Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

South Carolina has a famous legacy of military operations in the United States, most notably it's Civil War history and modern-day Marine Corps recruit training on Parris Island. Testaments to war, both past and present, can be found all along the coast, but hidden among them is a relic of a much less well-known conflict in American history--the Spanish American War. This is Fort Fremont, at Land's End on Saint Helena Island. A few battaries remain of what was once a large facility, and they are today being reclaimed by maritime forest. A short stroll through the trees reveals a quiet beach on the sound with a view across to Parris Island, which, as a key part of Fort Fremont's history, brings the significance of these ruins full circle into the modern day.

Fort Fremont was contructed in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Though most of the fighting was over Cuba, an attack on the U.S. mainland was not out of the question, and the strategic Port Royal Naval Station on Parris Island warranted protection. At the time, Parris Island had the only dry dock in the Southeast that could accomodate large battleships for repair, and it was also an important fueling station for ships headed to the Caribbean. The new fort was erected swiftly, but equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and manned by experienced personnel. It was named after Major General John C. Fremont, an explorer and Civil War Union general whose name is familiar to many across the country, especially in the West. Numerous places and geographical features bearing Fremont in the name are commemorative of his western expeditions.

The Spanish never attempted an invasion, however, and Fort Fremont never saw combat. It remained in limited operation for another couple of decades, but it was officially deactivated in 1921. The installation once covered many acres on this island, but most have since been repurposed for neighborhoods and farmland. Today all that remains are a few batteries and embankments. Informative signage is available on site, but it is not staffed. The park is provided by the nonprofits Beaufort County Historical Society and Friends of Fort Fremont. When visiting, you are welcome to walk arround and on the structures, but the inside is off limits unless you are on a docent-led tour. You can also stroll among the forest and on the beach. Please be respectful of private property that surrounds the public park.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Spanish-American War history. Beach.

Cons

No facilities.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Big vistas
Family friendly
Historically significant

Location

Field Guide

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.