What is about abandoned military bases that are so intriguing? As you saw with Fort Wadsworth, military bases are inherently complex, strategically designed, and shrouded in mystery. Fort Tilden is just that. Similar to Fort Wadsworth, Fort Tilden is a state park, and people are encouraged to visit. However, the real beauty is hidden away from the trodden path, beneath the overgrown vegetation.
When you arrive at the main entrance of the fort, you drive through a well maintained area, because as I’ve said, it’s an NYC park. Lots of sporting games are held here as well, so feel free to park wherever you’re comfortable and head toward the beach. I’d typically give recommendations on which way to head, but you can’t really go wrong. Well, I suppose you can – make sure you head southwest, rather than northeast (i.e. away from the area with buildings and benches – self explanatory, yes?) Also, don’t try to do this one in the rain – we ended up making this a two day adventure because the first was a bit unpleasant… Oh, and I’m supposed to remind you NOT to wear converse. Tiffany did not have happy feet the next day.
Back to the journey: do not stop at the first set of abandoned buildings you see. Continue walking along the beach after the paved pathway ends – this is where it gets interesting. I’ll let you explore the area yourself, but here are a few gems you’ll find tucked away.
Locals, I hear you – you’re thinking that you know a cooler place! Yes, there is a bike path that leads right to one of the more interesting abandoned structures, Battery Harris West, home of the giant gun. For a little cherry on top, walk up the stairs to check out an awesome viewpoint. If there are too many people, walk down the road (go left if you are looking AT the structure) and visit the identical one. Reminds me of a space ship – very awesome. FYI: there’s some cool places along this path as well.
All in all, my favorite spots are right off the beach – just make sure to bring a flashlight.