Columbus Belmont State Park, Kentucky (Part 2)


IMG_3523We were in this beautiful state park from June 15 to June 20, 2016.  Part 1 is dedicated to the drive here. Part 2 will be about the actual grounds and two other places we visited. Part 3 will contain the Civil War history we learned while we were here. The most notable thing we learned was how pivotal Kentucky was to the North (they originally were going to remain neutral) and how important this particular battle was – although every battle ground we have visited, we seem to walk away with that impression. One thing we now know, it’s best to really learn the history up close and personal! 

We are trying to visit as many State and Federal Parks while in Kentucky, that means we’re not driving very far from each location. Generally that means, a short drive and a fun day! But as you can imagine, that was not the case after the harrowing journey here. Our camp hosts, James and Christine, were wonderful and very friendly. Bill and James hit it off and they talked for over an hour after the torrential rain and hail storm. James told me where the walking path was, so I headed off for a good walk. It had been so dry, the rain was welcomed and the ground soaked it up.

I walked around the park, took pictures, read about the Civil War battle fought here November 6-7, 1861, and was just in awe. Here is a sampling of its beauty from that and our subsequent walks around the park:

The view from the walking trail as I left the campground

The view from the walking trail as I left the campground

Quaint museum with good 8 minute movie and excellent displays to explain the history

This quaint museum was just up the hill from the first picture in this post.  There is a good 8 minute movie and excellent displays which contain rich history.

Nice signage with a few historical remnants from the battle.

Nice signage with a few historical remnants from the battle.

As you walk up and around the museum, you can the view of the Mississippi River.

As you walk up and around the museum, you can the view of the Mississippi River. This sign also talks about the 1811 and 1812 earthquakes.

Beautiful gazebo gives you excellent river views.

Beautiful gazebo gives you excellent river views.

Nice signage for remnants of the war.

Nice signage for remnants of the war.

A sneak peak about the battle, well documented here and in various places.

A sneak peek about the battle, well documented here and in various places.

Can you see the playground? This is a wonderful family park with lots of shade and picnic tables.

Can you see the playground? This is a wonderful family park with lots of shade and picnic tables.

A snack store that sells milk shakes, ice cream and other goodies. We didn't sample it but the locals sure visit it of an evening and on the weekends.

A snack store that sells milk shakes, ice cream and other goodies. We didn’t sample it but the locals sure visit it of an evening and on the weekends. Miniature golf course is next to it.

I followed the road which is the main entrance to the park, museum and snack shop.

I followed the road which is the main entrance to the park, museum and snack shop. Then I climbed up here to see the cemetery.

Well maintained and very old cemetery, 1825.

Well maintained and very old cemetery, established 1825.

Dedicated to the Memory of Confederate Soldiers Who Served at Columbus - Belmont 1861-1862 Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans Tilghman - Beauregard Camp No. 1460 and Order of Confederate Rose Kate Moss Camp No. 7

Dedicated to the Memory of Confederate Soldiers Who Served at Columbus – Belmont 1861-1862
Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans
Tilghman – Beauregard
Camp No. 1460 and Order of Confederate Rose Kate Moss Camp No. 7

Sign at the entrance, but I passed it as I headed back to the campground.

Sign at the entrance, but I passed it as I headed back to the campground.

The next day, we walked the entire park.

The next day, we walked the entire park.

We walked the same route as I did the day before, but stayed along the river's edge, which is blocked by the fence, cliffs and forest!

We walked the same route as I did the day before, but stayed along the river’s edge, which is blocked by the fence, cliffs and forest!

And here I am entering the Civil War earth works. They are so well maintained. They ask for visitors to not climb on them.

And here I am entering the Civil War earth works. They are so well maintained. They ask visitors to not climb on them.

We walked around the park every day during our stay. It was just so serene and well maintained. But oh, it was hot and humid, so we tried to go early in the morning. We met a nice couple who camped next to our site, Bob and Betty. They are from Kentucky and have been long time campers. They were a wealth of information. They recommended a few places to see, so two outings rounded out our time in this state park. We plan to stay in touch with them.

We enjoyed this park so much, we asked if we could stay an extra day. Sure could, but the site (#31) we were registered to stay on was in the full sun, we would only have 30 amps and no sewer. James helped facilitate the extension and put us on a large and shady site!

Site 17 for two days.

Site 17 for three days. Ok, so you can also see we are pretty close to the Cemetery, across the road and up a bit of a hill.

Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee is a definite place to spend a day. If you are really into the history about America, you can get a discount 2-day pass. We would have bought that if we were a bit closer and had more time in the area. The drive was about 45 minutes from the campground. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm, but we didn’t arrive until 1:00 pm.

We had no idea what to expect. We only saw two of the three floors and the outside exhibits on one side.

We had no idea what to expect. We only saw two of the three floors and the outside exhibits on one side.

We only saw about 1/2 of what we would have liked to see! It left us wanting more so we may return one day.  We both really enjoyed the Oral History Project given by community members about their time in World War II. Both of our dads and Bill’s mom served during the war. My dad was a bombardier, Bill’s dad was in the army and was part of the D-Day invasion, suffering only minor injuries and Bill’s mom was an Army Lt. Registered Nurse.  Our parents never talked about their experiences in the war, so we listened eagerly to their stories.

We really enjoyed all the exhibits we saw, but Bill’s favorite one was the classic cars and motor cycles.

"This top-of-the-line Lincoln was a rare favorite of exclusive buyers with luxury appointments for up to 7 passengers. It was so well built, and its stature so large, that it cost 10 times more than a Model A. The Lincoln was well known for being fast!...."

Our motor home’s namesake, Phaeton! “This top-of-the-line 1929 Lincoln was a rare favorite of exclusive buyers with luxury appointments for up to 7 passengers. It was so well built, and its stature so large, that it cost 10 times more than a Model A. The Lincoln was well known for being fast!….”

And my favorite exhibits were in the Enlightenment Gallery, from the website: “Enter this mysterious gallery through a bookcase door to view a unique and eclectic mix of artifacts from local and foreign lands. Cast in a faint blue light, this versatile gallery features a piece of sunken treasure, musical instruments, and African artifacts. A suit of armor is on display, as well as a size replica of the Ark of the Covenant.” I was so pleased to see this:

In 1604, James 1 of England commissioned that the Christian Bible, which until this time had only bee written in Latin for priests, be translated into English, so that the whole nation would be able to read it. The first edition of the King James Bible, as it was called, appeared in 1611 and is still the most printed book in history.

In 1604, James 1 of England commissioned that the Christian Bible, which until this time had only been written in Latin for priests, be translated into English, so that the whole nation would be able to read it. The first edition of the King James Bible, as it was called, appeared in 1611 and is still the most printed book in history.

And then the life-size replica of the Ark of the Covenant:

Ark of the Covenant

We then went outside to see “The Settlement,” “The Barn,” “The Great Lawn” and two gardens, the European Garden, the Maze and the Japanese Garden. We love being outside and love gardens so we really enjoyed a quick walk around. We stayed until closing time, about an hour outside. Here are a few pictures:

The other outing was to visit the Wickliffe Mounds, a State Historic Site. This was only about a 30 minute drive from the campground. From the website: “A Native American village once occupied the site of Wickliffe Mounds, about A.D. 1100 to 1350. Here, people of the Mississippian culture built earthen mounds and permanent houses around a central plaza overlooking the Mississippi River. Today, this Native American Indian archaeological site features mounds surrounded by abundant wildlife, museum exhibits, a walking trail, welcome center, a gift shop and picnic areas.” This was new history for us so we enjoyed it. Especially the short walking trail as it was in the shade! Here is a short slide show:

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We try to attend church every Sunday. We sadly missed last Sunday; I wrote about it here, in my personal blog. So we really needed the fellowship of like-minded believers this Sunday, June 19, not to mention it was Father’s Day and my birthday!  What a blessing the service was and to be joined by our Camp Hosts and another gentlemen along with the “pastor” who volunteers his services. Hopefully, I can write up the sermon from my notes as it was short, sweet and to the point about “wanting our own way!”

Jesus is the Anchor of the Soul. Hebrews 6:19

Jesus is the Anchor of the Soul. Hebrews 6:19. And of course, the Anchor is also part of the Battle ground. More on it next….

Next up, Part 3, the Civil War history as it relates to the Columbus Belmont Battle.

5 thoughts on “Columbus Belmont State Park, Kentucky (Part 2)

  1. Thank you for the guided tour, I enjoyed the Photography, such a great Presentation.

    Blessings – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoy when a park has trails within. And to have artifacts along the way is a win:) What a beautiful park. We rarely stay at State Parks since you always have to book so far in advance and we never know where we will be that far ahead. The Discovery Center of America was a great find. But I think the name is deceiving since it sounds more like an amusement park. I wonder if that keeps people away. How nice that the park had a service on Sunday. And Happy Belated Birthday:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We never would have tried Discovery Park of America had not someone told us about it. Yep, sounds like amusement park.
      Oh gotta love trails within the parks! We were resistant to leave because everything was so far-we truly were in rural Kentucky. But it was so HOT, we needed to go!
      Bill saw that the Kentucky SPs “seemed” to have lots of open spaces. But the weekends they are full. We’ve learned a bit how to get around it like we learned in the Florida SP system. Both use Reserve America. I may do a post on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] We’ve spent a wonderful eight days in this US Army Corps of Engineers campground (COE) from June 20-28, 2016. We never would have found this campground had we not met a couple, Betty and Bob, from Paducah, Kentucky at the last campground, Columbus-Belmont  State Park (CBSP). They were a wealth of information and helped us learn more about Kentucky. We hit it off and planned to meet up again, and we did yesterday afternoon. So not only did they tell us about Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee, but also the Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, both discussed in this post hyper-linked in case you missed it. […]

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