Fort Miles Historical Area

Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes, Delaware

Open Daily 8 a.m. to Sunset

Visit the Fort Miles section for more information including a photo gallery and special event information!


Lying amidst rolling dunes, in the shadow of a World War II observation tower, is Fort Miles Historical Area. During World War II, the Delaware River was a chief priority for defense planners because of the access it afforded to the giant trade centers of Wilmington, Philadelphia, and beyond. Fort Miles, located in what is now Cape Henlopen State Park, was a key piece in the nation's coastal defense at that time.

The heavy guns, mine fields and searchlights of Fort Miles provided in-depth defense; however, the growing use of long-range missiles brought an end to harbor defenses in the United States. By 1958, Fort Miles was no longer important to the defense of the region, and in 1964, 543 acres of the base were returned to the State of Delaware, forming the heart of Cape Henlopen State Park. In April, 2005, Fort Miles was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Fort Miles is a special place for families, history buffs, veterans, or anyone interested in learning about the Delaware shore and WWII. Take a tour of the Fort, enjoy an interpretive program, dance to a swing band, and celebrate the "greatest generation" in our nation's history.

The Fort Miles Historic Area grounds are open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. The Fort Miles Orientation Building is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from April 1 through October 30. From November 1 through March 31, the Orientation Building is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Public access to Battery 519 is only through guided tours.