210 New York Ave., Staten Island.
Visitor Center open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm.
The Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center, Fort Tompkins, the parade ground, Overlook, restrooms, and some historic rooms are wheelchair accessible. Gateway Headquarters (Building 210) is also accessible.
Gateway NRA (NPS), 718-354-4500.
"The Guardian of the Narrows" on Staten Island
Fort Wadsworth—part of Gateway National Recreation Area—has guarded the entrance to New York Harbor for over 200 years. Strategically located on the west shores of the Narrows, it has the distinction of being the fort with the longest continuous military history in the United States. This historic park site now offers some of the best views of the harbor and city.
Watch this video to learn about the strategic positioning of Fort Wadsworth from National Parks of New York Harbor Commissioner, Maria Burks, and Chief of Cultural Resources, Steve Laise. Get an in-depth tour of the fort by a park ranger on your visit.
Today, visitors can explore the catacomb-like tunnels in the fort's batteries or climb up to the overlook and imagine scouting for enemy ships on the horizon while enjoying the unrivaled panoramic views of the harbor, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and New York City. Additionally, visitors can view exhibits at the Visitor Center or explore the historically renovated Mont Sec House to get a glimpse of the life of an officer at the fort in the 19th century.
The location of Fort Wadsworth was first fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. The historic batteries that remain there today were constructed by the British in the early 1800's. Occupied by British forces during the American Revolution, Fort Wadsworth was taken over by the American military after the war. Due to its strategic location, the defenses of Fort Wadsworth were continually upgraded as military technology evolved through the 19th and 20th centuries. In the midst of the Cold War, the military post served as the control center for New York City's Nike missile defense system.
Things to Do
Scenic views, birding, history and exhibits.