Fort Montgomery was the scene of a fierce Revolutionary War battle for control of the Hudson River. Visitors today can tour the remains of the 14-acre fortification, perched on a cliff overlooking the magnificent Hudson.
On October 6, 1777, British, Loyalist and Hessian forces attacked Fort Montgomery and nearby Fort Clinton. The defending American Patriots, outnumbered 3 to 1, fought desperately until driven out of their forts at the points of the enemy bayonets. More than half of the Patriot forces were killed, wounded or captured.
Visitors can learn about this important military post at the site’s museum, which showcases original artifacts and weapons, large-scale models of the fort and the attack, highly detailed mannequins frozen in poses of battle, and an action-packed fifteen minute movie of the 1777 assault.
Archeologists have revealed many of Fort Montgomery's remains, including the stone foundations of barracks where the troops lived, the ruins of the powder magazine blown up by the British after the battle, and the eroded walls of the North Redoubt, where the outnumbered American Patriots courageously defended their fort. A hiking trail leads visitors across Route 9W, which bisects the fort, to the remains of the West and Round Hill Redoubts where the bloody assault began. There is a spectacular view of the Hudson River from the Grand Battery, where reproduction cannon stand guard and are occasionally fired by the fort’s staff.
The past comes alive at Fort Montgomery with living history demonstrations of artillery, musketry, music and camp life, as well as the annual Twin Forts Day commemoration, when the climactic battle is reenacted. Traditionally held on the first Saturday of October, this event attracts participants and visitors from across the Northeast.
Hikers will enjoy walking the Twin Forts Trail to a beautiful new suspension footbridge that crosses the Popolopen Creek, where in 1777 a pontoon bridge connected Fort Montgomery with Fort Clinton. The trail continues to the Trailside Museums and Zoo (the former site of Fort Clinton), Bear Mountain State Park, and the Appalachian Trail. Fort Montgomery is also now an official stop on the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail, where kayakers and canoeists can go ashore on the banks of the Popolopen. In addition, the fort has been named as a significant stop on the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Revolutionary War Trail.
Tours of Fort Montgomery are self-guided. Illustrated signs explain the fort's history and its archeological remains. Group tours led by an interpreter are available by appointment.
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is open Mid-April until October 31, Wednesday through Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM. November through March open by appointment. Special events and programs are offered throughout the year. Education and outreach programs are available for schools and groups. The fort is located at 690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, NY 10922. For more information call (845) 446-2134.