Courage Trail is a 0.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Butler, Missouri that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Courage trail loops around restored prairie typically found in southwestern Missouri, and it contains historic markers depicting the first African American union soldier encounter with southern troops. The surface is gravel and accommodates wheel chair access. This loop trail around the site includes wayside exhibits with information about the battle. The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film Glory. Battle of Island Mound State Historic site encompasses Fort Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry were camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound. Come, walk the interpretive trail loop and learn about this battle as well as the effect that the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry has on later Union decisions to allow African-American units to fight.This site contains 40 acres and includes the site of the Toothman Farm where the First Kansas Colored Volunteers barricaded themselves into what they dubbed Fort Africa. The site where the battle itself took place is about mile south of the present acreage and on private property.
It was a short hike, but the history was so well done, especially as a retired Army General led us along it.
The rating is based on historic significance of the site. New park in the state. Nicely done. quick access off interstate. Stop on way through.