Road Trip Worthy: Explore This Abandoned Oceanside Military Fortress
This coastal military fort is definitely worth the drive. Not only can you explore the dark hallways and rooms of this abandoned fort, you're a short walk from the beach.
Fort Baldwin is located in the coastal town of Phippsburg, Maine. Perched atop Sabino Hill, overlooking Fort Popham and Popham Beach, Fort Baldwin was constructed between 1905 and 1912. According to Maine.gov, it was manned during World War I, then abandoned. It would later be back in action during World War ll. With Bath Iron Works building Navy destroyers just up river, the fort closely monitored the mouth of the Kennebec River for enemy ships and submarines. Navy officials in the second World War praised BIW's superior destroyers, popularizing the phrase "Bath built, is best built."
To get there, simply follow Route 209 through Phippsburg. The road will take you right to Fort Popham. The road bares a sharp right-hand turn before leading to Popham, at that corner turn left (you're basically going straight) onto Fort Baldwin Road. The road is a single lane, so use caution and respect the folks who live on the road by only parking in the designated parking area at the trailhead.
Fort Baldwin and Fort Popham at one point were manned by 200 soldiers. The forts were never fired upon. Fort Baldwin had an impressive amount of firepower when in operation. On strategic high ground, the fire tower at the top of the hill kept a very close eye for German U-Boats. If one was spotted and fired upon, the artillery barrage would have been massive. Again, the fort was never fired upon or fired a shot. The tower at one point was open to the public, offering an incredible view of the surrounding area. However, due to disrepair, the tower is now gated off.
Most of the guns at the fort were repurposed and sent overseas to help with the war effort. None of the cannons are still on-site.
Author's Note - As a lifelong resident of Phippsburg, this site is near and dear to me. Growing up down the road from the forts, it was a favorite to explore on warm summer days. I was hesitant to share this place with the internet, but it's a place I feel deserves to be appreciated. Fort Baldwin is relatively graffiti free and (as of last visit) somewhat litter free. Respect this historic site so many more after you can explore. If you're visiting in the fall, wear hunter orange. Although hunting is not allowed on the grounds of this historic landmark, the surrounding woods are open to hunting.