All programs are advertised on the website calendar upper right-hand corner or on the mobile app calendar per National Park guidance these are the primary locations programs are supposed to be advertised. Programs are also advertised on the park’s Facebook page.

Programs are subject to change due to manning or weather. Visitors can also verify the daily schedule in person at the visitor center or at the fort’s entrances. All programs are provided free of charge, entrance station fees may apply.

The Discovery Center in Florida is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the William M. Colmer Visitor Center in Mississippi is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for questions. Passport Stamps can be collected at visitor centers and the park store located inside Fort Pickens opens daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

As a reminder, the Ship Island Excursion Ferry season will begin service to Ship Island in Mississippi on March 18. The Pensacola Bay City Ferry service will begin service in Florida on March 4.

There are many volunteer applications open for Gulf Island National Seashore. To sign up visit


  • March 4 – Naval Live Oaks Cleanup event. Meet at the Henghold Dermatology Clinic at 7:30 a.m.
  • March 4 – Pensacola Bay City Ferry Cruise Kickoff Event at the Fort Pickens Pier at 11 a.m. (the first ferry season since 2020 to Fort Pickens)
  • March 14 & 15 – Fort Pickens, Florida Author John Weaver program – Special guest speaker John Weaver is delivering presentations at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 15, at the Fort Pickens Discovery Center. The March 14 presentation is titled “Fort McRee: Gone but not Forgotten.” The March 15 presentation is titled “Defending the Pensacola Naval Station: Fort Barrancas and Advanced Redoubt.” Weaver will also lead the “Guardian of the Gulf” tours at 2 p.m. on March 14 and March 15.
  • March 12 at 2 p.m. – First Pensacola Bay City Ferry Fort Pickens Tour program. Launch at the Pensacola City pier.
  • March 12 at 6 p.m. – First Sunset Cruise exclusive to Fort Pickens campers. Launch at Fort Pickens Ferry Pier.
  • March 18 – Ship Islands Mississippi Author John Weaver program at 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
  • March 15 – Florida Public Archaeology Network – Northwest Region Tour de Fort Bike Event. To register visit


Guardian of the Gulf

  • Time: 11 am and 3 pm Saturdays and Sundays
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Type of Event – Tour
  • Description: Join us on a 60-minute walking tour to explore the history of Fort Pickens. Meet at Fort Pickens. Note: Tours involve walking on uneven surfaces, sandy walkways and steps, and through dark spaces. Participants are encouraged to bring their personal flashlights.

Freedom’s Fortress

  • Time: 2 pm Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Type of Event – Talk


Nature’s Pharmacy: Historical Medicinal Plants of the Northern Gulf Coast (meet in the William M. Colmer Visitor Center Lobby)

  • Time: Thursdays, Fridays at 1 PM
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Type of Event – Talk/Walk

Amazing Bayou Adventure: Exploring the Natural and Historical Wonders of Davis Bayou (meet in the William M. Colmer Visitor Center Lobby)

  • Time: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, Sundays at 1 PM (canceled on March 18)
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Type of Event = Talk/Walk

Youth Fishing Classes (Jackson County Partnered Program at the Davis Bayou Fishing Pier)

  • Time: Saturdays at 9 AM
  • Duration: 2 hour 30 minutes
  • Type: Recreational/Instructional
  • Notes: Must pre-register through Jackson County Recreation contact Neeka King or 228-217-6812

Ship Island

Guardian of the Sound: The Story of Ship Island and Fort Massachusetts (meet inside Fort Massachusetts)

  • Time: Wednesdays through Sundays at 10:15 AM and 1:15 PM
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Type of Event – Talk/Walk