Directions – You can leave from the pier at Fort Mott State Park in Pennsville, NJ or from the dock at Fort Delaware State Park in Delaware City, Delaware.
Fort Mott State Park (New Jersey side) – 454 Fort Mott Road Pennsville, NJ 08070
Fort Dupot (Delaware Side) – 45 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706
Tickets – Check Forts Ferry Crossing page for current rates. Can buy tickets at the pier in Delaware City (credit or cash) or on the ferry itself in Pennsville (cash only). If you don’t have cash in Jersey (we didn’t), they’ll take you all the way across to Delaware City to pay, but it’s tricky with the timing, so better to come prepared!
Fort Delaware State Park, located on Pea Patch Island, was part of a chain of three forts that defended Philadelphia for well over 100 years. The first fortifications were built at the end of the War of 1812, and the bulk of the present fort was built before the Civil War. During the war, Confederate prisoners were held on the island in barracks, the biggest influx coming after the Battle of Gettysburg. The fort continued to be used through WWII, then was given over to the state of Delaware.
This is a GREAT place to visit this summer, and the ferry ride on the river alone in the heat might be worth the price of admission!
Once you are off the ferry, you have 2 or 4 or 6 hours to explore (depending on when you get there and which ferry you are trying to make it back on). We spent four hours there, which included a picnic lunch, a cannon demonstration, and managed everything except the nature trail (seriously, letting the blog down here) and the official walking tour (a certain 3 year old and group walking tours haven’t mixed well of late, so we set off on our own). Without further ado, Fort Delaware as it looked (for the most part) in 1864…
Well, it was time to go.
Overall, this is a GREAT spot to go spend a day. Fort Delaware State Park also does scheduled nighttime ghost tours and they even had a notice that youth groups can camp out in the reconstructed barracks. Future Boy Scout trip? I hope so!