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Fort Defiance Interpretive Center

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer B
Fall A
Winter B

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Site Description and Habitats

Located on a bluff 200 feet above the confluence of the Red and Cumberland Rivers in Clarksville, Tennessee, the Fort Defiance site has been a hub of activity for more than two centuries. Originally inhabited by American Indians, white settlers began arriving in the late 18th Century. The area became a trading center and settlement. During the Civil War, the hilltop was chosen by Confederate troops as a site to construct a fort to defend the river approach to Clarksville. In February 1862, the fort was captured by Union forces, renamed and occupied for the remainder of the war. The site was a magnet for runaway and freed slaves, and many were employed in and around the fort. A visitor today will find Fort Defiance remarkable well preserved, the outer earthworks, powder magazine and gun platforms are still discernable.

Bird species of interest:

Spring and Fall Migration: Warblers, vireos, thrushes and flycatcher are possible, raptors.

Summer: Prothonotary Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush can be heard on the creeks.

Winter: White-throated, Fox, and White-crowned Sparrows, both kinglets, among other winter residents

Year-Round: Great Blue Heron, Red-tailed Hawk and both Vultures.

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Cultural and Historical Interests/Activities Historical displays and local Civil War History artifacts are located in and around the Interpretive Center.

Detailed directions for birding Fort Defiance:

Travel on I-24 to exit 8, Rossview Rd. Travel west onto TN-237W/Rossview Rd and turn right onto Warfield Blvd. Follow Warfield Blvd to US-79 and turn left onto US-79 (Wilma Rudolph Blvd.). After crossing the bridge over the Red River, the road changes names to Pettus Street, but make the second right onto Kraft Street. Follow Kraft St. to 2nd St and make a left onto 2nd St. Once on 2nd St, travel only 0.3 miles and turn left onto B St., then the first left onto Walker Street with a quick left onto Duncan Street.

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Parking lot: 36.541858, -87.372607

Fees and Hours
No fees associated with use.

Spring/Summer Operating Hours

Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Fall/Winter Operating Hours
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Restrooms are available inside the Interpretive Center during open hours.

Fort Defiance
120 Duncan Street, Clarksville, TN 37040
(931) 472-3351

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site