Fort Defiance


Go To Hike Directions

“Fort Defiance in Clarksville was a fort built by Confederate Troops to control access to the City of Clarksville from the Cumberland River. It was mounted with three guns, and today visitors are able to not only see this earthen fort, but better understand why the fort was located as it was. The sweeping vistas of the City of Clarksville that one can enjoy before a tour of the fort, easily demonstrate the strategic location as you observe all of downtown Clarksville. The fort was captured by Federal troops shortly after the fall of Fort Donelson, near Dover, as Union Gunboats approached and garrisoned by the 71st Ohio Volunteers. An unglamorous surrender of the garrison put it briefly back in the hands of the Confederates, but shortly thereafter, was retaken by the Federals and remained in control of the Federals the remainder of the war.”
Anyone visiting the Fort Defiance Visitors and Interpretive Center will be able to discover not only the Civil War History but the early history of Clarksville. The Visitors and Interpretive Center is second to none, and one only need approach a display case and overhead speakers will explain what you are observing. Anyone missing this experience is missing something that is very historic and special.
This is a great example of a Metro Parks Department success. Enjoy the view and wander the paths down to the Cumberland River and back again.
Contributed by: Roger Tenney



Fort Defiance is located in Clarksville, Tennessee.  This is considered a challenging/strenous hike; due to the hills and the distance, approximately 11 miles. The hike is mostly on sidewalks or paved trails.

Suggestions for what to bring and wear:

  • Sturdy shoes or boots
  • 3 or 4 Liters of water, for locations to refill are hard to find
  • Pen or pencil with question sheet
  • A camera for taking pictures
  • Comfortable clothes

Questions to be answered on the hike:

Fort Defiance Question Sheet Download

The Trail Map:

Fort Defiance Trail Map

Other file formats (for download – right click and “Save Link As”):
Fort Defiance Trail Map
Google Earth
Fort Defiance Trail Map

We encourage feedback on all of our hikes!  Please take some time to let us know how we are doing with this form!

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