This was once the fort used to protect the rear entrance to St. Augustine; only firing once upon an enemy. Built in 1740 and commemorated in 1924, matanzas in Spanish means ‘slaughters.’ We arrived by a guided-boat tour and there was a guy on “duty” to teach us some of the fascinating history. We were able to climb through a small hole, about a square foot, using a vertical ladder that leads from the Officers Quarters, bed and desk, to the Observation Deck. Once up here, we were able to see two original cannon and other replicas used for cannon firing demonstrations.
This is the Matanzas Inlet, the view from the Observation Deck, once protected by seven soldiers in a one-month rotation from a fort on Rattlesnake Island, now protected by the National Park Service. There is hiking trails available. I didn’t see any snakes or the Anastasia Island beach mouse, found only on the island, but saw plenty of the fiddler crabs (known for their one large claw) which is another popular inhabitant to these 200+ acres of salt marsh.