Fort McAllister State Park

Close up view of a 19th-century cannon (this particular cannon is not on display at Fort McAllister).

Open daily. Adult admission $9. Leashed pets welcome.

See below: full visitor information

Fort McAllister is an earthwork fort, built in 1861 to defend the Georgia coast south of Savannah. It provided protection during the Civil War to the rice plantations nearby and defended Savannah from sea-based incursions up the Ogeechee River.

The Confederate-controlled fortification was positioned (on land owned by Joseph McAllister, for whom it was named) to allow its guns to fire upon incoming ships; its earth construction provided adequate defense against the naval artillery then available.

During the Civil War, Fort McAllister was used to successfully repel a series of Union naval attacks, during the January to March 1863 First Battle of Fort McAllister.

Though the fort suffered some damage, it was not destroyed, unlike Fort Pulaski further north, which had swiftly succumbed when fired upon by the Union Army’s newly developed land artillery. The earth walls were also far easier to repair.

The Second Battle of Fort McAllister, on December 13 1864, however, would result in victory for the Union forces. General William Sherman attacked the fort, this time from land, as part of his March to the Sea campaign, immediately prior to the capture of Savannah.

At this stage minimally defended, the fort was captured without the need to destroy the battery and defenses. In contrast to the long and unsuccessful bombardment from its sea approach, Fort McAllister was seized overland in a matter of minutes.

After its capture by the Union army, the fort was used as a prison for Confederate soldiers, falling after the war into a state of disrepair.

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What To See & Do

The Fort

Self-guided tours of the restored earthwork fort – the best-preserved earth fortification in the South, with outdoor exhibits including cannons, barracks, palisades and other fort structures – are always available.

Historical programs are available daily which can include guided tours of the fort, or talks on topics including soldier life, historic weapons, and the nature and wildlife of the site. Civil War programs are also given. Contact the fort staff for details of programs scheduled for the day you plan to visit.

Visitor Center & Exhibits

Fort McAllister’s Visitor Center has a short film and small museum presenting artifacts about the Civil War and the fort’s history. There is also a gift shop.

Special events

Fort McAllister offers frequent special events. Holiday and historical programs focus on the fort’s past and historical context, especially the Civil War era; other events, such as ranger-led hikes, look into the nature and ecology of the site. Please note that some events charge additional admission. See upcoming events

Nature & Outdoors

Nature trails Fort McAllister State Park encompasses more than 1700 acres of salt marsh, tidal creek, and oak and palm forest. There are 4.3 miles of trails for hiking and biking, across two routes. Redbird Creek Trail (3.4 miles) is closest to the fort site; the shorter Magnolia Trail (0.9 miles) is out by the camp sites at the opposite end of the park.

Boating and paddling Two boat ramps, one on the Ogeechee River and the other on Redbird Creek, are available for launching boats and other vessels. There is also a dock on Redbird Creek. Kayak, canoe and paddleboard rental is available, call for details.

Fishing There is a fishing pier on the Ogeechee River, at the main Fort McAllister site, plus ramps from which to launch a boat. Chartered fishing trips out of Fort McAllister are also available.

Wildlife-watching Fort McAllister is one of the sites on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. The varied environments within the state park provide a habitat for other wildlife too. Birds you might spot here include birds of prey such as bald eagles and ospreys, native Georgia songbirds and wading birds, and the colorful painted bunting.

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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 912-727-2339 or visit the official website.

Opening hours Open daily. Outdoor spaces: 7am-10pm. Visitor Center: 8am-5pm.

Admission Historic site: adults $9, seniors (62+) $8, children (6-17) $5. State Park: $5 parking fee.

Pets Leashed pets are welcome at Fort McAllister.

Camping Several cottages, plus campsites suitable for tents, trailers and RVs, are available to rent.

Picnicking Shaded picnic facilities are available at Fort McAllister.

Getting There

Address 3894 Fort McAllister Road, Richmond Hill, GA 31324
GPS coordinates N 31.888583, W -081.200883

Fort McAllister State Park is located near the mouth of the Ogeechee River, 9 miles southeast of Richmond Hill. See on map

The fort is about 20 miles south of Savannah as the crow flies; driving, it is about 30 miles from the city (35-40 minutes), or 45 miles (an hour or so) from Tybee Island.