Cedars of Lebanon State Park is named for the dense cedar forest that existed in the Biblical lands of Lebanon. The park contains 900 acres which are used for intensive recreation. An additional 8,100 acres are operated by the Parks Division as a natural area and by the Forestry Division as a State Forest.
Elsie Quarterman Glade Festival
The park has 117 campsites, all with picnic tables and grills, electric and water hookups. There are 30 tent and pop-up sites available. Three bathhouses provide hot showers, lavatories and commodes. There is a campstore (open seasonally), souvenir shop, laundromat and a dumping station for self-contained camping rigs. The campground is open year-round and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum stay is two weeks.
No primitive camping.
A modern group lodge, open year-round for organized groups, has a total sleeping capacity of 80 people. There are two dorms housing 20 bunkbeds in each and provides private restrooms and showers. The lodge has modern equipped kitchen facilities for complete food preparation and serving. Reservations for this facility should be made well in advance. Campers should provide all linens and food. Catering is not available.
Eight miles of hiking trails meander through the "cedar" forests and glades. Hiking trails are open year-round. There are four trails in the park from which visitors frequently enjoy glimpses of fox, deer, squirrel, rabbits, and turkey throughout the park. Each trail is blazed with a rectangular colored blaze-mark located on trees along the trail. Please note the color of the blaze-mark for the trail that you hike. Remember to stay on the trail for your own safety. Trail maps are available in the park office.
Open fires are prohibited on all trails and no motorized vehicles are allowed.
Cedar Forest Trail: 2 miles (easy)
Dixon Merrit Trail: .5 miles (easy)
Limestone Sinks: self guided trail, .5 miles (easy)
Hidden Springs Trail: 5 miles (easy)
A large assembly hall is available by reservation year-round for private use on a fee basis. This area can accommodate up to 250 people, tables and chairs are provided along with a large fireplace. There is a stage at one end of the facility and at the opposite end is a small kitchen equipped with sinks, refrigerator and a stove. There are soft drink machines in the building.
For reservation information call 615-443-2769.
The park has picnic tables with grills and eleven picnic shelters located throughout the park. Drinking fountains, restrooms, playground equipment and soft drink machines are available for the convenience of visitors.
Three of the eleven picnic shelters may be reserved and can accomodate from 50-75 people. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.
For more picnic information call 615-443-2769.
The park features an olympic-plus-sized swimming pool and ample space for sunbathing. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer months. The pool opens Memorial Day weekend. There are two diving boards. Pool is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Contact the park for information on pool rental for parties. For more information call 615-443-2769.
The Merritt Nature Center features exhibits on geology and natural features of the park. It is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday during the on-season. The Nature Center may be opened during the off-season by special arrangement with the park's naturalist.
The park naturalist and recreation director conduct programs daily throughout the summer months, including arts and crafts, hayrides, guided tours, campfire sessions, evening movies and organized games. For more information call
Beginning in the 1940's botanists began to notice unique natural ecosystems found in and around Cedars of Lebanon State Park and Forest. These areas are natural rock gardens called cedar glades. The presence of glades is due to limestone rock coming so close to the surface of the ground that it causes the soil to be thin or absent. What little soil is there builds up along cracks and potholes in the limestone slab. Water and surface temperatures vary so much throughout the year that a harsh, desert-like, inhospitable habitat is created with its own unique plant community. Nineteen rare and endangered species of plants grow profusely here and no where else in the world.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park and State Forest are located in the southwestern part of Wilson County within the Central Basin of Tennessee. During the early 1800's, many of the original settlers gained land ownership through land grants for their service during the Revolutionary War. They found the area to be a vast cedar forest. This forest (although it actually consists of juniper trees mistaken for cedars by the first arrivals) suggested to these pioneers the biblical name of the 'place of Cedars'. Lebanon is the closest town and was named by these early settlers due to this association. more...
Recreational facilities at the park include fully equipped playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a lighted softball field, volleyball court, disc golf and lighted tennis courts.
Tour buses are welcome.