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Frequently Asked Questions
Fort Knox Historic Site

  • When are you open?
    May 1 thru June 30 – Fort* and Observatory open 9am to 5pm Fort* remains open until 6pm July 1 thru August 31 – Fort * and Observatory open 9am to 6pm Fort* remains open until 7pm September 1 thru October 31 – Fort* and Observatory open 9am to 5pm Fort* remains open until 6pm or sunset (whichever is earlier) October 31 thru April 30 – Fort* and Observatory closed; Fort Grounds open daily 9:00 to sunset weather permitting.
  • How much does it cost?
  • Do I need a reservation to visit the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory?
    Reservations are NOT required, but we recommend calling in advance if your group has more than 20 persons, especially on weekends. If we are notified of overlapping large groups, we can help deconflict groups which will provide a better visit for everyone.
  • Are the Fort & Penobscot Narrows Observatory (PNO) handicap accessible?
    We are here to support everyone’s visit to the Fort and the Observatory. Accessing the Observatory: The Penobscot Narrows Observatory is fully wheelchair accessible including to the very top level of the viewing decks. From the PNO parking lot, guests walk or use a wheelchair on a 350 ft paved path to the base entrance. From the interior base, guests take an elevator from Level 1 to Level 2. Once the elevator reaches Level 2, guests ascend two flights of stairs while less able guests may use the wheelchair lift elevator to the very top of the Observatory which has a 360 degree viewing station. For safety reasons, only 2 persons with a mobility or physical disability are permitted at the top of the Observatory at the same time. It is also requested for guests to transfer from their personal wheelchair to a park provided wheelchair if possible. Accessing the Fort: Individuals in motorized wheelchairs usually have no difficulty navigating the pea-gravel paths and inclines in the Fort, however guests with non-motorized wheelchairs may find it challenging. Sometimes guests use the grass next to the path for an easier ride. Once past the sally port entrance, the stone paver path allows access to the center of the Fort itself. Unfortunately, whereas the fort was built in the late 1800s, there are portions that will not be accessible, such as spiral stairs to the roof and 2-step alley. Please let us know if you need any assistance and we will help to the best of our ability.
  • Are there group rates?
    There are no discounts for group rates but we encourage you to consider purchasing a Maine State Park Pass. See details at the link below: Vehicle Annual Day-Use Season Pass - $105 – Admits the pass holder who signed the pass and occupants of the pass holder's vehicle, up to a 17-passenger maximum, to day-use facilities Individual Annual Day-Use Season Pass - $55.00 – Allows ONLY the individual pass holder free day-use. Senior Citizen Annual Day Use Vehicle Pass (65 and over) - $45.00 – Allows all occupants of up to a 17 passenger vehicle free day-use. (Senior Citizens must always be in the vehicle.) Proof of age is required, and seniors must be present to purchase. Business Vehicle Pass (one-time, day-use) – Sold in blocks of 25 for $250.00. To purchase or for more information, call 207-287-2209
  • Are there school field trip rates?
    The Fort and grounds (and other Maine state parks) are free for school-sanctioned field trips between Sep 1st and June 30th. However, the Observatory elevator ticket is still $2.50 as it is owned by the Maine DoT. Please contact us at for additional information regarding any payments, counting sheets, parking, and tour docent information.
  • Are there tour guides?
    Friends of Fort Knox has both paid and volunteer tour docents in the fort on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday or as available on other days. Please ask staff for additional information or look for individuals in the fort itself with a Friends of Fort Knox name tag. As many of our docents are volunteers, their schedules may vary. We try our best to accommodate groups, but our list of volunteers can be short. Like most non-profits, Friends of Fort Knox is always looking for more volunteers! Please note schedules and availability may change at the last minute and on-site docents are not guaranteed at all times or days. With advance notice, tour docents may be available for a private tour at $30/hr with a minimum of one hour. Please note that it is possible that we may have to cancel your private tour due to unforeseen circumstances. Though we will always try our best to find an alternative docent, we reserve the right to cancel a private tour due to a lack of available docent staff. Another option is a self-guided tour. With 28 free Interpretative Panels posted throughout the park, you can learn and explore Fort Knox at your own pace. In addition, guests are welcome to borrow printed guides from the gift shop. We ask that you return hand-outs at the end of your visit. If you have any additional questions or would like to reserve a private tour with a docent, please let us know and we'd be happy to help!
  • Are pets allowed?
    Pets are not permitted in the PNO building, but are welcome everywhere else (Visitor’s Center, gift shop, Fort itself, and grounds) however they must remain on a leash while on Fort Knox Park property. Please pick up after your pet. We have extra bags in the Visitor’s Center. Please feel free to ask for more! For their safety, DO NOT leave your pets unattended in your vehicle. Water is available next to the Visitor’s Center restrooms.
  • Can I park my RV at Fort Knox or Penobscot Narrows Observatory?
    Fort Knox is for day use ONLY although it has oversize vehicle parking for buses and RVs, but spaces may be limited. There is NO overnight parking at Fort Knox Historic Site. You are welcome to call prior to your visit to ask about availability. Please follow the gate attendant’s directions.
  • Private Ghost tour?
    First, every special event at Fort Knox requires a permit from the state of Maine including private ghost tours. The simplest, most cost-effective way is to join “207 Paranormal” which hosts fundraising tours with Friends of Fort Knox (FoFK) throughout the summer. Please remember that FoFK’s mission is as a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the Fo rt and enhancing its educational, cultural and economic value for the people of Maine. Admittedly, our knowledge of Paranormal & associated organizations is limited so we encourage you to reach out to our friends at 207 Paranormal for any additional information. If you’d like to do your own private tour, below are some of the terms and conditions which are subject to change: Special Permits must be processed through FoFK and approved by the state of Maine. Events that generate commercial gains may require an approved Commercial License Agreement between the business and the state which may include drones, video, films, etc. Certificate of Insurance ($1M Liability coverage with “Maine Bureau of Park & Lands” “Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry” and “Friends of Fort Knox” as named additional insured) and $300 deposit is required NLT 10 days prior to the event. Deposits will be refunded after the event; assuming no outstanding charges. If your team cancels the event, the deposit is non-refundable. FoFK staff are required by the state lease agreement to supervise your event. You are responsible for your guests & staff at all times. Your venue fee begins upon arrival of your staff until the gate closes. Between 7:30 pm-12:30 am: A flat $600 fee for the first 30 people with additional charges for each additional person. We reserve the right to limit the number of your attendees due to staff-to-guest ratios. Beginning at 12:30 am, FoFK will charge $25 per 15 min increments until the parking lot gate is shut, after the last member of your team & guests departs. Full payment is due upon arrival. FoFK reserves the right to refuse any event. All terms and conditions are subject to change. Contact us for details/additional information. If you have any additional questions or need more information, please feel free to reach out to us again.
  • Is there a fee for weddings/Family gatherings?
    Great news! No, there is no extra fee for a wedding or family gathering. However, there are standard park fees that are required for entrance to Fort Knox for ALL guests (including the bride & groom). Prices vary depending on residence and age. Generally, parties of more than 20 are encouraged to make advance arrangements. Fort Knox has pavilions for rent as well.
  • Are the Pavilions for rent? PNO, South, Inside Fort
    We are happy to help you reserve a Pavilion for a specific time or event, but if no one has reserved the Pavilion, you are welcome to use the Pavilion for free! Pavilions are NOT held until deposit is received-due at time of booking, Non-refundable within 7 days of the event. The PNO Pavilion sits up on the hillside overlooking the Penobscot river. Access to the PNO pavilion from the parking lot (and bathrooms next to the parking lot), is a 500 ft, 5 min walk up a winding somewhat steep paved path. You can also walk straight down/up the hill for fewer steps. This may be a challenge for some with disability issues although 2-3 vehicles can access. 60-70 people with 9 picnic tables - (7) 8’tables & (2) 6’ handicap tables with 6-8 people/table. 5 min walking winding path to bathrooms; about 500 ft. Vehicle Access Grill Rental beautiful view of river & bridge Walk down to the PNO Electric with 3 outlets If you click this set of numbers into google search, it will show you the exact location of the PNO Pavilion. 44.561603127884126, -68.8047216850668 The South Pavilion which has a very pretty view but with flatter terrain (off to the right is the view of the river, closer to the Fort itself but with less covered space. If you click this set of numbers into the google search engine, it will show you the exact location of the South Pavilion. 44.56545091133876, -68.80284396260333 24-30 people with 4 picnic tables easy access to Fort itself plenty of picnic tables in the vicinity flatter terrain no electric Finally, if you click this set of numbers into the google search engine, it will show you the exact location of Fort Knox's parade grounds. 44.56628856015243, -68.8019528408296
  • Do you have picnic tables and grills?
    There are many picnic tables throughout the park. The PNO rental has an option for guests to rental of a 3 x 5 gas grill . Clean, fresh double propane tanks with PNO rental.
  • Can I fly my drone at Fort Knox?
    The general use of drones (UAS) is prohibited in Maine State Parks, Historic Sites, or DACF Boat Launches without direct oversight and guidance of an approved law enforcement agency or by the issue of a Special Activity Permit. Commercial Use Commercial use of drones (UAS) is prohibited. Special Activity Use Under certain rare circumstances may be issued. Individuals wishing to pursue the use of drones in a Maine State Park can apply for a Special Activity Permit (allow 2-5 business days to process). The issue of a Special Activity Permit will be processed through the Parks Regional Office containing a full description of the activity along with an appropriate Certificate of Liability Insurance listing the State of Maine, Bureau of Parks and Lands, and the specific park, as co-insured. The permit will be valid only after the Regional Manager’s signature has been obtained. Contact: Any persons operating drones over Fort and park property will be asked to immediately stop the use of their drone. If they are non-compliant, they will be asked to leave the park and if required, staff will seek the support of local law enforcement.
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