If you’re looking for a day trip that’s as close as nearby Manchester, look no further than picturesque Old Stone Fort State Park.
The state park is like a peaceful dream for waterfall lovers who can frolic along a gentle walking trail while enjoying Duck River and all its scenic beauty.
The waterfalls are aplenty and so are soaring cliff-top views that will have visitors creeping to the edge to catch all of nature’s splendor. The drops are more than 100 feet straight down so don’t get too close.
The park’s namesake, Old Stone Fort, was built during the Middle Woodland Period, which is 1,500 to 2,000 years ago. Native Americans used the area for about 500 years, according to the state park information, and eventually abandoned it.
In addition to its natural glow, the state park attracts history enthusiasts eager to see Native American replicas. One attention grabber is a long canoe near the park’s museum that was made from a giant tree.
Native Americans used to make similar canoes using fire and clay. The clay would retard the fire to keep it burning only in certain spots. The burned wood could then be easily scraped away to hollow out the tree for canoe purposes.
The walking trail is an easy hike if you stay on the main path. Younger visitors will take joy in using smaller paths that will take them all the way down to Duck River where it’s fun to hop rocks and see the soaring waterfalls from close range.
The state of Tennessee purchased 400 acres in 1966 to use for what is now Old Stone Fort State Park.
If you’re interested in camping, the park offers 51 campsites with water and electrical hookups. Hard-surface, 50-foot pads can accommodate units up to 50 feet in length.
The state park is located just one mile from Manchester’s indoor pool at 732 Stone Fort Drive, Manchester, 37355.
The phone number is (931) 723-5073.