Dover, Tn — Just thirty minutes from my home, sits the Fort Donelson National Battlefield and Cemetery. It’s a historic reminder of the Civil War that I pass on my way to the beautiful Land Between The Lakes, where the motorcycle trails are beautiful.
Bikers traveling through Tennessee will find this historic site on TN Highway 79, in Dover, Tn. If you’re coming from Memphis, you will pass through the Land Between The Lakes National Preserve. Be sure to take time to ride through LBL.
Fort Donelson was a fortress that the Confederacy had built to control the Cumberland River during the Civil War. The Union Army under
the command of Ulysses S. Grant, captured the fort from the Confederate Army in 1862.
The site was a strategic post that commanded a bend on the west side of the Cumberland River just opposite Fort Henry, located on a bend in the Tennessee River.
The site was established as Fort Donelson National Military Park in 1928. It was transferred to the National Park Service from the War Department in 1933. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
The park also includes much of the original battle site, the eroded remains of the fort, and the Fort Donelson National Cemetery. The Cemetery is over 15 acres and contains 670 Union dead, reinterred in 1867.
I’ve visited this park several times and the most beautiful spot is where the park overlooks the Cumberland River, where you can see why it was such a strategic location during the war.
The National Park Service offers tours to school groups, and there’s a self guided tour available.
If you’re a history buff, it’s a must see when you’re on that next biker trip through middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
Bikers should make it a point to visit this area for the beautiful countryside. Camping, horseback riding, four wheeling, and accommodations are available. Visit Tennessee State Parks here, or Kentucky State Parks here.