lighthouse
The small beacon, ca. 1856, situated on an islet on the southeastern tip of Cockspur Island, survived Union bombardment of Fort Pulaski in 1862. The tower was later decommisioned in 1909 and is now part of Fort Pulaski National Monument.

Outdoor Activities

Fort Pulaski offers an abundance of outdoor activities including, hiking, biking, walking trails, self-guided fort tours, as well as bird watching, and fishing.

Fishing is allowed along the banks of the Savannah River and Cockspur Island, including the use of the Cockspur Island Bridge after the park closes. You must possess a valid fishing licence issued by the State of Georgia.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring numerous trails throughout Fort Pulaski National Monument. Selected trails include:

North Pier Trail
This trail guides visitors through a scenic wooded environment and passes through remnants of Fort Pulaski's original construction village. Battery Hambright, built in the late 19th Century, and the historic north pier highlight this 1/4 mile trail.

Lighthouse Trail
The Lighthouse Trail guides visitors along open marsh as well as a forested environment offering views of the Savannah River, Tybee Island, and back towards Fort Pulaski. The 3/4 mile trail also offers the island's best views of the historic Cockspur Lighthouse.

Historic Dike System
Designed by Lt. Robert E. Lee, the historic dike system allowed for tide control and drainage which aided in the construction of Fort Pulaski. The two mile length trail circles Fort Pulaski, offering visitors unparalleled views of Cockspur Island and the Savannah River.

McQueens Island Rails to Trails
Located on McQueens Island at the entrance to Fort Pulaski National Monument, this six mile trail follows the path of the old Tybee Rail line that once connected Savannah to the beaches of Tybee Island. The packed-gravel trail is open to bikers, runners, and walkers.

Birds

Fort Pulaski National Monument supports many species of birds. While visiting, you may catch a glimpse of one of the many protected species that have been identified at the park, including: American oystercatcher, bald eagle, gull-billed tern, least tern, and woodstork.

Large populations of both resident and migratory birds are present. The park provides nesting habitat for the painted bunting, a species of special concern due to loss of neotropical wintering grounds. A glimpse of this colorful and secretive bird is a treat you will not soon forget.

Other bird species found on Cockspur Island include:

Pelican, Comorants, Heron, Egret, Ibis

  • Brown Pelican
  • Double-creasted Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Great-backed Heron
  • White Ibis
  • Geese
  • Ducks
  • Vultures
  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • Falcons

Geese, Vultures, Hawks, Eagles Falcons

  • Lesser Scaup
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • American Kestrel
  • Doves
  • Owles
  • Swifts
  • Hummingbirds
  • Kingfishers
  • Woodpeckers

Doves, Owls, Swifts, Hummingbirds,Woodpeckers

  • Rock Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Chimmey Swift
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Nothern Flicker
  • Common Barn Owl
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Buntings
  • Sparrows
  • Blackbirds
  • Orioles
  • Finches 

Buntings, Sparrows, Blackbirds, Orioles, Finches

  • Nothern Cardinal
  • Painted Bunting
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Boat-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Orchard
  • Oriole American
  • Goldfinch Starlings
  • Vireos
  • Wood Wabblers

Starlings, Vieros, Wood Warblers

  • American Robin
  • Gray Catbird
  • Nothern Mockingbird
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • European Starling
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • Praire Warbler
  • American Redstart Rails
  • Gulls
  • Shorebirds

Rails, Gulls, Shorebirds

  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Clapper Rail
  • Black-belled Plover
  • Semipalmated Plover
  • Killdeer
  • Willet
  • Red Knot Dunlin
  • Dowitcher
  • Common Snipe
  • Laughing Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Royal Tern
  • Common Tern
  • Foster's Tern

History

The Battle for Fort Pulaski

The battle for Fort Pulaski in April 1862 marked a turning point in military history. It featured the first significant use of rifled cannons in combat. These accurate, long-range weapons shattered Fort Pulaski's walls from over a mile away. After thirty-hours of bombardment, the fort surrendered. The battle surprised military strategists worldwide, signaling the end of masonry fortifications.

Fort Pulaski National Monument is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Extended Summer Hours from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Fort Pulaski National Monument is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Information provided by national Park Service



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