Fort Tilden -- part of Gateway National Recreation Area -- was established in 1917 as a U.S. Army Coast Artillery Post. Along with Forts Hancock and Wadsworth, it protected the entrance to New York Harbor from naval attack during World War I and World War II. During the Cold War, Fort Tilden became a Nike Missile installation.
Today the national park at Fort Tilden offers a mixture of military structures and reclaimed natural areas. A walk through the fort includes many great spots to see wildlife. The observatory deck on top of Battery Harris East, a historic gun site, offers dramatic views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor, and is a great vantage point to spot migrating birds.
Seasonality / Weather
The New York metropolitan area experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures are moderate in the spring and fall, but range into the 90s during the summer to below freezing in winter.
From the North, East, and West:
* Take the Belt Parkway to Exit 11S (Flatbush Avenue)
* Follow Flatbush Avenue south to the Marine Parkway Bridge toll plaza.
* Cross the bridge, and follow signs to park parking lot.
From the South (and alternate route from other directions):
* West on Beach Channel Drive.
* Follow signs to the park.
* Take the #2 (also #5 at rush hours) to Flatbush Avenue.
* Alternate: Take the A or S to Rockaway Park / Beach 116th Street.
* Take Q35 bus from either stop to park, or Q22 from Beach 116th Street.
* Connect with the Q35 bus on Flatbush Avenue.
* After the bridge, ask driver to let you off at either Ft. Tilden or Riis Park.
* Alternate: Q21 or Q53 to Beach 116th Street, then Q22 or Q35 to the park.
Ferry: Ferries run between Riis Landing on Rockaway, the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Bay Ridge and Pier 11 on Wall Street.
* Summer weekends and holidays: visit New York Beach Ferry for fares and schedules. Ferries will resume Memorial Day weekend 2011. For more information, including fares, call 718-474-0593.
* Weekdays throughout the year: visit New York Water Taxi for fares and schedules. For general inquiries, email or call 212-742-1969, extension 0.