Stunning Bledsoe Creek State Park is rich in history. It was once prime hunting ground for the Cherokee, Creek, Shawnee and Chickamauga Native American tribes. However, once English settlers arrived in the area, the vast herds of animals were dispersed, never to return. This area of Tennessee is home to a wealth of Native American history with various historical sites nearby. The Bledsoe Creek territory was transformed into a Tennessee State Park in 1973.
Bledsoe Creek State Park maintains 57 campsites. The stunning park also offers more than six miles of scenic hiking trails. Trails within the park meander through the forest and along the lakeshore. The park maintains one mile of paved trails which is accessible to persons with disabilities. Guests should note that trails are open year-round.
Bledsoe Creek also maintains two boat launch ramps. One boat launch is reserved for registered campers while the other open to the general public. Guest are invited to enjoy outdoor activities including fishing at Old Hickory Lake, picnicking at park facilities (the largest able to accommodate up to 150 people), and participating in park programs which provide entertainment for all ages.
The community surrounding Bledsoe Creek State Park is rich with history. The park, named for settlers Isaac and Anthony Bledsoe, brothers, who built a frontier fort close to here in 1779, abounds in natural beauty. Bledsoe’s Lick provided water and attracted game for Native Americans at Castallian Springs, a large prehistoric Mississippian village, who hunted abundant buffalo. Nearby Wynnewood, which acted as an early stagecoach stop, remains the largest standing log structure in Tennessee.
RV Rentals in Bledsoe Creek State Park
Transportation in Bledsoe Creek State Park
The park address is:
Bledsoe Creek State Park
400 Zieglers Fort Road
Gallatin, TN 37066
From Nashville: Guests will travel North from Nashville on I-65. Take Exit 95 to Vietnam Veterans Blvd. (Hwy. 386). Take Hwy. 386 to Hwy. 31-E North into Gallatin. Pick up Hwy. 25 East and travel approximately seven miles to mile marker 20. Turn right onto Zieglers Fort Rd. Travel one mile to the park entrance.
From Kentucky: Guests will take Exit I-65 South at Exit 96, Hwy 174 East. Follow signs to Gallatin and Hwy 25. From I-40 East: Take Exit 238 (Hwy. 231) and travel through Lebanon. Go 15 miles to Hwy. 25. Turn left and travel seven miles to Zieglers Fort Rd. Turn left and travel one mile to the park entrance. From I-40 West: Guests will take Gallatin Exit 232 (Hwy. 109). Travel north 15 miles across the Cumberland River Bridge. Travel two miles to Airport Rd. and turn right. Travel to the intersection at Hwy. 25. Turn right onto Hwy. 25 and go two miles. Turn right at Zielgers Fort Rd. Park entrance is one mile.
Guests will find parking available in the camp sites as well as near the Old Hickory Lake campers launch ramp.
There is no public transportation available within the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Bledsoe Creek State Park
Campsites in Bledsoe Creek State Park
Bledsoe Creek State Park Campground
Bledsoe Creek State Park maintains 57 level campsites, 65 feet in length and 25 feet wide. All campsites are paved, have fire rings, grills, lantern holders, and picnic tables. Forty-three campsites have 50/30 amp service, and 14 have 30 amp service available. Water for each site and a dump station are available year-round. The campsites are compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
The park also provides guest with eight primitive waterfront sites. Guests at these sites will delight in stunning views of the lake. Each primitive site is drive-in, has a grill, picnic table, and a fire pit. Guests will find ample space for tents and plenty of trees for hammocks. Each site accommodates up to eight people. Campers have access to potable water, but no electricity. Guests will have a short walk to the bathhouse and are only steps away from the shoreline. Guests will also find a trail for hiking and a fishing area.
The campgrounds two bathhouses are ADA compliant and have hot showers and heat. There is a year-round laundromat as well. Guests should note that pets are allowed but must be leashed and attended.
Seasonal activities in Bledsoe Creek State Park
Guests to Bledsoe Creek State Park will find a variety of hiking options. Several of the trails are ADA compliant. The park offers are more than six miles of scenic hiking trails. These trails allow guests to meander through the forest and along the lake shore of the park. One mile of these trails is paved making it accessible to persons with disabilities. All trails are open year round.
Birdsong Nature Trail is a half-mile paved trail suitable for individuals with disabilities.
High Ridge Trail is a one and a half-mile natural trail. Guests should note that this is a difficult trail.
Mayo Wix Memorial Trail is a one-mile paved trail suitable for individuals with disabilities.
Owl Ridge Trail is a half-mile natural trail. Guests should note that this is a difficult trail.
Shoreline Trail is a two-mile easy natural trail that allows guests to explore the natural beauty of the shoreline.
Bledsoe Creek State Park offers guest the opportunity to fish Old Hickory Lake (22,500 Reservoir). Guests will find the lake an excellent space, for not only fishing, but other water sports including skiing. Old Hickory Lake is known for good bass, crappie, catfish and sauger fishing. Many anglers enjoy fishing near the power plant. Guests will find bank fishing is decent along lakeside trails, and waterfront campsites. Guests should also note that the park maintains a public boat launch ramp with courtesy dock for the general public and another ramp for registered campers only. Both ramps can accommodate fishing boats.
Bledsoe's Fort Colonial Fair
In early May of each year, historic re-enactors recreate history and life at the site of the original Bledsoe’s Fort, the Rogan Cottage, and the Nathanial Parker Cabin. Guests to Bledsoe Creek State Park are encouraged to enjoy this fair if they happen to be there on the appointed weekend. The Bledsoes Fort Colonial Fair showcases many different facets of the Fort Site including a Longhunter’s camp, Military Camps, and a Native Encampment indicative of the 18th century period at Bledsoe’s Fort. Guests are invited to shop on Traders Row for colonial arts and crafts, clothing, pottery, guns, knives, and toys.
The fair offers guests the opportunity to learn from educational demonstrations and to partake in colonial games. There is a children’s area provided where children can relive the past in authentic colonial clothing that is available to rent for the day. Guests are invited to stroll through the woods around the trace, enjoy a hay ride, or kick up their heels at the Big Dance. Guests will be entertained by the magic shows, strolling minstrels, musicians, and street performers. Guests can come for the day or buy a weekend pass and enjoy life on the frontier.
Bledsoe's Fort Historic Park
Although the original fort no longer stands, guests to Bledsoe Creek State Park with in interest in history will enjoy this historic site. Guests to Bledsoe’s Fort Historic Park will see the archaeological remains of Bledsoe's Fort. The lovely wooded park encompasses 80-acres and touts the restored Irish-style Nathaniel Parker stone cabin dating back to 1790. Guests are invited to enjoy walking tours and to visit Bledsoe’s Lick, a prehistoric natural spring, as well as an old family cemetery. Guests should also note that the park is home to an annual festival featuring reenactments and craft fairs.
Waynnewood Historic Area
History buffs enjoying Bledsoe Creek State Park will want to see the Wynnewood Historic Area in nearby Castalian Springs. This 1828 log inn was erected by A.R. Wynne, William Cage, and Stephen Roberts on land owned by Wynne's wife, Almira Winchester Wynne. The Inn was built to serve as a stagecoach inn and mineral springs resort. A log cabin attached to the rear of the inn was erected by Isaac Bledsoe during the period of 1772-1780 when he moved to the area.
A.R. Wynne received guests at Wynnewood throughout his lifetime. By the 1840s he had built a row of cottages on the lawn east of the inn and set up a race course in the bottom near Lick Creek. Guests were attracted to the area by the medicinal qualities of the mineral waters. Andrew Jackson was a frequent guest attracted to the race course rather than the healing springs. Jackson was known to bring a favorite thoroughbred to run against Wynne's horses.
The main house is 142-feet long with an open hallway or dogtrot through the center. Guests may be interested to know that some of the logs composing the walls are thirty-two feet long. Guests will find that all rooms have outside doors and are entered from the gallery that extends 110 feet across the back of the building.
Cragfont State Historic Site
Another historic site that guests to Bledsoe Creek State Park may find of interest is the Cragfont State Historic Site. Cragfont was the home of General James Winchester. General Winchester was a protagonist of the American Revolution, a pioneer in the Middle Tennessee wilderness, a soldier against indigenous Americans, a brigadier general in the War of 1812, and co-founder of the City of Memphis. Construction of Cragfont began in 1798 and ended in 1802. Cragfont was considered the finest mansion on the Tennessee frontier. It typified the grandeur and style of the best architecture of the late Georgian period. The home was named Cragfont because it stood on a rocky bluff with a spring at its base. Guests to the site will find the house furnished with Federal antiques, some of which are original to the Winchester family. An authentic weaving room continues to reside in the basement as well.
In the War of 1812, Winchester's troops were a part of the unsuccessful American campaign to invade Canada. The troops were defeated near Frenchtown, were captured, and marched to Quebec, where they were imprisoned for 15 months. Winchester returned to his home in April, 1814, but soon left to assume command of the Mobile District. After General Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans, Winchester returned to Cragfont for good. Once there, he resumed pursuit of his agricultural interests, became a leader in the general upgrading of the state, and engaged in land speculation, which led to his fortune. Winchester died in his home on July 26, 1826.