Fort Morgan National Landmark–Fort Morgan, Alabama

July 8, 2011
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Fort Morgan Stitch

Fort Morgan sits along the eastern edge of the mouth of Mobile Bay. Built in 1832, this fort has provided American costal defenses in both the Civil War and both World Wars. It may be best known, however, for its involvement in prompting the famous line, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.”

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Visitors to the fort are free to explore the massive batteries and defenses on their on, or wait for one of the guided tours. In either event, admission to the fort is $5.

When visiting Fort Morgan, I suggest beginning with the museum to see several great artifacts from the fort’s long history. Also, it’s a great way to learn about the costal defense systems the U.S developed after the War of 1812.

While the entire site covers numerous acres, the central part of the fort is located just across the drive from the museum.  After walking through its two entryways, it really becomes surprising how big the fort is.

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Following the free walking pamphlet from the museum, the natural progression is to walk along the bottom left half of the fort in a clockwise motion before climbing to the top of the battery for several splendid views of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Seeing the narrow mouth of the battery, it becomes very obvious why this fort provided such excellent protected to Mobile Bay.

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The path then continues along the top before bringing visitors back down to finish exploring the numerous dark covers, the exterior dry moat, and finally the exterior wall of the fort.

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Even if you’re not a history buff, the fort really provides a lot of interesting things. There are several locations where one can get out onto the beach and relax, hike around the rest of the park, fish, or just enjoy the scenery.

Also, don’t forget to check out the lighthouse off the coast that sits near the mouth of bay as well.

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Another interesting feature of the bay and ocean views are the numerous oil rigs that dot the ocean. There aren’t a lot of places in this part of the county where one can see our domestic oil production at work (for better and for worse).  It’s an eye opening experience if you’ve never seen them.

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The fort is open from 8 a.m to 7 p.m daily, and is also the location of the Mobile Bay Ferry. This Ferry takes its passengers and vehicles between Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. For more information about the Fort and its history, check out the Fort Morgan- Guardian of the Bay website.

Directions:

Driving South (towards the beach) on Highway 59 in Gulf Shores, make a right onto Fort Morgan Road, Highway 180. There will be several road signs indicating a toll ahead. This is far the ferry, and isn’t paid to visit the fort.  The fort’s entrance is nearly twenty miles from the turn on Highway 59.

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One Response to Fort Morgan National Landmark–Fort Morgan, Alabama

  1. Outdoor Travel in the South | SouthernHiker on July 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    […] part of the coastal defense system. Built over a period between 1814 and 1850, the fort, along with Fort Morgan, provides defenses at the mouth of Mobile […]

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