Fort Trumbull State Park has scenic viewpoints throughout its grounds showing activity on the Thames River. This 16-acre site was an 1850’s coastal defense fort on the historic banks of the Thames River. The fort is restored to original condition with addition of a visitor’s center, grounds signage for a self-guided tour including waterfront walking paths, and a 500-foot fishing pier.
Tours include restored 19th century living quarters, barracks a blockhouse citadel with cannon batteries on the grounds. The visitor center shares 225 years of fort military history with technical advances up to the cold war using the latest technology. The center houses multimedia theaters, computer touch screen exhibits, graphic text panels, and 3-D models.
The five-sided Egyptian Style masonry fort is its third, considered a fine example of stonework and masonry of its era. The fort was built 1839-1852 as a part of a network of 42 fortifications serving as a coastal defense of the United States. The collection of forts was known as the Third System of Fortifications. Fort Trumbull’s position protected the New London harbor from British attack.
The fort remained operational from the Revolutionary Way to the Cold War. Military uses changing over the years depending on needs. Due to its access of water navigation its use has been for nautical purposes. It has housed the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and War Research Underwater Sound Laboratory.
90 Walbach Street
New London, CT
Fort & Visitor Center Hours
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Wednesday to Sunday
May 21 to Columbus Day
Open year round daily from 8:00 AM – Sunset
Children 6-12 $2.00
Under 5 free
Grounds, & parking
New London is a seaport city at the mouth of the Thames River with a population of 27,620. Positioned midway between New York City and Boston it is the states smallest city in land area.
Looking to the east side of the Thames River is Long Island Sound south, with the town of Waterford north. It was the world’s 3rd busiest whaling port early in the 19th century, bringing wealth that funded its historic architecture.
Fort Trumbull State Park is a six hour drive of 378 miles from Rochester NY ($40 gas cost for VW). Drive east on I-90 to Springfield MA, then south on US 91 to Hartford CT. Drive route 2 to Norwich, south on US 395 to US 95 east over Thames River. Take Exit 84S (Downtown New London). Merge onto Eugene O’Neill Drive. Follow Eugene O’Neill Drive and take left onto Tilley Street. Make right onto Bank Street and then left onto Howard Street. Follow Howard Street and make left onto Walbach Street, then right onto East Street. Park entrance is on the left.
Here’s one visitor’s impression of their visit.
“What a beautiful old fort and magnificent setting. Peaceful and relaxing to walk around.”