Mousetail Landing State Park, located in Linden Tennessee, is a small park situated on the banks of the Tennessee River. RVers will enjoy camping at this park because it offers spaces that suit every style of camping from primitive to more modern, and its beautiful wooded atmosphere provides a scenic and quiet location close to more populated towns and cities. The park isn’t far from major Tennessee cities like Nashville, Jackson, and Memphis, so travelers coming from any location can find a tranquil place to camp for the night.
The park is located in an area of the state known as Middle Tennessee. Middle Tennessee is known for its green, rolling hills and fertile stream valleys. Although the park is in Middle Tennessee, it overlooks the beginnings of what is known as Tennessee’s Western Valley, giving visitors many scenic vistas and beautiful overlooks.
The park earned its unique name during the Civil War. Tradition tells the story of how one of the area’s tanning companies, a company that used oak-trees in the leather tanning process, caught fire and forced the mice inside the tannery to flee. This mouse exodus helped designate the area as Mousetail Landing, and the park earned its quirky name from that fiery event.
Mousetail Landing State Park is located approximately 100 miles southwest of Nashville and 136 miles northeast of Memphis. Depending on your route, you can get to the park from Jackson, Tennessee between 50 and 70 miles.
The park’s physical address is located in Linden, Tennessee. To get to the park from Linden, turn right onto Highway 412 and go 12 miles to Highway 438. Turn right on Highway 438 and follow the road to the park entrance.
The park’s main campground is the more modern of the two campgrounds located in Mousetail Landing State Park. Most of the spaces in this facility have water and 20, 30, and 50 amp electric hookups. There are four primitive sites with no connections of any kind. Each space is paved and has a picnic table and a grill. Depending on the site, the size ranges from 20-90 feet in length, and vary from no shade to fully shaded areas. When making your reservations online, potential guests can view the individual site details complete with photos for each space, and choose a space that best fits their needs. This campground offers guests a modern bathhouse with flushing toilets and showers, a laundromat, and a dump station. Please silence your generators from 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, the park’s posted quiet hours.
The Spring Creek Campground is a pet-friendly, primitive campground located along the banks of the Tennessee River. The gravel spaces range in size from 22 to 124 feet. Each site has a grill and a fire ring. There are no facilities located in this campground, so RV guests will need to arrive prepared to camp in a self-contained unit. In all of the Tennessee state parks, guests must purchase heat-treated firewood or collect firewood from within the park. No outside firewood is permitted in an effort to eradicate invasive species. Campers can buy wood from outside vendors or the Park Office. Please silence your generators from 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, the park’s posted quiet hours.
Bring your boat and float sections of the Tennessee River. The park has two different boat launches for park guests to enter the water. The first ramp launches boats into the river’s main channel. The second ramp launches boats into the backwater areas of the river. Mousetail Landing doesn’t rent boats, so visitors will have to bring a boat with them or rent a kayak or canoe from one of the rental companies in town. Kayakers and canoers should launch from the main boat launch or the swim beach, as these areas are more suitable for non-motorized boats.
Fishing is a favorite pastime in Tennessee. The Tennessee River offers anglers excellent fishing opportunities year round. While fishing from the banks is productive, the best way to fish the section of the Tennessee River near Mousetail Landing State Park is to fish by boat. Fish for bluegill and redear sunfish year round, and crappie and bass during the spring. Catfish fishing is best during the summer, and then bass fishing becomes plentiful again in the fall. The park doesn't have rentals available, so anglers will need to supply their own fishing gear. Don’t forget to purchase a fishing license before hitting the water. The state of Tennessee requires that all anglers 13 and older hold and possess a valid fishing license.
When the days are hot, the best way to cool down is by swimming in the brisk waters of the river. Mousetail Landing State Park has a beautiful swim beach located on the Spring Creek embayment. This area of water is a branch of the Tennessee River. The beach is open year-round for swimmers, even when the weather is chilly. If the water is too cold, opt to sit in the sand and watch the boats pass by. Swimmers should swim at their own risk, as there are no lifeguards on duty. If stream swimming is more your style, opt to wade in the cold, clear water near the park’s entrance.
Bring your bikes and spend your time on the mountain bike trails. Many of the trails inside of Mousetail Landing State Park are dual-purpose trails, made for hiking or biking. A few of the trails are more rugged and built for mountain biking. The Easy Mountain Bike Trail is a four-mile trail on natural surfaces. The easy path is considered a moderate level bike ride, even though the name suggests that the trail is easy. Should you want a more challenging ride, then the Advanced Mountain Bike Trail is for you. This trail is a nine-mile natural surface trail that has a rating of difficult. The park doesn’t have bike rentals, so come prepared with all of your gear if you plan on mountain biking.
Hiking is a pastime that people of all levels enjoy in this park. There is one leisurely day hike and several more rugged trails for more experienced hikers. Bring your gear and walk along the Scenic Trail. The Scenic Trail is a three-mile, natural surface trail that is rated as a moderate level hike. If you are looking for a more relaxed walk, then opt for the Spring Creek Trail. This path is a natural surface half mile trail that is rated as an easy hike. If you want an overnight backwoods experience, then hike the Eagle Point Trail. This trail is an eight-mile, natural surface trail that is difficult. If you hike this trail, you can opt to walk overnight and stay in one of the two backwoods shelters. For more hiking information, stop by the Park Office and pick up a map.
Spend your time outdoors and experience Tennessee’s beautiful weather. If you want to have a picnic and enjoy the day use areas, then plan on packing your lunch and eating in one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the park. After eating, play tetherball, or venture over to one of the playgrounds or to the volleyball courts, the baseball field, or the basketball court. If you plan on hosting a larger group activity, opt to reserve one of the two bigger picnic areas, the picnic pavilion or the gazebo. For more information on the park’s outdoor eating spaces, contact the park.