by Paige Townley
on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 11:55pm.
In Fort Morgan, tranquility isn't just a word. It's a way of life.
There is perhaps no other milirary site in Alabama more significant than Fort Morgan. Although construction of Fort Morgan didn't begin until 1819, the site's military history atually dates back to the 1780's when it was originally home to Fort Bower - a fort involved in the War of 1812. Fort Morgan was completed in 1834 and has guarded Mobile Bay ever since. "The fort is essentially a time capsule because there has been very little encrouchment on the site", says Mike Baily, Fort Morgan's site and education director. "You can look at the fort and almost see the evolution of American seacoat fortification history, from 1819 when the fort began all the way to WWII."
The largest permanent military base in the state between 1898 and 1924, Fort Morgan was active during four wars: the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World Wars I and II. Today, visitors can tour the National Historic Landmark to explore its unique military history. "Because the site has been so greatly preserved for years, visitors can essentially see the fort in the same condition the army left it in in the 1940's" Baily says. "From my point of view, that's one thing that makes it so special: you can walk in and know where something specific happened on a certain day. There is such a sense of history as you walk through the fort."
For decades, Fort Morgan has served as a safe haven for wildlife thanks to the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Almost 7,000 acres of the Fort Morgan Peninsula comprise the wildlife habitat of Bon Secour, which literally means "safe harbor" in French. Originally, the refuge was established for migratory birds that travel south in the fall and north in the spring. The area is a significant resting and feeding area for birds during migration after ( or before ) the long stretch of flying over the Gulf of Mexico. Also protected at the refuge are endangered species such as loggerhead sea turtles and the Alabama beach mouse. Thanks to the refuge's extensive trail system, visitors can hike through the area to observe the varieties of wildlife. "We have more sea turtle nests here in Fort Morgan than anywhere else in Alabama," said Brittany Petersen of the refuge." And because Fort Morgan has the natural dune system, we are the last remaining home of the Alabama beach mouse."
SPORT & RELAXATION
While Fort Morgan may be best known for its historic fort and wildlife refuge, sport and relaxation don't trail far behind. Much of the peninsula's land is federally protected wildlife habitat, and what's not is much less dense than the nearby cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, making for a calmer and quieter retreat. "Here in Fort Morgan, instead of noisy crowds and heavy traffic, you're more likely to hear the sounds of waves crashing and wildlife scampering," states local resident and owner of As You Wish Weddings, Candy Randall, "It feels a world away from the tourist spots just down the road."
When not enjoying a hike through the wildlife refuge, lounging on the beach, or swimming in the Gulf's bright blue waters, there's plenty of activity to be enjoyed. Fort Morgan offers a variety of recreational fishing opportunities both in the Gulf and the Bay with a variety of public boat ramps and commercial marinas. For those who prefer the greens instead of the water, Fort Morgan is home to 63 holes of golf between three distinct golf courses-all within just a few miles. "Fort Morgan may be small, but the recreational opportunities here are seemingly endless," adds Fort Morgan resident and Sassy Bass Beach Grill manager Adam Williams. "A vacation here offers much more than just beach or pool time-you can hike, bike, play tennis, play golf and fish-just to name a few. And all without the hassle of traffic and crowds."
Perhaps no destination in Fort Morgan embodies the spirit of the area more than Kiva Dunes. Named after an American Indian word describing physical and spiritual renewal, Kiva Dunes offers the ultimate seaside setting on 280 acres of secluded property on the Fort Morgan Peninsula. Warm days, spectacular views, and cool sea breezes can be enjoyed from any of the resorts luxurious Gulf front homes, quaint cottages, and modern condominiums. And only at Kiva Dunes can guests enjoy a private beach. Outlined by unspoiled sand dunes and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Kiva's beach is 3,000 feet of pristing white sand. Just steps away is its world-renowned championship golf course. Designed by US Open Champion Jerry Pate, the Kiva Dunes Golf Course has been ranked the number one golf course in Alabama-and one of the top courses in the country-time and again for its challenging design and unforgetable coastal atmosphere. "When Kiva Dunes was developed in 1995, it completely changed the landscape of golfing on the Gulf Coast," says Tim McCrory, real estate director at Kiva Dunes. "With its incredible location between the Gulf and the Bay, Kiva Dunes is literally a one-of-a-kind resort"
Although already known as a premier destinatation in Fort Morgan, Kiva Dunes is adding to its appealing amenties with a $1.5 million dollar golf course renovation-slated to be completed in October 2015-and the construction of a Gulf-side Pool Pavilion, which is scheduled to open in 2016. "The time could not be more perfect to invest in the Fort Morgan and Kiva Dunes real estate market than it is right now," Tim says. "Now is the time to buy for anyone who wants to experience all that Kiva Dunes and Fort Morgan have to offer"
For more information about Kiva Dunes or the Fort Morgan area, contact Tim McCrory at 251.540.7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org