High Ground Park is a proposed privately owned park open to the public at historic Fort Higley off of Cherokee Trail. The fort sits atop a 1,099 foot bluff overlooking the Tennessee River and is a significant site in Civil War history. The Aslan Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and enhance the natural beauty and history of the Knoxville area, purchased the site and plans to preserve 90 percent of its unique features while providing free public access to this historical landmark.
As the contractor selected to improve the site, Hickory’s work will include a 1/3 mile walking trail leading to a meadow, an engraved bronze marker in the meadow, locust wood fencing, stacked stone and boulder walls, specified tree and ground cover plantings, paving for an 18-space parking lot, a sidewalk and signage in the parking area, and various flagstone and marble projects around the site.
The park represents a link in the proposed Battle Loop connecting South Knoxville’s Civil War forts as part of the proposed 1,000-acre “Urban Wilderness and Historic Corridor.”
In terms of historical significance, Fort Higley was manned by Union soldiers during the Siege of Knoxville in 1863. The site contains remnants from the Civil War, including rifle trenches and a redoubt where Union cannons stood ready to defend against advances by Confederate soldiers.
“Hickory is honored to be the contractor for this historic site,” said Chuck Alexander, Executive Vice President of Hickory Construction. “We believe that our region will benefit from the preservation of this piece of Civil War history.”
The park is scheduled to open on Nov. 27, which is the 150th anniversary of the construction of Fort Higley.