Fort Macon State Park, home to a restored pre-Civil War fort, will offer daily guided tours, bird hikes, demonstrations and kid-friendly programing over the next few months.
The fort at 2303 E. Fort Macon Road in Atlantic Beach features extensive exhibits on the grounds focusing on fort history and the natural surroundings. Visitors also have access to the beach and can use walking trails that meander through salt marsh and dunes.
Learn more about the park’s history on the Friends of Fort Macon website. The Friends group is an all-volunteer nonprofit that supports Fort Macon State Park.
The following is Fort Macon’s schedule through April:
- Tours of the fort are offered at 1 p.m. every day now through April 14. Starting April 15, tours will be held daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Small Arms Demonstration at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday Learn about one of the small arms (musket, flint lock, or rifle) that a soldier station at Fort Macon would have carried and used. This will include a blank firing demonstration of the weapon.
- Bird Hike at 9 a.m. Feb. 6, March 6 and April 3 Meet at the visitor center and take a leisurely hike to identify birds native to the area.
- Telescope Workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Did you get a new telescope for Christmas but you’re not sure how to use it? The Crystal Coast Stargazers will be holding a telescope workshop in the visitor center auditorium. Feel free to bring any equipment you are unsure about, or just come learn about different equipment and its uses that various club members will have on site.
- Kid’s Corner at 10 a.m. Feb. 14, March 14 and April 11. Bring your preschool- or elementary-aged child to the visitor center lobby for a nature-themed story and crafts. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
- Natural Side of Fort Macon at 10 a.m. Feb. 16, March 16 and April 20. Meet in the visitor center lobby for a leisurely hike exploring the natural side of Fort Macon. Hike will cover both trail and beach.
- Astronomy at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 and 7 p.m. March 3. Meet at the bathhouse to view space through a telescope and learn more about the universe.
- Beach Scavenger Hunt at 10 a.m. Feb. 24, March 24 and April 28. Take a stroll on the beach with a park ranger and hunt for everything from drift beans to sea glass, and of course, seashells. Sunscreen and water are recommended. Distance of the hike will depend on the weather and the group. Meet at the bathhouse.
- Crystal Coast Star Party: Harkers Island begins at 4 p.m. April 21 and at 1 p.m. April 22. Instead of an astronomy event at Fort Macon in April, park staff will support the Crystal Coast Stargazers with their second annual Crystal Coast Star Party. This event will be held at the Cape Lookout National Seashore visitor center on Harkers Island at 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.
- Cannon Day is April 22. Learn how the different cannons of the fort were loaded, aimed and fired. Cannon firing demonstrations will be held at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.