Picture of 16 inch gun at Fort Miles

Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area


Find Your Adventure at Fort Miles

Big gun at Battery 519, Fort Miles, Delaware

Take a Guided Tour of Battery 519

Experience a historic gun bunker! Battery 519 began construction in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to learn what the the country faced and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States.

WWII observation tower at Fort Miles, Delaware

Climb Tower 7

Climb to the top of Tower 7, a World War II observation tower, for a panoramic view of the entire park! Discover the purpose of these iconic towers and how they played an important role in WWII coastal defense.

 

 

 

 

WWII military vehicle at Fort Miles, Delaware

Take a "Trucking Through History" Tour

Board an authentic WWII-era troop transport truck, and see the park from a new perspective! Learn how the different parts of Fort Miles worked together to defend Delaware’s coast.

Artillery park at Fort Miles, Delaware

Watch an Artillery Demonstration

Watch as we fire the guns at the Artillery Park! You’ll feel the power of the artillery that protected the Delaware Bay during World War II and learn how coastal artillery operated.

About the Park

Resting atop the Great Dune and built during World War II to protect the Delaware Bay and River from enemy warships, Fort Miles was a state-of-the-art coastal defense fortification. While Fort Miles never engaged an enemy target, it did produce some of the most accurate artillerists in the Army. The Navy conducted tests at Fort Miles as part of the first attempt to create a fleet defense missile and also used the fort for its secret Sound Surveillance System to track enemy submarines. Parts of the fort were used as a vacation retreat for military families. Tower 7, one of 11 World War II-era fire control towers, now provides a unique perspective of the park and surrounding area. Today, the historical area operates as a museum, artillery park and oceanfront event space.

About Fort Miles

Lying amidst rolling sand dunes at Cape Henlopen State Park, on a high bank overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the Fort Miles Historical Area, a key piece of our nation's coastal defense from World War II through the early 1970’s. Today, Fort Miles is home to the Fort Miles Museum, encompassing a gun battery, six barracks buildings, a fire control tower, an orientation building, and an artillery park.

The history of Fort Miles exemplifies America’s call to action to stem the tide of war against German invasions along the Atlantic Seaboard that, at the onset of World War II, appeared virtually unstoppable. The gun batteries of Fort Miles, secret state-of-the-art installations built within the massive sand dunes of Cape Henlopen, were designed to defend against the powerful German navy.

With more than 2,500 soldiers stationed on high alert, the heavy guns, mine fields, and searchlights of Fort Miles defended the vital trade centers of Wilmington, Philadelphia, and beyond. As America moved into the cold war, the role of Fort Miles shifted to highly classified missions defending against the threat of Soviet submarine operations off our coastline.

Fort Miles is a special place for history enthusiasts, veterans, families, or anyone interested in learning about Delaware stories, Delaware heroes, and Delaware’s role in WWII. Take a guided tour, enjoy an interpretive program, visit the art gallery, take in a special event, and celebrate "The Greatest Generation."

21 centimeter guns

The Fort Miles Museum

Museum exhibits and artifacts within Battery 519, a 15,000-square-foot fortified underground chamber, bring to life Delaware’s wartime stories of submarine encounters and surrender, daring actions of civilian pilots, and hometown heroes who sacrificed for our freedom. The museum’s collection of armaments provides visitors a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how state-of-the-art technology from an earlier day was used to defend the nation.

The grounds of the museum are open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. The Museum Orientation Building is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. March 3 – June 10 and Tuesday through Saturday June 13 – September 9. Public access to the museum is available only through guided tours and open houses.

The Great Dune Overlook Events Venue

This new rental venue is available for weddings, concerts, meetings, reunions and many other types of events and gatherings. The site offers the best of both natural and cultural history, with an easy transition from the outdoor pavilion to the inside area, along with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, miles of picturesque dunes, and breathtaking views, all in the heart of historic Fort Miles. For rental information, visit the Fort Miles Historical Association website.


Upcoming Events

Seaside History Hike

Saturday, January 29, 2022

11:30 AM

Bring your walking shoes as a park historian leads you across the sandy trail towards the Delaware Bay. See World War II relics, uncover the Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station, and hear tales of pirates. Tours meet at the Seaside Nature Center. Dress for the weather. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 15.Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 1/29/2022 11:30:00 AM 1/29/2022 12:30:00 PM America/New_York Seaside History Hike Bring your walking shoes as a park historian leads you across the sandy trail towards the Delaware Bay. See World War II relics, uncover the Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station, and hear tales of pirates. Tours meet at the Seaside Nature Center. Dress for the weather. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 15.Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Friday, February 4, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/4/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/4/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, February 5, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/5/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/5/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Friday, February 11, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/11/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/11/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, February 12, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/12/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/12/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Fort Miles Lantern Tour

Saturday, February 12, 2022

5:30 PM

In 1943, World War II was in full swing, but it was much different than anticipated. Tour Battery 519 by lantern light as we reveal U-boats on the prowl, sailors in distress and what World War II turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. For ages 10 and up with a paying adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/12/2022 5:30:00 PM 2/12/2022 6:30:00 PM America/New_York Fort Miles Lantern Tour In 1943, World War II was in full swing, but it was much different than anticipated. Tour Battery 519 by lantern light as we reveal U-boats on the prowl, sailors in distress and what World War II turned out to be for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. For ages 10 and up with a paying adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Seaside History Hike

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

11:00 AM

Bring your walking shoes as a park historian leads you across the sandy trail towards the Delaware Bay. See World War II relics, uncover the Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station and hear tales of pirates. Tours meet at the Seaside Nature Center. Dress for the weather. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 15.Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $3 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/16/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/16/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Seaside History Hike Bring your walking shoes as a park historian leads you across the sandy trail towards the Delaware Bay. See World War II relics, uncover the Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station and hear tales of pirates. Tours meet at the Seaside Nature Center. Dress for the weather. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 15.Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $3 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Friday, February 18, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/18/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/18/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, February 19, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/19/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/19/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Sand Pounders: Coast Guard Beach Patrols in World War II

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

5:00 PM

Join a park historian portraying a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Beach Patrol and explore the service's lesser-known role of patrolling the nation's coastline. From defending against saboteurs to rescuing submarine attack survivors, the Coast Guard was an important part of Fort Miles. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Program meets at the fishing pier pavilion; dress for the weather. Free

Add to Calendar 2/23/2022 5:00:00 PM 2/23/2022 6:00:00 PM America/New_York Sand Pounders: Coast Guard Beach Patrols in World War II Join a park historian portraying a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Beach Patrol and explore the service's lesser-known role of patrolling the nation's coastline. From defending against saboteurs to rescuing submarine attack survivors, the Coast Guard was an important part of Fort Miles. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Program meets at the fishing pier pavilion; dress for the weather. Free Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Friday, February 25, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/25/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/25/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area

Discover Battery 519

Saturday, February 26, 2022

11:00 AM

Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/26/2022 11:00:00 AM 2/26/2022 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Discover Battery 519 Construction of Battery 519 began in 1941 under the threat of war. Tour the battery to discover what the threats were and how Fort Miles planned to defend the United States from them. For ages 7 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the program. After that, please call 302-655-5007. $5 per person Fort Miles Historical Area