High atop Fort Mountain lie the remains of a cyclopean wall approximately 855 feet in length. While nobody knows who built the zigzagging wall or why, many theories have been tossed around as to its existence.
All that’s known for sure is that the wall, commonly called the Rock Fort was made from rocks gathered from the mountain’s summit. Someone spent a lot of time stacking the stones, but as of yet no one knows just who that was. Currently, the most frequent explanation for the enigmatic barrier is that Native Americans built it sometime around the sixth century for religious ceremonies.
Before 1917, some believed Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto built the wall as a fortification to protect himself or his men from the Cherokee Indians that resided in the area. It’s known he had been scouring the land for gold, and the mountain’s supply of gold and silver made it a logical place for him to be. Today, however, many believe he never actually made it far enough north to have created the wall.
Another theory is that the wall is the work of Madoc, the legendary Welsh explorer. Still others claim the “moon-eyed people” from Cherokee mythology were the wall’s architects.
Despite its murky origins, one thing is for sure: The fort is definitely an enchanting place. If you visit today, you can see what remains of the wall. Though much of it has now fallen, if you use your imagination you can see it must have been something quite special in its heyday.
Know Before You Go
Because this is within the State Park there is a parking fee of $5. There is also a small hike to get to the wall after you park, and at this time there is no wheelchair access. The hike isn't too bad and is well worth it. Also be sure to check out the Fire Tower that is north of the wall, just follow the signs. Beyond that is a beautiful lookout that shows off the city of Chatsworth and the amazing landscape that surrounds the entire area.