Fort Ord National Monument : Interesting Facts, History & Travel Guide6th April 2023
Welcome to our latest blog post on Fort Ord National Monument! This breathtaking site, located in Monterey County, California, offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Central Coast while exploring the rich history of this former military base. Fort Ord played a significant role in American military history and was once the largest training base in the world, training soldiers for conflicts from World War II to the Gulf War.
In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating history of Fort Ord National Monument, uncover some intriguing facts about this unique destination, and provide you with a comprehensive travel guide to help you plan your visit. Whether you’re a history lover, a nature lover, or just looking for a fun and educational outing, Fort Ord National Monument is sure to impress. So, join us as we explore all that this magnificent site has to offer!.
Interesting facts about Fort Ord National Monument
Some interesting facts about Fort Ord National Monument:
- Fort Ord was established in 1917 as a training ground for cavalry troops.
- During World War II, the base became the largest military training center in the world, with more than a million soldiers passing through its gates.
- In 1972, the base was selected as the site for the controversial court-martial of Lieutenant William Calley for his role in the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War.
- After the base was closed in 1994, the land was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management and designated as a national monument in 2012.
- The monument covers 14,650 acres and includes a variety of habitats, including oak woodlands, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub.
- The monument is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the endangered Smith’s blue butterfly and the threatened California red-legged frog.
- The Fort Ord National Monument is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with over 80 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
- The monument is also home to a number of historic buildings and structures, including the historic Fort Ord Chapel and the Main Post Theater.
- The Fort Ord National Monument is located just a few miles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the scenic 17-Mile Drive, making it a popular destination for visitors to the Central Coast.
- In 2021, the monument was featured in the popular Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” which was filmed on location at the historic Fort Ord Dunes State Park.
Information & History of Fort Ord National Monument
Fort Ord National Monument is a protected area located on the central coast of California in the United States. The monument was established by President Barack Obama on April 20, 2012, as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. It covers 14,651 acres of land and is located on the former site of the Fort Ord military base, which was closed in 1994.
The Fort Ord military base was established in 1917 as a training facility for soldiers during World War I. The base was named after Major General Edward O. C. Ord, who served during the Civil War and the Indian Wars. Over the years, the base was used for various military training purposes, including training for soldiers during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
After the base was closed in 1994, much of the land was transferred to the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, a local government agency responsible for redeveloping the former base. The reuse authority worked to convert the former military base into a mixed-use development that would include residential, commercial, and recreational areas.
However, there was also a growing concern that the redevelopment plans would not adequately protect the natural and cultural resources of the former base. To address these concerns, local residents and conservation groups worked to establish a national monument on the former base.
In 2012, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which established the Fort Ord National Monument. The monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching.
The monument also has a rich cultural history, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 10,000 years. The area was also used for military training during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Today, the monument serves as a reminder of the area’s history and as a natural resource for future generations to enjoy.
Travel Guide for Fort Ord National Monument
If you are planning to visit Fort Ord National Monument, here is a travel guide to help you make the most of your trip:
- Getting there: Fort Ord National Monument is located on the central coast of California, near the city of Monterey. The nearest major airport is the Monterey Regional Airport, which is about 10 miles from the monument. You can also reach the monument by car via Highway 1 or Highway 68.
- Best time to visit: The best time to visit Fort Ord National Monument is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be very busy, and the weather can be hot, so be prepared with sunscreen and plenty of water.
- Things to do: The monument offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. There are over 80 miles of trails within the monument, including the Fort Ord National Monument Trail, which is a 7-mile loop that offers views of the Monterey Bay. You can also explore the area’s rich cultural history by visiting historic sites and interpretive exhibits.
- Accommodations: There are several hotels and motels in the nearby city of Monterey, as well as campgrounds and RV parks in the surrounding area. If you are looking for a more unique lodging experience, you might consider staying in a yurt or cabin at nearby Fort Ord Dunes State Park.
- Other attractions: Fort Ord National Monument is located near several other popular attractions, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Big Sur coastline, and the historic town of Monterey. You might also consider visiting nearby Fort Ord Dunes State Park, which offers hiking trails, beach access, and a chance to explore the area’s natural beauty.
- Safety and regulations: The monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and there are rules and regulations in place to help protect the natural and cultural resources of the area. Be sure to follow all posted signs and guidelines, and practice Leave No Trace principles to help keep the monument clean and beautiful for future visitors.
Overall, Fort Ord National Monument is a beautiful and unique destination that offers a chance to explore the natural and cultural history of the central coast of California. With plenty of recreational opportunities, nearby attractions, and comfortable accommodations, it’s a great place to visit for anyone who loves the outdoors.
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Q: What is Fort Ord National Monument?
A: Fort Ord National Monument is a United States national monument located on the former Fort Ord military base in Monterey County, California. It was established on April 20, 2012 by President Barack Obama.
Q: What is the history of Fort Ord?
A: Fort Ord was a United States Army post from 1917 until its closure in 1994. During World War II, it served as a training center for over a million soldiers. After the war, it became a permanent Army post and continued to be used for training purposes until its closure.
Q: What can visitors do at Fort Ord National Monument?
A: Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities at Fort Ord National Monument, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. The monument also contains several historic sites and cultural resources, such as the Fort Ord Dunes State Park and the Army Horse Stables.
Q: Are there any restrictions on what visitors can do at Fort Ord National Monument?
A: Yes, visitors are expected to follow certain rules and regulations when visiting the monument. For example, dogs must be on a leash at all times and visitors must stay on designated trails to protect the sensitive habitat and wildlife.
Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit Fort Ord National Monument?
A: No, there is no entrance fee to visit Fort Ord National Monument. However, some activities within the monument may require a fee, such as camping or horseback riding.
Q: Can visitors camp at Fort Ord National Monument?
A: Yes, visitors can camp at the monument in designated areas. There are several campgrounds within the monument, including the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and the Marina Dunes Preserve.
Q: Is Fort Ord National Monument open year-round?
A: Yes, the monument is open year-round for visitors. However, some areas may be closed during certain times of the year for resource protection or restoration activities.
Q: Are there any guided tours available at Fort Ord National Monument?
A: Yes, the Bureau of Land Management offers guided tours of the monument throughout the year. Visitors can check the monument’s website for more information on tour schedules and reservations.
Q: Can visitors bring their own bikes or horses to the monument?
A: Yes, visitors are allowed to bring their own bikes and horses to the monument. However, they must stay on designated trails and follow all park rules and regulations.
Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.