Fort Pickens Road Reopens December 10
Contact: Gail Bishop, 850-934-2618
Contact: Clay Jordan, 850-934-2615
Fort Pickens Road Reopens
Gulf Islands National Seashore announces the reopening of the Fort Pickens Road on December 10, 2009 at 7:00 a.m. to vehicular traffic. The Fort Pickens Road was covered in some sections with up to three feet of sand caused by the high waves and heavy winds from Tropical Storm Ida on November 9, 2009. “Sand is still on the road in some patches but will be swept when there are dryer weather conditions,” said Superintendent Jerry Eubanks. Parking lots on the east end are still being cleared and not open at this time but limited parking is located on the north side of the road at Langdon Beach, at the Ranger Station, and near Fort Pickens on the west end of the island.
Visitors should drive with caution and be aware that there is some damage on the north side of Fort Pickens Road which will be addressed at a later date. For safety purposes, bike lanes and shoulders will be closed as designated. “While we feel we can safely allow vehicular traffic now, there are drop offs and damage, primarily to the bike lanes on the Fort Pickens Road that have been marked by cones and barrels," said Eubanks. Some limited restriction to roadway travel will likely be necessary later as parking lots and roadways are brushed and repairs are made. In addition, there is construction traffic associated with sewer installation adjacent to the Fort Pickens Road.
A fee is charged at the entrance station for park visitors that is good for one week or visitors may purchase an annual Gulf Islands National Seashore pass, an Interagency Senior Pass, or Interagency Annual Pass. An Interagency Access Pass is also available for American citizens with disabilities. Loops A, C, and E in the Fort Pickens Campground are open on a first-come, first- served basis with water and electricity provided. Campers should register at the campground registration office at the Fort Pickens Ranger Station. For information on camping please call 850-934-2622.
Visitors may tour historic Fort Pickens on their own or go on a ranger-guided tour every afternoon at 2:00. The Fort Pickens Visitor Center with a book store is opened from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. November through February. Call 850-934-2629 for an updated message on road conditions; for more information on Seashore programs or other park information, please contact the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center at 850-934-2600 or visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/guis.
Did You Know?
Two 19th-century 15-inch Rodman cannons are at Gulf Islands National Seashore. The bottle-shaped barrels were cooled from the inside out at the foundry to make them stronger than earlier cannon.