Summer Staycation: Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Fort Knox

In the past several years we’ve spent our July 4th at a parade and then the beach, followed by the fireworks. This year, the weather wasn’t looking good for the beach, so we opted to hop in our car with our trusty passports and headed downeast a bit. Our first stop was the Penobscot Narrows Observatory.

The Observatory is part of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, which opened in 2007. The new bridge was built to replace the aging Waldo-Hancock Bridge (which, by chance, Doug’s grandfather helped build, which the kids thought was pretty fantastic). The Observatory is the only one in the United States and if you hit the weather just right, you can see for at least 100 miles. It’s a quick one minute trip to the top (420 feet up; yes, I was a nervous wreck) and it offers some amazing views.


(Fort Knox as observed from the top of the tower).

It was an overcast day so we didn’t get to see for one hundred miles, but we certainly had a pretty great view of Bucksport, as well as Fort Knox, which was our main destination of the day.

Fort Knox (named for Major General Henry Knox, same as THE Fort Knox in Kentucky) was established in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River Valley against a British invasion. Troops were garrison from 1863-1869 at the Fort. Today, the Fort itself is open to the public from May to October. The kids were enthralled with every little thing about the Fort and we explored it for several hours.

The Fort was a fantastic piece of history and all four kids loved exploring. It was a pretty neat way to spend our July 4th.

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