TN: Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park

Discussion in 'Tennessee' started by Travelhoveler, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Mar 8, 2011
    This past weekend we attended the annual Bald Eagle and Waterfowl Day at the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge. Warm weather up north meant fewer waterfowl this year (the week's count was about 133,000 ducks and 4,000 geese) but we lost count of the bald eagles we saw. A great day, but for waterfowl viewing, you want really, really cold weather. Temps in the 50s just aren't conducive to seeing six-figure numbers of ducks and geese. But still, a spendid time was had by all.

    We camped for the weekend across the river and downstream a bit at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. This large rustic park was named for, let's just call him an historical figure, and was the site of one of his victories in the War Between the States, where he surprised and destroyed a major Yankee supply depot across the river in an artillery ambush.


    This park is located on the west bank of the Tennessee River just northeast of the Benton County seat of Camden and features a long stretch of shoreline, 30 miles of hiking trails, and the highest point in West Tennessee, Pilot Knob. Atop Pilot Knob is the excellent Tennessee River Folklife Museum with exhibits on fishing, river life, the musselling industry (mussels were harvested for river pearls and for the button industry), and Forrest's victory. The park also features picnic areas, cabins, boat ramps and more.

    There are two campgrounds. Happy Hollow Campground is the main campground and features 38 sites with picnic tables, grills, electrical hookups, a heated bathhouse with showers and a dump station. We prefer the eighteen-site rustic campground which is located right on the shore of the lake. You can fish or kayak right from your campsite!

    The park is rarely very crowded. In fact, for the second time in two years, we were the only campers in the park for the entire weekend! That's right, two campgrounds, 56 sites, and we were the only one occupied. We paid the off-season rate of $8 a night, a tremendous bargain for such a glorious place. Though we stayed in the rustic campground, we could (and did) use the heated bathhouse at Happy Hollow for showers.

    Tennessee State Parks is celebrating its 75th year this year. It's an especially great year to visit them.

    Mussel boat at the folklife museum

    View from Pilot Knob

    Forrest monument on Pilot Knob

    Our camper at the rustic campground, right on Kentucky Lake (Tennessee River)
  2. bigdad

    bigdad Active Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Springfield Kentucky
    Nice Park and it look like you had good weather.
  3. KJcachers

    KJcachers Active Member

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    Nov 30, 2010
    waerfront sites are always nice!

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