New Jersey - Fort Hancock

Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook

It's not normally this easy to enter an Army base, but the fort was decommissioned in 1974 and is now just a bunch of abandoned buildings, a small museum somewhere (which I never saw), and some neat ruins. Hey, it's abandoned, grab some surplus!

Something else that's no longer there.

Some of that abandoned architecture, which dates as far back as 1859.

Yes, you saw a lighthouse up there, though it's quite a bit inland and may just be an ornate tower for locking young maidens in until they can't prick themselves on spinning wheels.

Somewhere along the way, cacti were accidentally dropped on the ground, or else these are native NJ cacti. I've only seen them one other place, much farther south.

The fort part of the fort. Now that this has all been closed, it's just the Gateway National Recreation Area, so despite various signs in various places saying not to use certain paths, you can basically clamber anywhere you want and end up on the other side of the signs anyway. No one's gonna stop you unless you're about to fall through (like, say, if you climbed the stairs).

See here, a rather worn structure of dubious integrity that is no match for my wandering feet! I just don't want to go down any way other than whence I came.

Nature's reclamation.

The main body of the fort is a little friendlier to visitors and has plenty to explore. The storerooms underneath have grown stalactites after 35 years without active use.

There's some cool stuff on top, too, and here there's no danger to climb up and see it.

The view from up there, including a lighthouse actually serving a purpose in the middle of New York Harbor.

Leaving the fort, it seems there was another fort to the south, or maybe just a battery. This is definitely south of the fort entrance, but could be a satellite property.

Leave Sandy Hook on Hartshorne Drive
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