Fort Miles offers tours, demonstrations and children's activities through August

Preregistration is required for all programs
A crew prepares to fire a gun during a recent demonstration at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park. BY RON MACARTHUR
August 2, 2013

The Fort Miles Historical Association and Cape Henlopen State Park remind residents and visitors to Sussex County that day and evening tours of the World War II site are offered through the end of August.

Fort Miles was built at Cape Henlopen in 1941 and was home to the 261st Coast Artillery Unit of the Army. The fort's job was to defend the coast and Delaware Bay from enemy surface ships. About 2,000 personnel were based at Fort Miles during World War II. The fort now houses an artillery park featuring a 16-inch gun, one 12-inch gun and smaller guns.

Tours of Battery 519 are held at 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays until Aug. 31. Guides show a World War II coastal defense underground gun battery and explain Fort Miles' role defending the area. Tours, limited to 30 people, are $5 per person and open to ages 10 and older.

Free artillery firing demonstrations are held at Fort Miles at 4 p.m. Fridays until Aug. 30. Historic interpreters will load and fire a blank round from one of the fort's guns.

Fort Miles Lantern Tours are scheduled at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays in August. Visitors can tour the battery by lantern light and experience how soldiers defended the area. These tours, limited to 30 people, are open to ages 10 and up and cost $5.

Children ages 8 to 12 can participate in World War II games where they will learn hand signals, code breaking and firing trajectories at 10 a.m. Tuesdays until Aug. 20. Check park bulletin boards for the topic of the week. This program is limited to 12 and costs $3 per child.

Also, visitors can tour Battery 519 and learn about firing a 12-inch gun at 3 p.m. Tuesdays until Aug. 27. Tours are open to ages 7 and older and cost $2.50 per person.

All Fort Miles programs meet at the fort's orientation building, which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday during the summer.

Preregistration is required for all programs. For details call 302-645-6852, go to or

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