Gulf Islands National Seashore

Location: Biloxi, Mississippi

Webpage: National Park Service

General Description: Preserves the natural and historic landmarks on the Gulf Coast islands in Florida and Mississippi.  The National Seashore includes 7 barrier islands (from east to west): Santa Rosa Island, Perdido Key, Petit Bois Island, Horn Island, East Ship Island, West Ship Island, and Cat Island.  “The forts of Gulf Islands National Seashore span almost 150 years, from the Spanish colonial Bateria De San Antonio (1797) to the World War Two-era Battery 234. This reflects the historic value of the anchorages at Pensacola Bay, Florida and Ship Island, Mississippi. Most striking among these are the American Third System forts: Fort Pickens, Fort Massachusetts, Fort Barrancas, and the Advanced Redoubt, all of which saw action during the Civil War.” (from NPS webpage)

Brochure

Impressions:

1) We will have to visit this National Seashore again since we only had a couple of hours and did not have time to take the ferry to any of the islands which are the main part of seashore.  Therefore, we did not see any of the forts either.  In addition, the National Seashore includes islands along both the Mississippi and Florida Gulf Coast (islands along the Alabama coast have not yet been included in the park), so we will need to visit the Florida section of the park as well.

2) The William M Comer visitor center in Biloxi was still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina and was still in pretty bad shape.  The trails around the visitor center were also not well maintained as the area appears to be used primarily for fishing access, at least when we were there.  The other hiking trails further inland were better maintained and quite interesting.  Kal is certain she spotted a young alligator at one of the ponds along the road, but it was gone by the time she got me to the spot.  Sorry, no picture either.

GulfCoast FishingPier

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