Separate from a second park more than 300 miles away commemorating the birthplace of Davy Crockett, this state park is a south central Tennessee gem filled with family-friendly pursuits and no-frills fun.
An idyllic ode to American history, David Crockett State Park honors its eponymous pioneer with 1,100 acres of welcoming woods, water, and trails, peppered with a handful of cabins and a couple of campsites. Popular with scout troops, the park’s hiking trails are easy on the legs—mostly flat and forgiving, with serene sights along the way including Crockett Falls and an old-fashioned covered bridge. For a half day well spent, pair your hike with a picnic or a swim in the pool on-site to restore your energy and take a break from the heat in the warmer months.
What Makes It Great
This park’s visitors are often youth groups, scout troops, and families with children looking to enjoy some fun in the sun. As such, its trails are kid-friendly and not particularly punishing, which is great for first-timers as well as those who just want a casual stroll through the great outdoors without too many obstacles.
Enjoy a walk along the 2.5-mile Trail of Tears or enjoy the super-short .2-mile Waterfall Trail, letting your mind wander back to the days of yore when the land housed several of Crockett’s industrial achievements before they were destroyed in an early 19th century flood. Look for the park’s longtime inhabitants—white-tailed deer and wild turkey, which are often sighted even on short hikes—and, if you’re there in the summer, consider stopping off into the museum onsite, which is staffed during peak season and offers up-close glimpses into the life of the well-known “king of the wild frontier.”
For a little more of a challenge, try the more moderate 1.7-mile Shoal Creek Trail or 1.6-mile Overlook Trail. Of course, you can always take on multiple trails for a little more distance, too.
Who is Going to Love It
Families, groups of young children and adults with an appreciation for American history will enjoy camping in this culturally enriching park, which comes with an added dose of education in the summer, when the museum is staffed during the day. Animal lovers will also enjoy the gentle wildlife that roams freely around the park.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Highway 64 or 43, take West Gaines Street to the park’s entrance at Davy Crockett Park Road. Stop into the office on the way in for a trail map, or just park at the museum and start with the waterfall trail.