• Beach walkway to white sandy beach and bluegreen waters

    Gulf Islands

    National Seashore FL,MS

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Partial Closure on Horn Island

    Small portion of Horn Island, Mississippi, closed to entry due to discovery of asbestos and possible other bio hazards. Click on more for map and press release. More »

  • Shorebirds Nesting Near Roads - 20 mph

    Shorebirds are nesting near roads and cross the road regularly. Observe posted speed limits and be alert for tiny birds on the roads. Last year 155 birds were killed on park roads, help us reduce the mortality rate of these beautiful birds and go slow.

History & Culture

A distant view of the east side of Fort Massachusetts on a partly cloudy day.

Fort Massachusetts located on West Ship Island. 

nps photo

Fort Barrancas Fort Pickens

Advanced Redoubt Batteries

Fort Massachusetts Fort McRee

The forts of Gulf Islands National Seashore span almost 150 years, from the Spanish colonial Bateria De San Antonio (1797) to the World War Two-era Battery 234. This reflects the historic value of the anchorages at Pensacola Bay, Florida and Ship Island, Mississippi. Most striking among these are the American Third System forts: Fort Pickens, Fort Massachusetts, Fort Barrancas, and the Advanced Redoubt, all of which saw action during the Civil War.

The National Park Service will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. Special events and programs will be presented at Gulf Islands National Seashore and other National Park sites.

Did You Know?

A view of the Advanced Redoubt drawbridge.

The Third System fortifications consisted of 42 forts built between 1816 and 1870. They were used to guard all the principal harbors, rivers, and naval yards of the United States. Only the Advanced Redoubt of Fort Barrancas at Gulf Islands National Seashore was built entirely for land defense.