The Santa Rosa cleanup is part of a much larger five year project, which includes the Fort Pickens
, Santa Rosa and Perdido Key Areas of the park.
You can tour the historic forts there (like Fort Pickens
, above), and you can also go picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, paddle-boarding, horseback riding, bicycling and camping.
Even before hostilities began, enslaved African Americans fled to Union-held Fort Pickens
in Florida in hope of securing their freedom.
Good locations to fish in our region include, west to east: Perdido Key, Johnson Beach, Fort Pickens
(Gulf Islands National Seashore), Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach, Okaloosa Island (Fort Walton Beach), Flenderson Beach State Park (Destin), Miramar Beach, Laguna Beach and Panama City Beach.
The park's flagship is Fort Pickens
, where reminders of the former military presence are everywhere.
Held by Confederates in 1861-2; exchanged artillery fire with nearby Fort Pickens
One of the largest brick forts built in the United States, Fort Pickens
(along with nearby Fort McRee, Fort Barrancas, and Advanced Redoubt) provided the setting for a serious effort by a small group of men to avert or at least postpone the outbreak of the Civil War.
Sumter was one of only two Southern forts of any significance still in federal possession at the end of the Buchanan presidency; the other was Fort Pickens
in Pensacola Harbor.
The first of these works, Fort Pickens
, situated on Point Siguenza on Santa Rosa Island to command half the channel entrance, was five-sided and five-bastioned.
Powhatan for a relief mission to Fort Pickens
(off Pensacola, Florida) (April 1861); promoted to commander (August, retroactive to April), he performed blockade duty on the Gulf coast and searched for the commerce raider Sumter in the West Indies; planned a naval offensive against New Orleans (November 1861-April 1862), and recommended Farragut for command; given command of a flotilla of twenty mortar boats, he played a significant role in both the capture of New Orleans (April 27) and of Forts St.
West of Pensacola Beach lie Fort Pickens
and its campsites, nature trails over massive sand dunes, fishing pier, museum, and daily schedule of activities planned by the park rangers.