When you are thinking about taking your kids to Fort Totten Park Bayside NY, you probably don’t know much about the park itself. However, it’s worth mentioning the history of the park. In case you aren’t familiar, Fort Totten is a former active United States Army installation in the borough of Queens. It’s located on Willets Point peninsula in North Queens on Long Island at the head of Little Neck Bay, where the East River widens into Long Island Sound. You can visit the park at Totten Ave. &, 15th Rd, Bayside, New York 11359.
The pristine, park-like grounds surrounding this Civil War fort offer visitors the opportunity to exercise their bodies and observe wildlife. The park features guided tours led by Urban Park Rangers. Bird enthusiasts can also watch migrating waterfowl rest. The park is managed by New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The park also features a visitors center, swimming pool, and canoeing on Long Island Sound.
Fort Totten is also home to a number of historical buildings. The buildings of the old fort are still used for training by the NYPD, but have been transformed into a public park with a visitors center and museum exhibits. It also serves as a training facility for the New York Fire Department and NYPD. The Fort is also home to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-1.
If you are traveling by car to Fort Totten, be prepared for parking to be limited. It is located on Bell Boulevard and is accessible from the Cross Island Expressway. To get there by bike, you’ll need to take Totten Ave and the Queens Greenway. You’ll also need to have proper footwear for the trails. You’ll want to wear long pants in the summer because poison ivy grows nearby.
A long tunnel leads to the Water Battery and contains graffiti from 100 years ago. It’s not uncommon to see graffiti at Fort Totten, which is encouraging you to “Remember the Maine.” This refers to the USS Maine, which is buried on the park’s grounds. A series of tunnels near the Water Battery is called the Main Magazine. It was built in 1870. Among other details, the Fort Totten Visitors Center has detailed information about each of the streets in NYC.
Originally known as the Fort at Willets Point, Fort Totten was originally a military installation. The federal government purchased the land in 1857 from the Willets family and intended for it to be a sister fort to Fort Schuyler in the Bronx. It was named after General Joseph Totten, who had served as a military engineer for 30 years. In 1862, the fort was constructed using hard stone which wasn’t very effective against the new military technology of that time.
The Fort’s location provided fertile ground for military technology advancement. Electrically guided torpedoes, for example, were developed at Fort Totten. The Engineer Depot for the Eastern United States (EUS) was established on the site and a torpedo school was established in Willets Point. In 1886, a torpedo battery was built into a hill in Building 611. There was a laboratory for electrically controlled torpedoes on the building’s sixth floor. Thomas Edison even worked on the project. Find additional things to do in the area.
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