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Russian Fort Elizabeth Kauai

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UPDATE JUNE 2022: The Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park has been renamed the Paʻulaʻula State Historic Site to emphasize the location’s role in Native Hawaiian history.

The remains of the Russian Fort Elizabeth, built in the early 1800s by the Russian-American Company, can still be seen at the Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park. The ruins overlook the town of Waimea and the mouth of the Waimea River. The remnants consist of the fort wall made of basalt boulders stacked over an earthen embankment and the foundations of the buildings that once existed inside the fort wall, according to a display at the park.

Visitors can take a self-guided walk around and through the remains. The walk takes about 20 minutes and reveals the fort was actually quite large (300 feet in diameter). There’s not much to see except the embankments (and beautiful views of the Kauai coastline at Waimea). However, the star layout of the fort becomes evident when seen from the air (as seen at Google Maps below).

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Fort Elizabeth was one of three Russian forts built on the island of Kauai between 1815 and 1817. The forts were built under the direction of Georg Anton Schaeffer, an agent with the Russian American Company who intended to use the forts for trade purposes for his company. However, those plans soon fell through and the fort was abandoned.

The park has restrooms and a display with information about the fort (photos below). It sits just off Highway 50 before you enter the town of Waimea. There is no admission fee, nor are there any staff at the fort.

Location at Google Maps

Russian Fort Elizabeth Photos

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

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Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Russian Fort Elizabeth

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