Governors Island
National Monument New York

Things To Do

Upper Image: Roof and inner courtyard of Castle Williams with Manhattan Skyline in background. Lower Image: scarp or wall and dry moat of Fort Jay
Visit our two forts, Castle Williams (circular historic fortification) and Fort Jay (star-shaped historic fortification)

NPS Photo

Governors Island was one of the longest continually operated military bases in the country, operated for two centuries, by the U.S. Army and later the U.S. Coast Guard until its closure in 1996.

Guided Tours - Free:

Ranger-guided tours are offered first-come, first served for up to 25 participants. Groups larger than 15 people are required to call ahead at least 14 days in advance at (212)825-3054

Castle Williams

Explore the many chapters of the story that this early 1800s coastal fortification holds in its walls. Contrast the past with the present and future of Governors island with a spectacular view of New York Harbor from the roof of the castle.
Schedule for the 2019 season coming soon
35-45 Minutes
Tour requires ability to climb three flights of stairs
Roof access subject to weather conditions and wildlife activity.

Fort Jay
Take a short walk with a ranger in and around the first fortification built on Governors Island, and explore its evolution through time as a defensive structure, a muntions storage, a barracks, and a home for families of the armed services.
Schedule TBD, Fort Jay is currently undergoing a restoration and preservation project and will be temporarily closed for safety reasons
25-45 minutes
easy walking, ADA accessible terrain

Self-Guided - Free:
Both forts are open 10 am-4:30 pm on weekdays & 10 am-5 pm on weekends

  • Castle Williams - A promenade (view of NYC), 1st floor casemates, our passport stamp, junior ranger program, and exhibits.
    *Access to the 2nd-3rd floor casemates & rooftop (Rodman gun, view of NYC) are by GUIDED TOURS only, note you must be able to climb 3 flights of steps*
  • Fort Jay - A dry moat, subterranean magazine, ravelin & bastions (5 Rodman guns, view of NYC), porches (no interior access of the four barracks), and exhibits.


Eastern National Gift Shop and Bookstore
Located in Castle Williams. Open Saturday and Sunday, hours limited.


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Last updated: May 11, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

10 South Street
New York, NY 10004-1921


(212) 825-3054

Contact Us