“Go back to 1864!”
Fort Delaware, the Union fortress dating back to 1859, once housed Confederate prisoners of war. It was originally built to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia. Visitors take a ½ -mile ferry ride from Delaware City to Pea Patch Island. A jitney provides transport from the island dock to the granite and brick fortress. Here, costumed interpreters take you back to the summer of 1864. Fill your day with hands-on history. Help the blacksmith hammer out new parts for a cannon or work with the laundress. Be on hand when the 8-inch Columbiad gun fires a live gunpowder charge! See a replica of Pea Patch Island as it appeared in 1864 and artifacts from the Island's past. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in our picnic area - tables and grills are provided. Drink machines are available on the island, but there is no concession stand, so please bring your own food if you wish to enjoy a meal during your visit. Chips and other packaged snacks may be purchased at our gift shops. Also, the fort is possibly haunted, so if that's your forte, this is especially the place for you.
If you type “Fort Delaware” into your GPS you’ll be taken to a cute town. You’ll want to make sure you go there on the days the ferries are operating to get to Pea Patch island. That’s where most of the scenic pictures are taken. It’s a little more expensive in the fall due to their 3 hour haunted tours. The guides give you a lot of freedom, but they do have re-enactments. You’ll find out in the beginning about the importance of the ecosystem and the bats that inhabit the old Fort. Be dressed to walk outside, and to walk through foam (for the bats). There’s a small gift shop and no food when you actually get on the island, so plan your day around that. If you pack water and come wearing clothes meant for the outdoors you’ll have a great time. If you can get a ferry from Fort Mott you save on bridge toll (if you’re closer to the Jersey side).
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Fort Delaware State Park
- Sun, Wed - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Good for bird watching.
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