THE HUDSON HIGHLANDS
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site and Fort Clinton at Trailside Museum
Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain, NY 10911
Hours: Fort Montgomery is open daily from dawn to dusk YEAR ROUND Trailside Museums and Zoo, and Fort Clinton, are open YEAR ROUND, 10 PM -4:30 PM daily, weather permitting
Phone: (845) 786-2701
Begun in February 1776 Fort Montgomery had three landward redoubts and river batteries while Fort Clinton (August 1776) had a battery and two redoubts. On October 6, 1777, in a diversion to draw off American forces opposing General John Burgoyne's expedition into New York from Canada, General Sir Henry Clinton led 2,100 Loyalists, Hessians, and Regulars from King's Ferry against the landward approaches of Forts Montgomery and Clinton. American Brigadier Generals Governor George and James Clinton had to defend the two forts with a garrison of fewer than 700 men. On the river five American warships protected an iron chain on wooden rafts and boom of ships' hawsers. Despite the gallant American efforts, the undermanned twin forts fell to overwhelming British attack by nightfall. While British forces won the battles of Forts Clinton and Montgomery, these fortifications disrupted Sir Henry Clinton's timetable, complicating any attempts to relieve Burgoyne's trapped army.
Fort Montgomery comprises some twenty-five archeologically significant features on 14.42 acres of land owned since 1914 by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The ramparts of the irregularly shaped fortification follow the contours of the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River and Popolopen Creek and connect three landward redoubts-South, Round Hill, and North--and three river batteries-Grand, Putnam's, and River. Foundations of structures in the fort include the guard house, the powder magazine, the main barracks, officers' commissary, officers' barracks, storehouse, bake house, soldiers' necessary, provision stores, soldiers' hut and an additional barracks. A trail and interpretive signs tell the story of the fort and the battle. Fort Clinton has a museum with artifacts and exhibits describing the forts and the battles as well as the remarkably well-preserved Outer Redoubt.
Take Palisades Parkway to the northern end. At traffic circle take 9W north to Welcome Center on right after second bridge. For Fort Clinton, park in Parking Lot 1 at Bear Mountain Inn and follow the signs to the Trailside Museum and Zoo.
Research Patron: Margaret K. Johnson; John Wort