Hi, I moved here a month ago but was reading your forum for several months prior in Vancouver and thought it was so funny, I decided that I would like it here and so far, I love living here. I think it was second fort someone posted pictures of in June, but I am having difficulty finding it. People tell me it is now inaccessible due to the port expansion. Does anyone have directions to it?
ya you can reach go out to ridly and there is a big sign that says something about tresspassing just go past there its right before the bridge before the corner…there is a gate you can see from the road. its in there… hope that help…i need a new beer now
The port expansion makes it harder to get to as that was the easiest route. You used to be able to just park there and walk the tracks. One of the forts is very near that end. You can access them all from the other side though. Drive out to Ridley island. Just before you get to the terminal there is a small bridge. Just before that bridge is a sign on the right that is just off the road. It says something like “No tresspassing… etc…” There is a small gate there I think.
If you go up into that area you will find some fort buildings there. There are two large gun emplacements and a couple of smaller buildings. BE CAREFULL! Just watch where you step. Around the forts are any number of dangers. Holes in the ground… old barbed wire… etc… BE CAREFULL! That said… wear some tall rubber boots and you can go right inside the gun emplacements. There are still metal racks on the walls that used to hold ammunition. When you are at these emplacements take the time to look up the mountain. WAY up on the hill is another smaller fort. There used to be a trolley that went all the way up the mountain. It will be hard to see this time of year with all the overgrowth.
As a side note… if you drive up the mountain on the Rupert side, and know where to step off into the woods, you can see the concrete blocks that used to hold the motors that would hoist that trolley up the mountain. In that area the tracks are still there… there are metal bed frames and the remains of a house of sorts. I haven’t been up there in years, but the last time I was there I found an old “White star” cola bottle in near perfect condition in the moss growth under the tracks. You could even read the label and see that it was bottled in Prince Rupert.
Back to the Ridley forts… if you have the time and want to really explore get down to the railroad tracks. BE AWARE… you may run into a train along those tracks, although with the contstruction I don’t know if they are running along there or not. If you walk the tracks you will come across little searchlight shacks that still overlook the ocean. Walk even further and you’ll come to the small gun-emplacements. Explore around, but if you go into the woods be careful where you step. There are large deposits of barbed wire tucks in around the tree’s and stuff where they were left. That stuff never deteriorates. I swear you could just unravel the stuff and re-use it.
If/When you make it to these smaller emplacements, look across the harbor to Digby island. Try to imagine that there used to be submarine nets across the harbor. On Digby island there are forts as well. Once again, I haven’t been there in years (due to my lack of access to a boat) but the last time I was there you could still see the communications wire in the tree’s. There is a wooden road still intact in many places just inside the tree line. If you know where to go you can get to the forts there. The complex there is in great shape. No gun emplacements, just a number of buildings tucked into the hill. You can still see the bolts in the concrete though where Anti-Aircraft weapons were bolted down. The view from there is excellent.
Probably more than you wanted… but there you go.
thank you for your excellent directons. I found the fort on the Ridley Island side. I should have worn rubber boots and taken a flashlight because it felt very eery and they were too flooded to go into them but next time, I will be a little braver.
CrazyMike, that’s gotta be one of the best posts ever on HTMF. Thanks!
Those Forts have always been interesting to me. I even ordered a bunch of documents from the National Archives on them. Believe it or not they were still classified and I had to apply to de-classify them. I found that cool because the fact that they were still classified meant that no one outside the military had accessed them since they were archived. It kind of made me feel like an explorer of history. The reports I got were interesting and explained a little about how they lived out there and the terrible conditions. There are a TON more reports still waiting for someone to request them but I haven’t ordered any since the birth of my son when money became a little tighter. One day I plan to get more but they are pricey since they aren’t on micro film and I have to blindly order copies based on cryptic descriptions of what’s in the file.
My ultimate goal was to create some sort of website about the forts with pictures and scanned copies of the Archival documents. Like I said though… money became an issue and frankly I couldn’t create a website if my life depended on it…hehe
The one up on the hill on the Ridley side is neat. I camped out there one night. It’s a bit of a hike in there but it’s a neat place to camp.
I’ve never been up to that one but I hear it’s pretty decent. A friend of mine and I were going to do the hike but it was summer and the overgrowth was too nasty. We planned to wait for early fall, but then never got back to do it.