People come to Fort Foster for many reasons. Some like to picnic, others walk their dogs, or explore the rocks and beaches. There are spectacular views along the ocean and Piscataqua River and the old bunkers and fort remains are fascinating. Birders come here because diverse habitats encountered in less than 100 acres host a variety of nesting and migrant birds often including a rarity or two. The roads, trails and relatively open viewing conditions are birder friendly.

During migration birds may pile up and produce real excitement as you try to get on the Orchard Oriole your friend has spied but are being distracted by a flock of 75 chickadees in the tree in front of you. Fort Foster turns out to be an ideal place to look for seabirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, owls, woodpeckers, flycatchers, warblers and sparrows.

Fort Foster is the southern most piece of York County mainland. This city park is busy in the summer but even in the off seasons you will encounter other people. It is best to visit early in the morning before the park officially opens. Walking is on relatively flat surfaces including unused roadways and easy trails that bring visitors through woodlands, brushy areas, swamps, marshes, and along the beautiful shoreline and headlands.

Fees are charged from May through September but early morning walkers are admitted free. This website also has information on access to nearby Seapoint Beach and Crescent Beach. Complete rules and fees are available on the Town of Kittery website.