Apalachicola National Forest, Near Eastpoint, Florida
Prospect Bluff Historic Sites does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!
This area is currently closed due to impacts from Hurricane Michael.
The site of two successive forts, the first built during the War of 1812 by the British, and of the tragic massacre of more than 300 African-Americans who held the fort under the British flag in 1816, Prospect Bluff played an important role in Florida history. Located along the Apalachicola River, this interpretive area offers detailed information about the site and its history along with trails, river access, and a picnic area.
Built during the War of 1812, the British Fort was placed in a strategic spot along the Apalachicola River, which was the "highway for commerce" in those pre-road, pre-railroad days.
On July 27, 1816, U.S. Navy forces led by Colonel Duncan Clinch fired on what was then called "The Negro Fort." One of the early shots from the ship's guns landed on a ammunition shed inside the fort, resulting in a massive explosion which left only 33 survivors to tell the tale.
In 1818, Lt. James Gadsden oversaw construction of a new fort on the site as a U.S. fort in the heart of Spanish territory, under the auspices of Major General Andrew Jackson. This fort, Fort Gadsden, remained in use until 1821, when Florida became a U.S. Territory.
Detailed interpretive information in the form of kiosks and signage lead you through the site of both forts and the cemetery where the victims from 1816 are buried.
Interested in learning more of the story? Here's an interpretive brochure (PDF).