FORT MATANZAS NATIONAL MONUMENT

The National Park Service maintains this historic site on the Matanzas River (Intercoastal Waterway) at Matanzas Inlet on A1A south of St. Augustine. The Fort was constructed in 1740-1742 in an effort to stop British encroachments to St. Augustine in the years after a massacre of French soldiers there in 1565. Matanzas inlet was used as a back door to St. Augustine. Over the centuries, France, Britain and Spain all tried to gain control of the area.

At present due to the recent hurricane, ferry service to the Fort has not been resumed. The fort is small, 50 feet on each side with a 30 foot tower. Soldiers posted here lived in a small space.

artifacts displayed near the visitor center

The grounds offer interesting information about the surrounding ecosystem and the history of the fort. A good friend is a volunteer at the Information Center. (Sorry I lost a terrific picture of him behind his desk.) I hope he will comment further on important information and answer our questions.

As one enters the site on the intercoastal side of A1A there is a bountiful grove of Live Oak Trees, at one time this distinctive tree was very important to ship building. Now, the trees are more bare than usual. Is this damage from the saltwater spray of the hurricane?

Along the waterway oyster beds are visible. Often dolphins can be seen in this area.

Travelers on A1A south of St. Augustine will not want to miss this site which is north of Marineland.

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