Prospect Bluff Historic Sites

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

Fort Gadsden fort site

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.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: This area is temporarily closed due to impacts from Hurricane Michael.
Operational Hours: This area is temporarily closed due to impacts from Hurricane Michael. When it reopens, it will be open Friday through Tuesday until 6 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Reservations: When this area reopens, local author and historian Dale Cox will offer guided interpretive tours of Prospect Bluff. Please contact him at least two days in advance of when you would like to tour the site at
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Paddlers: If you are visiting Prospect Bluff by boat, please do not pull out your craft near the fort. The site is very culturally significant, and we need to preserve it. Please pull out on an area of the bank near the picnic shelter. We appreciate your help.
Closest Towns: Sumatra, Eastpoint
Restroom: Vault toilet
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information


From Tallahassee, take State Road 20 west to Hosford, then turn left on State Road 65. Follow State Road 65 south for 4 miles past Sumatra. Turn right onto Forest Road 129, Brickyard Landing Road.

From Apalachicola, head south on Hwy. 30 for 10 miles. Turn left onto State Road 65 for 20 miles. Turn left onto Forest Road 129, Brickyard Landing Road.

Warning: Be careful when driving on Brickyard Landing Road. The road is unpaved and has deep potholes in places.

** If the road is flooded, do not attempt to drive to Prospect Bluff. Flooded potholes can be dangerous and the fort site sits in a floodplain area **

Follow Brickyard Landing Road for 1.9 miles, then turn left onto Forest Road 129-B, Fort Gadsden Road. Continue 1 mile to the interpretive area entrance on the left.


From the intersection of CR 379 (Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway) and SR 65 in Sumatra, drive south on SR 65 for 4 miles. Turn right on Brickyard Road. This access road is unpaved and may have deeply rutted potholes. ** DO NOT TRY TO ACCESS THIS INTERPRETIVE SITE IF THE ROAD IS FLOODED - DRIVING INTO FLOODED POTHOLES CAN BE DANGEROUS **

Continue 1.5 miles to Brickyard Landing Road. Turn left. Drive half a mile. The entrance is on the left.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Water Activities

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Picnic tables
Interpretive Site Detailed interpretive information
Accessible Picnic area and interpretive kiosks accessible
Areas & Activities


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