Old Stone Fort State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Old Stone Fort State Park is located in Tennessee. Also known as Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, you can visit this archaeological site and learn more about the Native Americans who resided in the area 1,500 to 2,000 years ago. The park's name comes from a stone structure that was given by European settlers who came to the area hundreds of years after it had been abandoned by Native Americans.

You can experience a great many things to do in this park during your RV trip to TN. In addition to visiting the stone fort by hiking on trails, you can view the area's waterfalls and bask in nature's beauty. There are multiple trails that wind through this scenic park, complete with trail markers that provide information about the history of the area.

If history is what you're interested in, there is a museum at Old Stone Fort State Park that you can visit, in addition to visiting the ruins. This features prehistoric Native American history, as well as dioramas about the area. The museum is also connected to the welcome center and gift shop.

Old Stone Fort State Park also allows for RV camping. The campground is near the Duck River, which winds through the park. In addition to hiking, campers can spend the day fishing or birding. There are plenty of locations throughout the park to go birding, and you might be lucky enough to see the revered wood duck.

RV Rentals in Old Stone Fort State Park

Transportation in Old Stone Fort State Park

Driving

Old Stone Fort State Park is located in Manchester, Tennessee, within a few minutes drive of downtown Manchester, providing easy access to restaurants and a swimming pool. It is off of I-24, with the park located on Stone Fort Drive.

The campground is across the park from the entrance and visitor's center. Check in there before going to your campsite. The campsites are separated by forested area and provide an isolated feel. The campsites are located on circular drives that you'll have to navigate with your vehicle.

Old Stone Fort State Park allows up to six people to camp at each site and you can trek easily from the campsites to the water of the Duck River and Little Duck River, where you can go fishing. You can also easily access the trails that will allow you to explore the ruins, view the waterfalls, and experience nature.

At the park, you are allowed to use golf carts to get around. However, you must hold a valid driver's license and the vehicle can only be driven on paved roads. In addition, the park has several handicapped-accessible facilities, including specific campsites, a bathhouse, laundry facilities, and a picnic shelter.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Old Stone Fort State Park

Campsites in Old Stone Fort State Park

Reservations camping

Old Stone Fort State Park Campground

Old Stone Fort State Park offers camping at one of its 51 campsites. These offer electrical and water hookups, with specific campsites for RVs and camping trailers. The maximum size allowed for the RV is 50 feet in length. There are also grills and picnic tables in the area for campers to enjoy, as well as a playground for children to play on. Within the area, there is also a pavilion that can be reserved for large group gatherings. There is a dumping station that is open year-round, and there are two restroom facilities. Only one of these is open during the off-season, and it does not have showers, so no showers are available if you stay during the off-season. The park allows a maximum of six people at each campsite, with exceptions needing to be made in advance for immediate families. Otherwise, you'll have to reserve multiple campsites.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Old Stone Fort State Park

In-Season

Fishing

Old Stone Fort State Park features plenty of fishing within the Duck River and Little Duck River, a swift-moving river with several areas of waterfalls. You can fish from the banks of the river or even via boat, although gas-powered boats aren't allowed. You will need a Tennessee fishing license to fish in the park, which you can obtain online before your trip. The park features a variety of fishing, including bream, catfish, and largemouth bass.

Birding

Old Stone Fort State Park provides plenty of opportunities for birding enthusiasts to sight our feathered friends. Birding is especially plentiful during the spring and fall migrations, although summer brings with it birds such as the northern parula and red-eyed vireo. There are plenty of trails that provide a great birding experience when you're visiting the park, including the Old Stone Fort Enclosure Trail, where you might be lucky enough to see a Cooper's hawk.

Ranger-Led Tours

At different times during the year, you can find tours that are led by rangers to educate visitors. These include activities such as a guided tour of the mounds, where visitors are led on a 1.25 mile tour of the prehistoric stone mounds located within the park. In addition to these guided tours, there are educational activities led by park rangers that include demonstrations of tools used in prehistoric Native American life, such as the atlatl.

Off-Season

Hiking

At Old Stone Fort State Park, there are a variety of hiking trails that you can explore during your stay. Several of these trails provide historical information into the area and allow you to explore the stone fort ruins, while others provide a great opportunity to view the waterfalls in the park, such as the Big Falls. In addition, birding enthusiasts can enjoy the opportunity to view birds in much of the area while quietly trekking on the trails, which rate from easy to moderate.

Exploring History

No matter when you visit Old Stone Fort State Park, there's plenty for history buffs to enjoy in the area. In addition to the occasional ranger-led educational activities, there is a museum that provides information about the previous Native American inhabitants in the area. There are dioramas, as well as a theater that provides introductory information to visitors. The museum also features materials that have been obtained from archaeological exploration in the area and theories about what the stone fort is thought to have been used for.

Picnicking

While you're visiting Old Stone Fort State Park, there are opportunities to enjoy a picnic, either with your immediate family or an extended group. There is a park picnic area that can you eat within. There is one large pavilion that can be reserved in advance for large groups, which holds approximately 40 people. It has multiple grills but no electricity. This location is very close to a playground for children to enjoy, as well as bathrooms.

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