On the Kentucky shores of the Mississippi River is a 156 acre site of the “Gibraltar of the West”, a major American Civil War Battle of Belmont, a Confederate Fort of Columbus, a significant strategic site for both North and South in gaining and keeping control of the Mississippi River. Take the interpretive trail through some of the most intricate hand built trench systems. Some trenches are more than 20 feet deep and kept the Union troops from attacking by land. View the massive chain and anchor the South stretched across the Mississippi to Belmont, Missouri, to block the passage of Union gunboats and supply vessels, and the “Lady Polk,” a giant experimental cannon named for Polk’s wife. At 10 ft long and 15,000 pounds, the imposing gun with 128-pound conical projectiles could fire up to three miles. Ulysses S. Grant was the Union General who forced the evacuation of the Confederates in 1862. This fortification was the site of the 1861 Battle of Belmont, a raid fought to test the strength of the confederate stronghold. Facilities include 38 campsites with utility hookups, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, 4 picnic shelters, playground, hiking trails, activity center, meeting rooms, dance floor, stage, banquet facilities, kitchen, miniature golf course, historic sites, museum, snack bar, gift shop, and interpretive displays are all available.
Top Five Things to Do
1. Rest and Relax at the beautiful campground overlooking the Mississippi River
2. Visit the park Snack Bar for the Best soft serve ice cream and Fantastic Quickie Dogs.
3. Hike the trails running through the Civil War earthworks.
4. See the massive anchor and chain that was strategically stretched across the Mississippi during the Civil War
5. Visit the Civil War Museum that was once used as a civil war hospital
Columbus-Belmont is part of the Kentucky Great River Road, where you’ll find exciting events and happenings in the four KY counties bordering the Mississippi River.
Hours of Operation
April 1-Oct. 15 open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Winter open 8 a.m. to dark.
Museum by appointment only; Camping & park open year round.