Fort Wadsworth - part of Gateway National Recreation Area - has guarded the entrance to New York Harbor for over 200 years. Strategically located on the bank of the Verrazano Narrows on the Staten Island coast, it has the distinction of being the fort with the longest continuous military history in the county. This historic park site now offers some of the best views of the harbor and city.
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.
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.
Fort Wadsworth stands on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge, across the Narrows from Brooklyn.
From the east:
Take Verrazano - Narrows Bridge from Brooklyn.
After toll, take the Bay Street exit to the park entrance.
From the west:
Take either the Goethals or Bayonne Bridge from New Jersey to the Staten Island Expressway (Interstate 278)
Staten Island Expressway (Interstate 278) east to the Lily Pond Ave. exit.
Turn left at the light and follow this road to Bay Street and the park entrance.
Bus: Take the S51 from Staten Island Ferry Terminal to the park entrance on Bay Street.