& Natural Areas
Henry Horton State Park
Henry Horton State Park was constructed in the 1960s on the estate of the former governor of Tennessee, Henry Horton. The park is located on the shores of the historic Duck River, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Remnants of a mill and bridge operated and used by the family of Horton’s spouse for over a century may be seen today on the Wilhoite Mill Trail.
The park offers several lodging options, including an inn, eight cabins, 56 RV campsites, 10 tent campsites, nine primitive campsites and three backcountry campsites. There are also three group campsites available.
The Governor's Table at Henry Horton State Park is a family restaurant serving tasty Southern cuisine in a casual atmosphere. The popular lunch and dinner buffets draw folks throughout the region. Menu and buffet items include healthier options and use fresh herbs and produce grown in our gardens. Domestic and imported beers are available, as well as Tennessee brewed Yazoo Beer.
The new lounge, The Tipped Canoe is open Thursday through Saturday and offers a delicious selection of appetizers and snacks. Whether coming in after an afternoon trail hike or stopping in for a light bite after work, the lounge is a great place to relax with friends and family.
The Buford Ellington championship golf course at Henry Horton State Park measures 5,625 yards from the Forward tees and 7,020 yards from the Championship tees. This challenging course is heavily treed with hardwoods and contains 37 bunkers. Although the length may scare some golfers away, the fairways are generous in width and the greens larger than average. There are three sets of tees to accommodate every skill level and a friendly staff waiting to ensure an enjoyable round of golf.
There is an 18 hole disc golf course inside the park that is free to the public. With level terrain and well-defined fairways, this is one of the best disc golf courses in Tennessee.
The Duck River provides catches of Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Redeye, and catfish. Fishing can be very good from the banks as well as by small boats. Some areas provide excellent opportunities for flyfishing.
With over 10 miles of hiking, Henry Horton State Park is a wonderful place to get outside and into nature. From deep and cool sinkholes to dry and hot cedar glades, from riverbank ecology to areas with deep cultural history, the trials here are unique, diverse, and rewarding around every bend.
Henry Horton's Olympic-sized pool is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM seven days a week during summer months. Admission is $4 per person, ages three and older, and $2 for campers. There is a concession area. The pool has a wading pool for children and swimming diapers are required for younger children. The park offers a multi-visit pass for $120 for 40 visits. All prices subject to change.
TRAP & SKEET
The Henry Horton Trap and Skeet Range is one of the finest in the state and offers Skeet, Trap, Wobble Trap, and Five Stand Shooting. We offer rental guns and sell ammunition and ear protection. Shooters under the age of 18 must present their Hunter Education card or certificate and be accompanied by an adult in order to shoot. The Trap and Skeet Range is open for the 2016 season through Nov 30, 2016. Hours are 12:00 PM- 7:00 PM CT, Thursday through Sunday. The Range is closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Old Stone Fort State Park
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park is a special type of Native American site, a hilltop ceremonial enclosure began 2,000 years ago and used at least through the fifth century. It has been called the most spectacularly sited sacred area of its period in the United States.
Two rivers drop off of the Highland Rim and plunge dramatically to the Central Basin, where the forks of the Duck River create a promontory. During the Woodland prehistoric period, mound builders constructed a set of parallel mound walls on this narrow neck of land. These walls orient to within one degree of the sunrise on the summer solstice. Ancient societies often recognized this sunrise as a time to celebrate and reenact creation myths.
Old Stone Fort, now nearly 800 acres, was dedicated on April 23, 1966, by Governor Frank Clement. Although the park’s purpose is the preservation, protection, study, and interpretation of an ancient culture, many visitors come to the park for visiting the museum, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, and camping.
Tims Ford State Park
Tims Ford State Park, located on the Tims Ford Reservoir in the rolling hills of southern Middle Tennessee, is an outstanding recreational area and fishing paradise. Long before the construction of Tims Ford Dam on the headwaters of the Elk River, the area was used extensively by the Indians as a hunting and fishing territory. Archaeological excavations uncovered numerous artifacts and occupational sites, indicating that man had occupied the area as much as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
Camping is available, even paddle-in island camping! There are also cabins available for rent as well.
The 10,700-acre Tims Ford Lake is one of the most picturesque in Tennessee and is regarded as one of the top bass fishing and recreational lakes in the Southeast. The park has more than 16 miles of trails that include two of the longest suspension bridges in the state. The Highland Rim Wildflower Trail includes up to 25 different species of wildflowers. The park is currently building a heritage trail system to interpret the history of the area.
Mousetail Landing State Park
Mousetail Landing’s 1,247-acre area is located on the east banks of the Tennessee River in the state’s picturesque western valley. Tradition has it that Mousetail Landing received its name during the Civil War period when one of the area’s tanning companies caught fire. The exodus of mice fleeing the burning tannery was so profuse that the area in proximity of the park became known as Mousetail Landing.
The scenic Buffalo River flows nearby, providing opportunities for family canoe float trips. Mousetail Landing State Park’s location on the Tennessee River makes fishing a popular activity, permitted anywhere you can reach the water. Bass, bream, crappie, stripe, and catfish can be caught along the banks.
David Crockett State Park
David Crockett State Park was the first state park funded entirely by the citizens of the state of Tennessee. It’s thought that Hernando De Soto also spent time here on the ridgeline between the “two creeks” (Crowson and Shoal). The Trail of Tears’ Bells Route crossed through the park and the old roadbeds are still evident.
The park’s namesake, David Crockett, was one of Tennessee’s most famous native sons, a pioneer, soldier, politician, and industrialist. Arriving in this area In 1817, Crockett established a three-tiered industry on the banks of Shoal Creek, consisting of a gristmill, powder mill, and distillery. His wife, Elizabeth, ran the mill, while David served as justice of the peace, colonel of the militia, and state representative while in Lawrence County. When his enterprises were destroyed by flood in 1821, the “Gentleman from the Cane” had to sell everything he owned here to pay his debts. He moved to West Tennessee, where he was elected to Congress, then died at the Alamo in 1836 in the fight for Texas independence from Mexico. More than a folk hero, Crockett was the source of a fan mania after Walt Disney released “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier” in 1955. Every child in the U.S. needed a coonskin cap and rifle.
The Middle Fork of Shoal Creek borders and dissects the park through its length. Beautiful woodlands with freshwater springs and streams flow into the creek. Crockett Falls is a natural waterfall near the back of the park, most likely the site of Crockett’s mill establishment. On the southeastern edge of the park is Pine Bluff and bare rock face that plummets into the convergence of the Middle and Eastern Forks of Shoal Creek. Pine Bluff was once the site of a CCC camp. The western border of the park follows along a ridgeline and shows a diversity of habitats.
Public State Natural Areas
Clicking on the various Natural Areas names below provides a brief description and printable/downloadable map for each site. The maps for each Natural Area are geo-referenced PDF documents. When the map is opened using an app like Avenza PDF Maps on your smart phone, a dot/reference point displays on the device's screen at your exact location. Navigate with only GPS (cellular data can be disabled), record your tracks, estimate travel times, and add placemarks and photos to share with others.