Columbus-Belmont State Park is a 156-acre site that played a fascinating role in the War Between the States. This is the site of fortifications built by the Confederates and later occupied by Union forces. The 1861 Battle of Belmont, a raid fought to test the strength of this Confederate stronghold, marked the opening of the Union's Western Campaign. It was also Union General Ulysses S. Grant's first active engagement in the Civil War. Some of the artillery, which shelled the Union troops, and the six-ton anchor that held the great chain stretching across the river, are on display in the park.
Fabulous! We are hikers, but we also appreciate a challenging walk through history. We're camped here at the park. This park is VERY well maintained. Granted, it's not as long or as far of a walk, but it's also very hot this time of year. The heat index reached 108 today!
I live in the area and have walked this trail hundreds of times as a kid. For the majority of the trail you are walking through trenches that were hand dug by the Confederate soldiers who were expecting a major battle with the Union, whose nearest fort was only 20 miles to the North. This location is also known for the Trail of Tears crossing of the Mississippi River.
It's not a very good trail for hikers (being as short as it is) but you will have some great views from the bluffs looking over the Mississippi River and into Missouri. I highly recommend the trail (as well as Columbus-Belmont State Park) for history buffs, sightseers, and tourists. There's a campground, playground, museum, restaurant, gift shop, barbecue pits and public bathrooms on the premises. There's also a boat ramp (onto the Mississippi River) less than a quarter of a mile away.