Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites

Walking Tour
Click on a map number for corresponding information


  1. Built in 1776, Fort Morris was a much larger structure than the 1812 Fort Defiance. Shaped like a star, or four-bastioned design, Fort Morris was built entirely of earth and wood with a rear wall extending to about the point of Marker 1. It mounted 24 guns and housed more than 200 officers and men. A large brick barracks stood in the center. Notice that Fort Defiance is constructed completely of earth. This often surprises visitors who tend to think of a fort as a large brick or stone structure. The majority of forts in the United States that were built before the 1880s were made of dirt and wood. The monument on the right commemorates James Ogletorpe's first Masonic meeting held in Georgia on February 21, 1734.

  2. While the fort is nearly hidden by trees today, non of this foliage stood when the fort was in use. The land had been completely cleared and the timber used to frame the fort's shape. Dirt was packed into the frames and allowed to settle. Next the frames were removed and turf squares laid out and held in place by wooden pegs.

  3. The moat (ditch) surrounding the fort did not hold water except during heavy rains. Instead, it had sharpend poles. called palisades, planted in the bottom. They stood about six feet tall and six inches apart with connecting horizontal bands on the back. The earthen bridge that leads into the fort is not part of the original structure; it was dumped by workmen scraping the road during the 1940s and 50s. The moat was originally bridged by a wooden walkway that could be removed during attack.

  4. Slight depressions in the tops of the walls are the remains of openings called embrasures used to fire artillery. Fort Defiance was designed for eight cannons.

  5. This unusual land feature...almost a perfect possibly one of the bastions of Fort Morris.

  6. From this point, Saint Catherine's Sound can be seen seven miles in the distance. Ships on their way to Sunbury had to first pass this point of land. The great guns of the fort could easily sweep an enemy ship lengthways before it could bring a full broadside to bear on the fort. The point, along with its position as the first high ground on the river, was an ideal location for a fort. The channel is approximately 27 feet deep in front of the fort, and it is said that the Medway is the deepest natural river south of the Chesapeake.

  7. The modern structure ahead is a private home and dock located in what was the old town of Sunbury. The wharves and town ran north along the river.

You may either return to the Visitor Center or take the nature trail to the right. The salt marsh and river is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, fiddler crabs, alligators, deer and raccoons. Please respect their homes and stay on the trail.


Museum Tour

Room #1
l. Land That Becomes Sunbury
2. Founding of Sunbury
3. Growth of Sunbury
4. Sunbury, Port of Entry
5. Case with Artifacts

Room #2 (Front, before Panel)
6. Defending Sunbury
7. Eve of Revolution
8. Vulnerable by Sea
9. Artifact Display
10. Florida Expeditions

Room #2 (Rear, after Panel)
11. Model of town of Sunbury
12. Famous Residents
13. View of Flotilla from Fort
14. British Invasion
15. Mannequin-Soldier's Dress
16. Sunbury Falls
Room #3
16. Campbell Map
17. The Second War for Independence
18. Mannequin of Soldier and Flag
19. Civil War
20. The Broken Cannon
21. Archaeology Profile


Nature Trail

Fort Morris is located at the mouth of the Medway River looking out upon St. Catherine's Island. Follow the marked Nature Trail to view a variety of wildlife in the coastal salt marsh and river habitat.


Fort Morris is designated as part of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail.

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