Fort Heiman sits atop a high bluff overlooking Kentucky Lake and was one of three Civil War forts, Heiman, Henry and Donelson, built by the confederacy that provided protection for the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and a key rail line. It was named after Col. Adolphus Heiman of the 10th Tennessee Regiment, who commanded 1,100 troops at the fort and oversaw its construction, primarily by slaves in January 1862 Union forces under U.S. Grant captured Fort Heiman just a month later in February 1862 and then captured Henry and finally Donelson 10 days later in February 1862. The fort was linear in shape on top of a bluff overlooking the river and has two sets of remaining earthworks totaling 648 yards in length and between 8 to 10 feet deep. The Union forces remained at Fort Heiman for about a year. The importance of the site remained significant and in 1864, Confederate commander Nathan Bedford Forrest brought his cavalry and artillery and they shelled and sank several Union gunboats. He also boarded his men on a boat and raided Johnsonville, Tennessee, sinking ships and burning an important Union supply depot. A coalition of various groups banded together to purchase dozens of subdivided parcels to protect the original fort site and the land was handed over the National Park Service to become an installment of Fort Donelson National Battlefield. The land is mostly immature pland oak-hickory forest dominated by post and southern red oak and hickories with whit and scarlet oak, American beech, blackgum and white ash as co-dominants.
Open dawn to dusk for passive recreation only including hiking, biking, and running. No horseback or ATVs allowed. From Murray take KY highway 121 past New Concord to Cypress Trail on the left. Turn left and follow Cypress Trail until it intersects with Kline Trail, turn left and follow until it intersects with Fort Heiman Road and turn right until the road dead ends at the park and a one-way driving loop that overlooks Kentucky Lake.