Things To Do in Dover
Including Fort Donelson, Bumpus Mills & Cumberland City
Kentucky Lake borders Stewart County to the west. Lake Barkley borders Stewart County to the east. The 170,000-acre Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area borders the county to the north. And finally, right on the shores of Lake Barkley, you'll find Fort Donelson, the site of a major battle during the Civil War. Stewart County offers much for those who love the great outdoors!
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
During the Civil War of the 1860s, the Union forces were heading south to fight the Confederacy. Fort Donelson was key because of its location on the Cumberland River. When Fort Donelson was captured by the Union in February 1862, it was their first major victory for the Civil War. With the fort under Union control, they now had the door open to the Confederacy.
At Fort Donelson, visitors can learn about the battle, view the earthworks and cannons, and take a walk through the area on one of two trails. There also are areas for picnics, parking, and strolls along the Cumberland River. At Fort Donelson, you can also visit the Fort Donelson National Cemetery and the Dover Hotel, a historic building where the Confederate forces surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on February 16, 1862.
You can contact the Fort Donelson National Battlefield Visitor's Center at (931) 232-5706. The visitor's center is located off Highway 79 just west of the heart of Dover. Read more about Fort Donelson in Explorations.
Land Between The Lakes
Dover serves as the southern entrance to The Land Between The Lakes. Land Between The Lakes is a National Recreation Area that is controlled by the US Forest Service. This 170,000-acre, uninhabited area is a great place for anyone to spend a couple of days or more. Numerous attractions within the park include the Nature Station, Elk & Bison Prairie, Golden Pond Planetarium, Homeplace 1850s, and Turkey Bay OHV Area.
In addition to those popular attractions, LBL offers hundreds of miles of scenic hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, camping, and many other outdoor adventures. Find out more in our Land Between The Lakes section.
The Cumberland River was dammed near Grand Rivers, KY in 1964 to form Lake Barkley. The flood waters of Lake Barkley create an interesting landscape for Stewart County. At summer pool, Lake Barkley seems to be everywhere, especially in the areas east of the river. At winter pool, when the elevation is four to five feet less than normal, most of the lake is marsh-like and very shallow in the Dover area. Nevertheless, Lake Barkley is great for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities. Click here for more info on Lake Barkley!
The Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge has 8,862 acres administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, for the purpose of wildlife management and preservation, particularly migratory waterfowl. Services include wildlife protection and management recreation, such as fishing, hiking, limited hunting, bird viewing, environmental education, and more. For more information, contact the Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center at (931) 232-7477.
You can see our complete listing of Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Area Attractions for fun things to around the Kentucky Lake area.