Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

(Park near Lake Martin)

Website: www.nps.gov/hobe/

County

State

Alabama

Latitude

32.97596

Longitude

-85.73635

Elevation

183 meters

Description

Hours of Operation
Visitor Center:  9am to 4:30pm Central Standard Time
Tour Road:  8am to 5pm Central Standard Time

Horseshoe Bend NMP is open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The park boat ramp is open from dawn to dusk daily.

Fees
Free! There are no entrance or user fees at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. A donation box is available in the main Visitor Center. These donations are used to support our special events and school outreach programs.

Reservations
Interested in bringing an organized group or classroom to Horseshoe Bend NMP? Go to our section For Teachers if you are planning an onsite visit for students, scouts, and similar youth groups. If you have another type of group such as a civic or military organization, staff may be available for a special demonstration or tour with sufficient advance notice. Typically, we require at least two weeks notice to schedule special request programs if we have sufficient staff available. Please contact us at 256-234-7111 and be prepared to provide us with your group name, purpose for the visit, group size, at least two proposed visit dates, and an anticipated time of arrival.

Picnic Areas
Horseshoe Bend NMP has picnic shelters available near the Visitor Center on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not accepted. Picnic tables are also located at the Highway 49 Boat Ramp at Miller Bridge.

A Special Use Permit may be required for certain activities, typically those involving large numbers of people. Please email  or call 256-234-7111 for more information.

History of Park
Authorized in 1956, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park was officially established as a unit of the National Park Service on August 11, 1959 by Presidential Proclamation. The park was established to commemorate the last major battle of the Creek Indian War (1813-1814) which took place within a horseshoe-shaped bend of the Tallapoosa River in what is now Tallapoosa County, Alabama. The Creek Indian War consisted of 17 battles with the final and most significant battle fought at Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814. In this battle 3,300 frontier troops and Indian allies under the command of Andrew Jackson defeated 1,000 Creek warriors who had fortified themselves behind a seemingly impregnable log barricade. More than 800 Creek Indians were killed, ending for all time the military power of the Creek Nation.

The key points to the Horseshoe Bend story are:
  • Commemoration of the Battle and the people directly involved
  • Development of means for the public to understand, appreciate, benefit from, and enjoy the park
  • Preservation of the battlefield and associated landscape and features
  • Interpretation of the cultural relationships and conflicts leading to the Creek War as well as the War’s impact on the Creek Indian people
  • Interpretation of the Creek War as it relates to the War of 1812 and on the western expansion of the United States
  • Placing in context the role this war played in the career of Andrew Jackson and the development of our nation

Significance

The primary significance statements for Horseshoe Bend National Military Park are summarized as:
  • The battle resulted in the forced emigration of the Creek People to Indian Territory ( present day Oklahoma).
  • The decisive battle lead to the creation of the state of Alabama and westward expansion of the young United States.
  • The battle established the prominence of Andrew Jackson.
  • More Native American lives were lost in this battle than in any single battle with U.S. troops is the history of the United States.
  • Horseshoe Bend National Military Park presents a unique venue for the interpretation of the history of the Creek people.
  • Horseshoe Bend preserves one of the few War of 1812 sites that is open to the public and interpreted.
Location
The park is located in east central Alabama, approximately fifteen miles from the town of Dadeville. Alabama State Route 49 passes through the park and carries commuters, industrial traffic such as logging trucks, and park visitors. Park traffic counters placed on Highway 49 tally over one million people passing through the park each year on this heavily travelled, two lane road. The park is approximately 40 miles from Auburn, Alabama (home of Auburn University), 60 miles from Montgomery, Alabama (state capital), 80 miles from Birmingham, and 100 miles from Atlanta (Southeast Regional Office of the National Park Service.) Horseshoe Bend is located in the Central Time Zone and the 256 area code.

The park is situated in Tallapoosa County and works most closely with the communities of Alexander City, Dadeville, New Site, and Daviston. Approximately 4300 people live within 15 miles of the park boundaries. Horseshoe Bend is within the Third Congressional District of Alabama.

Acreage and Resources
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park consists of 2040 acres including approximately 500 acres of historic battlefield, 3 miles of river (Tallapoosa River), and the remainder forested primarily with second growth mix stand of vegetation typical to the southern Piedmont region. Other critical resources include:

  • Thirteen documented archaeological sites and at least two Creek Indian village sites dating from the 18th century or earlier
  • 354 known animal species
  • 901 known plant species
  • 20 structures
  • 4 historic features on the List of Classified Structures
  • 3 miles of paved roads and 12 miles of unpaved roads
  • 3 miles of maintained trails
  • 38,222 catalogued museum objects, primarily stored at the Southeast Archaeological Center in Tallahassee, Florida
Visitation
Other than the 1.0 million travelers on Highway 49 each year, visitation to use resources provided by the NPS at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park are:
  • Approximately 70,000 users of the three mile Tour Road, Nature Trail, and general park grounds
  • 15,000 users of a boat ramp providing access to the Tallapoosa River
  • 25,000 users of the park Visitor Center
  • 26,000 attendees at park programs, both onsite and offsite, including two major special events each year
This is a 7% increase in park visitation over the past decade

Budget and Staffing
The anticipated budget for fiscal year 2008 is $785,000. This is a 17% increase in budget over the past five years. (2003 budget was $669,000). These budget increases were primarily annual Congressional increases to all parks to cover cost of living adjustments and increases. Park staffing is currently 10 permanent, full time employees. In years when a permanent position is vacant, the park uses the dollars to hire temporary employees to insure visitor and employee safety while providing for consistent resource protection. The park has received an increase in staffing of only two permanent full time positions in the last 15 years.

To supplement the minimal park staff, each year a crew of two to three Youth Conservation Corps employees are recruited from local high schools using special project funding provided by the NPS YCC funds. Additionally, over 3000 hours of volunteer time is logged by the park’s volunteer Horseshoe Bend Militia, a group of gentlemen trained in black powder weapons safety who wear period uniforms and present military demonstrations to the public on a regular basis. These 3000 hours translate to $53,000 savings to the park in salaries (at FY07 volunteer hourly value of $17.50 per hour). The park receives only $1000 each year from the NPS Volunteer Program to support volunteers. A

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