Home Education Gulf Islands National Seashore June Programs

Gulf Islands National Seashore June Programs

The Fort Barrancas Visitor Center and Fort Barrancas will open to the public for the 2024 season on Friday, May 24. The visitor center and fort will be open from 9 am–3:30 pm Fridays through Sundays. The last entry to Fort Barrancas is at 3:30 pm and the fort closes at 4 pm.


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 where 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 the fort’s entrances. All programs are provided free of charge, entrance station fees may apply.

Reminder the Fort Pickens Visitor Center is Florida is closed. For questions, please visit the entrance to the Historic Fort Pickens. William M. Colmer Visitor Center in Mississippi is staffed from 9 AM to 4 PM. Passport Stamps can be collected at visitor centers and the park store located inside Fort Pickens opens daily from 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Current park day use hours are 5 AM to 8 PM in fee areas.

The Pensacola City Bay Ferry Service will begin March 1 operating round trips on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday transportation to Fort Pickens. The Ship Island Excursions ferry summer service to Ship Island began May 18, operating every day.

Please note all media are required to coordinate arrangements before entering the park or riding the Pensacola City Bay Ferry and/or interviewing with staff and/or visitors. For more information about our media rules of engagement. No drones are allowed in the park. Press Kit – Gulf Islands National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

Special Programs


June 1 Trails Day Cleanup Event

Location: Naval Live Oaks Area Florida

Time: 8:45 AM to 11 AM

Description: In celebration of National Trails Day, join Gulf Islands National Seashore for National Trails Day 2024! Volunteers will enjoy beautiful ocean and forest views while they remove litter and debris, clean local trails, and protect native habitats. Gloves and other materials needed to participate are provided. Closed-toe shoes are required. This cleanup involves walking on trails, both with a boardwalk and not, and some potentially uneven walkways. As a result, it is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.

Signup required: www.volunteer.gov

June 1 Jackson County Sand Jam

Type: Environmental and recreation festival with stations

Partner: Jackson County Parks and Recreation  Mississippi

Location: Pascagoula Beach Front Park

Description: Join us for a day of Family Fun as we celebrate our Mississippi wildlife, habitats, and heritage. Free kayaking, fishing, art, games, and so much more

June 8 Mississippi Barrier Island Cleanup at Horn Island

Time: 8:30 AM to 1 PM

Details: Volunteers will meet at the Ocean Springs Harbor boat launch at 8:30 AM and will return to the boat launch by 1 PM. Transportation to the island will be provided by Mississippi State University. Boats WILL DEPART by 9 a.m. Volunteers must be on board at 9 AM.

Registration: Barrier Island Cleanup Registration (google.com)

June 15 Journey to Freedom on the Bay Ferry Program

Location: On board Pensacola City Bay Ferry in Pensacola Florida

Time: 10 AM to 12 PM

Tickets required: https://www.pensacolabaycityferry.com/fort-pickens-history-tour/

Description: Celebrate Juneteenth with a National Park Service guide on a cruise to Fort Pickens to uncover Pensacola’s best-kept secret—the Underground Railroad! In the 1800s, enslaved African Americans crossed Pensacola Bay to free themselves from bondage. Learn about those who resisted American slavery and how they transformed a nation.

June 29 Free Fishing Clinic at Fort Pickens

Location: Fort Pickens Ferry Plaza

Time: 9 AM – 1 PM

Description: Learn basic fishing techniques and ethical angling practices through the International Game Fish Association’s Passports to Fishing Program open to all ages. All fishing equipment will be provided for use during the event. Fishing is catch-and-release only.

Anglers 16 years and older must have a valid Florida fishing license.

Registration link: Learn-to-Fish Clinic Registration and Hold Harmless Gulf Islands National Seashore 2024 – Formstack




Naval Live Oaks

Kayak with a Ranger

Dates: Friday and Saturday beginning June 7

Time: 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM takeoffs

Location: Naval Live Oaks Area (1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway)

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Type of Event = Water program

Description: Over 80 percent of Gulf Islands National Seashore is a marine habitat! Paddle around Santa Rosa Sound on this 90-minute guided program to explore the region’s natural and human history. Kayaks are provided free of charge. Closed-toe shoes and a life vest are required. Limited to first 10 people.

Fort Pickens  

Guardian on the Gulf  

Days: Daily at 2 PM beginning June 7

Duration: 30 minutes

Type of Event = Talk

Description: Join us for a 30-minute talk to learn about the history of Fort Pickens. All programs will take place at historic Fort Pickens. Meet at the Fort Pickens Sally Port.

The Civil War Soldier  

Days: Friday and Saturday beginning June 7

Time: 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM

Duration: 30 minutes

Type of Event = Talk

Description: What was life like for the soldiers, sailors, and civilians on Pensacola Bay during the American Civil War? Learn how human lives were touched by war in this 20-minute talk. Meet at the Fort Pickens Sally Port.

The Union Forever Tour

Days: Sunday, Monday, Thursday beginning June 9

Time: 11 AM

Duration: 60 minutes

Type of Event = Walk/Talk

Description: The story of Fort Pickens during the American Civil War is one of the best-kept secrets in United States history! Walk with a guide through Fort Pickens on a 60-minute tour to learn about the fort during the Civil War. Meet at the Fort Pickens Sally Port.

Secrets of the Seashore

Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 3 PM

Location: Langdon Beach Pavilion

Duration: 30 minutes

Type of Event = Talk

Description: Join a guide for a 30-minute talk to discover the incredible natural world along the Gulf of Mexico.

Life on a Barrier Island Tour

Days: Sunday and Monday at 10 AM beginning June 9

Location: Fort Pickens Visitor Center (green and white building)

Duration: 60 minutes

Type of Event = Walk/Talk

Description: From sand dunes to beaches to estuarine waters, Santa Rosa Island is full of life! Follow a guide on this 60-minute walking tour in search of the plants, animals, and people that live on the barrier island.

Fort Barrancas

Bastion on the Bluff

Days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday beginning June 7

Time: 2 PM

Duration: 60 minutes

Type of Event = Walk/Talk

Description: The brick walls of Fort Barrancas loom large over Pensacola Bay. Join a guide on a 60-minute walking tour to discover the powerful and complex history of one of the most storied forts in the United States. Meet at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center.