Fort King George Historic Site

Fort King George Historic Site

Open Tuesday-Sunday. Adult admission $7.50.

See below: full visitor information

British soldiers under the leadership of Colonel John Barnwell constructed Fort King George at the mouth of the Altamaha River in 1721, as the first outpost of their colonial expansion southwards from the Carolinas into the territory that would later become Georgia.

The Colonial-era fort’s original structures are long since lost, but a full recreation of the wood fort and its support buildings provide an impression of how it would have appeared during that period.

Fort King George was built to defend British interests in the territory it claimed, and particularly to facilitate trade. The main threats to the new colony were then the territory’s original American Indian inhabitants, and rival colonizers, namely the Spanish in Florida, and the French, pressing eastwards from their holdings around the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico.

In the end, however, it was nature that held the greatest danger, in the form of fire and especially, disease. The death toll at the fort was heavy, sickness flourishing amidst Georgia’s malarial swamps. In 1725, fire badly damaged the fort; the British made some repairs, but abandoned the fort only a few years later.

In 1736, Oglethorpe encouraged a group of Scottish settlers to move back into the area, where they founded the town of Darien. The fort, eventually, disappeared, no visible trace of the short-lived outpost remaining.

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What To See & Do

The Fort

The main attraction at Fort King George Historic Site is the full reconstruction of the old wood fort in its most probable location, based on archaeological exploration and the written records left by the British.

The original fort consisted of a wooden blockhouse, 26 feet in diameter and 40 feet high, built of the cypress trees that grew in the surrounding swamps. The fortification also comprised barracks, a guardhouse and quarters for the officers, with palisades and a moat completing the defenses, all of which have been recreated.

Fort King George also has one of the oldest British military grave sites in the South, a legacy of the disease and poor conditions that plagued the soldiers stationed at the fort during its brief period of active use. Tabby ruins and the remnants of three old sawmills can also be seen.

Visitor Center & Exhibits

A museum and film outline the history of the fort and surrounding area, including earlier settlements of the Guale Indians and the Spanish Santo Domingo de Talaje mission, the later Scottish settlement of Darien and the history of the region’s lumber industry. There is also a gift shop.

Nature & Outdoors

Nature trail A short (0.5 mile) nature trail winds through the woods and marshes around the fort.

Wildlife-watching Fort King George is a site on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. Many species of bird, particularly wading and wetland birds, can be seen here, along with alligators and other riverine species.

Paddling Kayak and canoe rental is available at Fort King George. Call the fort office (number below) for details.

Special Events

Special events are held frequently at Fort King George, mostly focused on colonial and soldier life. In season, demonstrations and colonial games are held every first saturday of the month, with other historical or nature-oriented activities throughout the year. View upcoming events

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Visitor Information

The following is correct at the time of writing. Please verify details before planning your trip. For additional information, call 912-437-4770 or visit the official website.

Opening hours Regular opening at Fort King George is Tuesday–Sunday, 9am-5pm. The fort is also open on Monday holidays, in which case it is closed on Tuesday instead. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission Adults $7.50, seniors (62+) $7, children (6-17) $4.50, young children (0-5) free.

Getting There

Address 302 McIntosh Road SE, Darien, GA 31305
GPS coordinates N 31.3644180, W -081.4130690

Fort King George is located immediately east of Darien, half way down the Georgia coast. The fort is 63 miles, around an hour or so by car, from Savannah. View on map