Fort Macon is located east of Atlantic Beach, NC, on the eastern point of Bogue Banks to guard Old Topsail Inlet (Beaufort Inlet), the entrance to Beaufort Harbor. This five-sided brick and stone fort was built after the War of 1812, to protect America’s seacoasts. Construction began in 1826 and was occupied by 1834.
The first major battle at Fort Macon was during the Civil War. Initially seized by Confederate forces, Fort Macon was later recaptured by the Union in the Battle of Fort Macon April 26, 1862. This old style of fort was unable to withstand the new rifled artillery that quickly demolished the brick walls. Ft. Macon was donated to NC as a state park in 1924.
During WW II, the fort was used for defense of the east coast. Afterward it was permanently returned to NC as a state park and museum of early American soldier life, artifacts, and weaponry of the US from 1826 - 1865.
The park offers surf fishing, nature trails, a protected swimming area, a shop, and refreshments. It is open daily to the public for guided or walking tours or enjoyment of the park’s amenities.