Fort Pickens–Pensacola, Florida

January 21, 2012
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Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens is one of several historic coastal defense forts built during the early 19th century to protect the Gulf Coast, Pensacola Bay and Mobile Bay from the threat of invasion, and that can still be visited today.

Part of the Gulf Island National Seashore, begun in 1829, and named after famed Revolutionary hero Gen. Andrew Pickens, Fort Pickens combined with Fort McRee to protect the entrance to Pensacola Bay.

The fort was one of only four forts in the South that maintained Union control during the Civil War (though McRee and neighboring Barrancas fell).

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The largest of the coastal defense forts in the area, visitors should be sure to bring a good pair of hiking shoes to explore the grounds of the fort, which include the early 1829 construction and improvements to the batteries and artillery all the way up to World War II.

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While visiting the Fort, visitors can also take time to enjoy views of the Pensacola lighthouse, as well as beautiful stretches of beach along the Fort Pickens road, including simultaneous views of the Gulf and Pensacola bay.

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Fort Pickens

Entry Fees:  $8 per vehicle, good for one week, and also accepted in the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida District, including at Johnson Beach.

Directions: From Casino Beach at the center of Pensacola Beach:

1. Turn right onto Fort Pickens Road and travel 2.5 miles.

Other Nearby Coastal Defense Forts:

Fort Morgan

Fort McRee – Ruins can be accessed if one hikes to the end of Johnson Beach

.Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island

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