Old Stone Fort
732 Stone Fort Drive Manchester, TN 37355
A historic park with Native American ruins, hiking, and water access.
Aside from its beauty, Old Stone Fort is filled with local history. According to Tennessee State Parks, the site was originally used by Native American tribes before it became an important Civil War era mill, so if you’re anything like me you’ll be really happy you planned a visit!
Over the summer, my five-year-old daughter and I went to the fort early one Saturday morning to discover a shaded oasis, historic sites, and riverfront access with a few shallow and accessible swimming areas (though you aren't really supposed to swim) along a nearly three mile, mostly flat hike. If you head to the right (counter clockwise) on the trail loop, you’ll find the section of the Duck River where most of the swimming takes place. Dogs, on leash, are allowed. The Enclosure Trails is a little over a mile and very flat - there's another section that goes off of it about half way in, so you could make it longer if you wanted.
A parking lot, covered picnic area, and decent bathrooms can be found nearby the first parking lot as you enter. The museum – as well as the trailhead for the main, looped, hike – can be accessed from the second parking lot, but you can’t go in if you bring your four-legged companions. However, signs detailing the park’s history are located throughout the grounds so you’ll learn a lot either way!
To get to the main trail, keep driving once you enter the park. There are several turn offs to the right - campgrounds, playgrounds, picnic, areas but you'll want to just keep going straight to get to the parking lot at the museum where the main trail heads off from.