With so many recreational activities available, you're bound to find something to do at Henry Horton State Park. It's a great spot for hikers, anglers, campers, golfers, boaters and party-ers alike. There is even a restaurant (The Governor's Table) if you're tired of eating those packed sandwiches and beef jerky.
What Makes It Great
Henry Horton State Park was once the estate of former Tennessee Governor, Henry Horton. It was constructed in the 1960s along the diverse Duck River. The property has the remnants of a mill and bridge used by the family of Horton's spouse for over a century. History isn't the only thing that makes this a park worth visiting.
The Duck River is one of the the most biologically diverse rivers in North America. It is home to over 151 species of fish and 50 species of freshwater mussels. After a morning shower in one of the bathhouses near the campsites, head over the shore of the river and cast a line. You're likely to catch, but not limited to, largemouth or smallmouth bass, red eye or catfish. A valid Tennessee fishing license is required. For more information, head over to Tennessee's Wildlife Resources site.
There are an impressive amount of campsites located within the park; seventy-eight of them to be exact. Renovations have just been completed for the 54 recreational vehicle areas. They now feature wider and longer campsites, new pavements, new water hookups and 20/30/50 electrical hookups. Ten other sites with amenities are for tents, nine primitive sites and three back-country campgrounds. All campgrounds are located within a stone's throw away from the river and are equipped with tables and fire rings. Two bathhouses are located right in the middle of the campgrounds and are open seasonally. Only one stays open during the winter.
Henry Horton State Park has over ten miles of trails coursing through it. The five trails will take you through different landscapes of the protected area. You'll find yourself walking through sinkholes, dry cedar glades and along the river's bank or through areas with deep history. Every trail in the park is ranked either easy or moderate with one of those, the 0.2 mile Henry Horton Greenway, being a paved surface. The Duck River Scenic Trail is still under construction but looks like a promising place to explore the river's rich ecology.
Who is Going to Love It
Everyone is going to love this place. There are so many areas for a variety of different activities it's almost overwhelming. The park offers the following activities: disc golf, fishing, golfing, trap and skeet, swimming in an Olympic-sized pool, archery, baseball, tennis, volleyball, canoeing/kayaking, hiking and, of course, camping. This isn't including the 65-room inn ($70-$86) or restaurant that is also located within the park. There is actually something for everyone here.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking is located in a number of different places throughout the park. There are spots at the Skeet and Trap Range, Wild Turkey Trailhead (2.0 miles loop), Conference Hall, Cabin Area, Inn and Restaurant, Visitor Center, Interpretation Center, Primitive Group Camp site, and Wilhoite Mill Trailhead (1.0 mile loop). The Hickory Ridge Nature Loop (1.5 miles inner loop and 3.5 miles outer loop) trailhead is located at the Interpretation Center. Pets are allowed in the park but must be on a leash and are not to be tied up to a stake at the campsite.