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Perry Cuskey

Fort Donelson Hike Update

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Hi folks,

Just a quick update here. We're still set for November 5th on our hike at Fort Donelson with historian Tim Smith, and Mona has pointed out that if you plan on going, it's probably a good idea to start thinking about making your hotel reservations. Deer season will be in progress while we're over there, and Mona tells me that rooms in the area will probably start filling up soon as a result. 

I've not been to the Fort Donelson area before so I can't really speak to good hotel options. The local hotel options are pretty sparse if you haven't looked yet, but Trip Advisor gives a four-star rating (21 reviews) to the Dover Inn, just outside the park. And Mona says that it has received thumbs-up from several of her reenactor friends who have stayed there. This would far and away be your closest option. 

I also did a search on a 30-mile radius around the park on Travelocity, and found over 25 hotels, and well over 50 at 35-miles out. They range in price from "Not bad at all," to "I want to rent it not buy it!" So I would recommend doing some research on your own. And of course, any input from folks who have stayed around there before is welcome. :)

On the hike, Tim has told me that we will likely be spending most of our time outside the park on private land and property acquired by the Civil War Trust, as a large area of the battlefield has not been preserved. So if you want to see the park itself, you will probably want to make time to do so the day before or after our hike with Tim. 

More details soon, and I should also have the payment link up pretty soon as well. Although after the problems we had with payments not going through last year, I may just have everyone pay on the morning of the hike. Yankee currency only, folks. Sorry. :)

Perry 

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Russell, past hikes have started at 8 a.m. and gone until around 5 p.m., so it's probably safe to plan on an all-day hike. We'll break for lunch for about an hour around noon. As for local campgrounds, I did a quick search on camping around the park, and there appear to be several options around Dover, but they look like RV parks with 'tents allowed,' so it might depend on what sort of camping you're looking to do. My experience with RV parks is that they usually park their tent-campers on an open patch of grass and wish you well. :) 

Here's a link though - 

http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/tennessee/dover

And a link to Paris Landing State Park, about 15 miles from Fort Donelson -

http://tnstateparks.com/parks/campground/paris-landing-campgrounds

Lastly, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (Hunting is allowed during certain times, including Archery hunting the weekend we'll be around there according what what I read) - 

http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/

Perry

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We have tent camped at Lake Barkley State Park at the Land Between the Lakes, very clean & affordable (47 minutes away, but not bad), only problem was the ground itself is on a down-slope, therefore level ground is a little rare, making it not so much comfortable for a tent, but if you have an RV or Pop-Up Camper, shouldn't be any problems. There is also a little further down from Land Between the Lakes, going towards the area where Fort Henry is (underwater), a museum & cultural center that was pretty neat, detailing the history of the area and all that fun stuff. 

-Paul 

 

 

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Ok Dover Inn is in dover real close to the battlefield and visitor center.Rooms are 60.00/nite for 1,65.00/night for 2 70.00 for 4.They also have cabins.Im going to stay there.If you do call soon as all they rooms around will fill up for deer season.There are several in Paris, and Clarksville,TN as Perry stated just search and pick what you like but i would encourage yall to go ahead and do it ASAP.As to lunch..I'll letyall know soon because as Perry stated were going to be off the park and it depends..if tim can plan ..where we will bend if there is safe place to leave my truck.later on that. Mona  p.s. as to camping.. paul has the experience...with the different locations..

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Sorry if this has already been asked and answered, but what kind of terrain are we generally looking at for this hike?

I mean . . . on a scale from 1 to Oh heck no!  :)

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I've only ever been on the Park roads and down by the bluffs near the River Batteries/Eagle Viewing Area, needless to say those weren't exactly flat land to drive on, given the winding roads and different elevations. But I do recall someone saying that Tim will be taking people onto Private Land and whatnot, so your guess is as good as mine as to how it is off Park owned land. ;)

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First off I want to state my objection to the way Fort Donelson revisionists are portraying the battle…Oh, wait a minute, wrong battle.

Michele, not to worry. The terrain is milder than Shiloh’s ravines and if you can navigate through Dill Branch there is nothing that difficult here.

I saw Tim last night as he gave a talk to the Rocky Mountain Civil War Roundtable and when he mentioned the hikes that we do with him there were several interest parties and perhaps a couple of them will work it in their schedules to join us.

Not knowing for sure what Tim has planned but I have been to Fort Donelson six or seven times because great-great-grandpa was there. The outbreak fighting pretty much moved along the Wynn’s Ferry Road and that is an existing paved road. However, to the south of the Wynn’s Ferry Road is where McArthur’s brigade retreated from ridge to ridge as Forrest’s cavalry flanked them and McArthur ran out of ammunition. It is in that same area that Cruft’s brigade from Lew Wallace’s division reinforced McClernand but ended up fighting by themselves south of the Wynn’s Ferry Road. I have walked in that area and there is no cause for alarm.

The Civil War Trust recently purchased property in this area so we will be able to see the various spots where McArthur formed his lines and probably where Cruft was engaged also. The most difficult part of the hiking is going to be the elevation changes with the steepness depending on what route Tim uses but nothing is as steep as the ravines at Shiloh.

On a scale of 1 to Oh heck no! I would give it a five due to the hill climbing. The hike will be closer to climbing hills than bushwhacking through ravines.

Even though some of the battle area is developed you can still get a good picture of the breakout attempt and the positions of the Union troops.

Hank

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Ok I found out what was going on...dover inn is taking reservations for Nov..just tell them "your with my group" this is a family run inn and I had talked with Mike and you spoke with debbie...when I called and spoke with her she said the mixup was due to ..them not having pages for their reservation book and she was telling people to call back after a date the printing comp told her the pages would be delivered and mike was taking reservations in a notebook..she was afraid if she did like mike it would get lost..but they have the pages now (she remembered transferring me over last nite)so call back...sorry for the confussion

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You don't hear things like this often anymore in the world of online hotel reservations.  But good to know the SDG group is being accommodated. :)

 

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Hi I spoke with Tim last evening and he said that we need to pack in lunch as we will be trekking through residential areas(this is not Shiloh) and really there would not be  good safe spot to leave the mess wagon.Also.there will not be ANY time to wait on people to catch up he stated we are going to have to keep up a good pace to get over this battlefield.AND he wanted yall to know that there are going to be MANY steep ,steep climbs...He estimates this will be around 7 hr.I asked him to check(he said he was going up there in next few days)where would be a good place for us to eat that evening...Bruce is looks like you wont have to help me this year.Im coming up that morning only a 2.5 hr drive,but i will stay sat nite so if yall are going to gather for breakfast let me know. Mona

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Bruce,

We should be there by mid-day Friday.  At least somewhere in the neighborhood . . .

 

And going off what Mona said, I think Hank LIED to me!  :o

 

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Ha, Mona, I can take the hint . . . especially since I know I'm the one who puts the DRAG in bedraggled. :)

I plan to be there in November, but I'll likely cheer on the hiking group from the sidelines.

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