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Fort Howard is located in the North Point region of Baltimore County and played a key role in the historical War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore. Tucked at the very end of North Point Road this park entices its visitors with scenic beauty and a touch of history that's close to home. It is free to enter this park and it sits almost invisible next to the Fort Howard VA Hospital.
As you enter the park you are taken through a long winding road perfectly nestled on the Chesapeake Bay watershed before you emerge into the parking area of the park. This location offers numerous activities to pique the interest of all who venture for a visit, and range from simple walking trails to fishing piers. There is a playground available for the kids within a short walking distance from the parking area, yet far enough that your children will not be near any traffic while having fun. Fort Howard offers a pavilion with picnic tables for larger scaled gatherings and individual picnic tables for a small family outing. Grilling is allowed here on one of the grills already in place around the park. Those faithful companions of yours don't have to be left at home; pets on leashes are welcome here.
Daily: dawn to dusk
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
There are no fees associated with Fort Howard Park
This park's historical significance is its connection with the largest invasion of the United States in history on the morning of September 12, 1814. The British had landed about seven thousand men near the site that later became Fort Howard, as a part of a campaign to capture and burn Baltimore. In coordination with their navy's bombardment of Fort McHenry, the British troops were to march up Patapsco Neck and capture Baltimore from the east. But the British advance was first demoralized when American sharpshooters Daniel Wells and Henry McComas killed their popular commanding general. The advance had been temporarily stalled by the Americans in the Battle of North Point, and finally stopped dead when the British perceived the strength of the American defenses at Patterson Park. Disheartened, they re-boarded their ships near North Point and sailed away to another defeat, in the Battle of New Orleans.
Fort Howard was originally known as North Point, but was renamed in 1902 after Colonel John Eager Howard, a Baltimore philanthropist and distinguished soldier of the Maryland Continental Line during the Revolutionary War. In the 1700s, the site served as an important part of the transportation route between the Eastern Shore and the Port of Baltimore. Known as the "Bulldog at Baltimore's Gate," Fort Howard was also created to protect the valued Baltimore Port. Many of the fort batteries, previously manned by Coast Artillery Corps, can still be seen, although they are now covered by dark ivy and bushes.