Top 10 Forts at National Park Service Sites

There are 23 National Park Service (NPS) units with the name “Fort” in their title, not even including places like Yellowstone National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, and our number one site on this list.  We hope you enjoy our ranking of our favorite forts (and check out all of our Top 10 lists).

10. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland)

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was written about this Baltimore site

9. Fort Pulaski National Monument (Georgia)

Protecting Savannah, this fort has an awesome moat around its perimeter

8. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (Colorado)

Costumed reenactors take you back in time on the Santa Fe Trail

7. Fort Sumter National Monument (South Carolina)

Two forts in one monument—one accessible by car and one by ferry

6. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (North Dakota-Montana)

Beautifully reconstructed fort near the confluence of two major rivers

5. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Washington)

Hudson’s Bay Company’s HQ on the Columbia River from 1825 to 1860

4. Fort Union National Monument (New Mexico)

Adobe walls are melting back into the New Mexico prairie

3. Fort Laramie National Historic Site (Wyoming)

Significant stop on the Oregon Trail and site of two important treaties

2. Fort Stanwix National Monument (New York)

An exact 1750s replica surrounded by the city of Rome, New York

…and finally our #1 fort at a National Park Service site:

1. Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

Walking the archways in the golden hours is a great reason to spend the night on the island

Honorable Mentions

Fort Smith National Historic Site (Arkansas-Oklahoma)

Fascinating frontier history on the banks of the Arkansas River

Fort Davis National Historic Site (Texas)

The Davis Mountains provide a wonderful backdrop

Christiansted National Historic Site (U.S. Virgin Islands)

The Danish built this color-coordinated fort around 1749

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (Florida)

This elaborate fort in St. Augustine, Florida was never surrendered

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