Pleased be advised: NYC Ferry service is suspended after 4PM on Sunday 6/24. We apologize for any inconvenience

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Parks Service

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Today is Founders Day, and we’re celebrating 100 years of the National Parks Service here on Governors Island. Since its designation by President Bill Clinton in 2001, the National Parks Service has overseen Governors Island National Monument, connecting visitors with the Island’s rich military history.

DID YOU KNOW - According to the National Park Service, Fort Jay and Castle Williams were erected between 1796 and 1811 as part of the First and Second American Systems of Fortification. They are among the finest examples of defensive structures in use from the Renaissance to the American Civil War and sit within a larger National Historic Landmark District, surrounded by unparalleled views of the harbor and New York City skyline.

Governors Island was a military post and later a major command headquarters for the United States Army from 1794 until 1966. For the next 30 years, it was home to Atlantic Area Command, the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest and most complex installation in the world.

Read more about the Governors Island National Monument and its history here.

Celebrate the #NPSCentennial all week by visiting the Governors Island National Monument. NPS programs are listed below:

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PROGRAMMING
August 22 - 28

Monday – Friday

Fort Jay and Castle Williams open 11am until 5:15pm

Castle Williams gift shop open 11:30-2pm and 3pm-4:30pm (SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO STAFFING)

Going Around Castle Williams – A 30-minute roof tour, once an hour
11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30
Meet the ranger in the Castle Williams courtyard

Fort Jay: Eagles, Townhouses, and Big Guns – 30-minute walking tour of the island’s oldest fort
See a ranger for tour times

Kid’s Program – Reservation only, 11:30am. 212-825-3045 or gois_information@nps.gov


Saturdays & Sundays

Fort Jay and Castle Williams open 11am until 6:15pm

Castle Williams gift shop open 11am until 5:30pm

Going Around Castle Williams – A 30-minute roof tour once an hour.
11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30
Meet the ranger in the Castle Williams courtyard

Fort Jay: Eagles, Townhouses, and Big Guns – 30-minute walking tour of the island’s oldest fort.
11:30, 1:30, 3:30
Meet the ranger at the Fort Jay bridge

The Big Walk Around the Island – Approximately 90-minute walking tour. See the whole history of the island in one go. This ranger program examines most of the older buildings on the island. We’ll tell you the back stories on some of them. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles. No tickets or reservations required.
2:30 – 4:00

Meet the ranger at the top of the hill from Soisson’s Landing


Special Programs:

Fly Governors Island –Learn about the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and Ruth Law. Governors Island played a big part in the early days of aviation. Join us to learn how.
Saturdays at 1:30 until 9/24
Meet the ranger at the top of the hill from Soisson’s Landing

Another Brick in the Wall – A one-hour tour of both Fort Jay and Castle Williams, focusing on aspects such as different types of stone used, geologic history of New York Harbor, the art of masonry, weathering, historic preservation, and the history of both forts!
Sundays at 4:00 until 9/24
Meet the ranger at the Fort Jay bridge

New York Harbor Estuary Talk – Learn about the wildlife and geography of the estuarine environment of New York Harbor.
Sundays at 2:00 until 9/24
Meet the ranger at Dock 102

Definitely Your Grandfather’s Workout – Have you ever wondered how WWII soldiers were trained before they went overseas? This physical training program allows visitors to experience what Army PT was like during the second World War. The ranger will lead the group in a series of exercises and stretches reminiscent of this period, followed by a formation run around the Governors Island historic district.
Saturdays at 10:30am
Take the 10am ferry and meet the ranger at the top of the hill from Soissons Landing.

The Gun Show – Learn about the variety of weapons used from the Revolutionary War all the way up until World War II, and the small but crucial role Governors Island played. See reproductions of each weapon and learn how each of them worked and what impact it had on our military history.
Sundays at 12pm
Meet the Ranger at the Fort Jay bridge

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service. Castle Williams in 1896.