Link back to Home.
Home  |   Air  |   Water  |   Land  |   Permits  |   Online Services   |   Contact Us  |  State Parks

Main content begins below.
Old Stone Fort Header links back to Old Stone Fort home Click for information on reservations
A Breath Of Fresh Air...
The Tennessee Non-smokers Protection Act goes into effect October 1, 2007.

All state park inn rooms, cabins, restaurants, visitors centers, meeting rooms, restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways and other common-use areas will become smoke-free on that date. Thank you for helping us make the transition to a smoke-free environment.

Old Stone Fort

Park Information

Hours of Operation
The Park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sunset, year-round, CST
Museum is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Old Stone Fort is on US 41 immediately north of Manchester, TN. Exit 110 on I-24 is within 1? miles of the entrance by way of Hwy 53 to US 41. Manchester is approximately one hour from both Nashville and Chattanooga. For a map and specific driving directions, visit

The park campground is accessible to persons with a disability.

Points of Interest
  • Jack Daniels Distillery
  • Cumberland Caverns
  • Historic Bellbuckle
  • Foothills Crafts
  • Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
    732 Stone Fort Drive  |  Manchester, TN 37355
    Office: 931-723-5073

    Camping Fishing Golf Hiking Trails Picnic Facilities

    This State Archaeological Park is dedicated to the preservation, protection, study and interpretation to the public of this significant survival of ancient culture. The park offers educational and entertaining programs, which increase understanding of the Old Stone Fort, archaeology, and Native American cultures.  The museum includes exhibits that orientate the visitor to the Old Stone Fort and its setting, the hilltop enclosure mound site’s broader significance and the culture of its builders.

    The 876-acre park also offers a variety of activities including fishing, camping and hiking. Old Stone Fort Golf Course is the only 9-hole course in the Tennessee Golf Trail. The course lies along the pastoral Duck River with mature trees encompassing each hole.

    Historical Significance

    The Old Stone Fort is a 2000 year-old American Indian ceremonial site. It consists of mounds and walls that combine with cliffs and rivers to form an enclosure measuring 1-1/4 miles around. The 50-acre hilltop enclosure mound site is believed to have served as a central ceremonial gathering place for some 500 years. It has been identified as, perhaps, the most spectacularly sited sacred area of its period in the United States and the largest and most complex hilltop enclosure in the south. Settlers tended to name such enclosures “forts.”

    The spectacular setting occurs where two rivers drop off the plateau of the Highland Rim in Middle Tennessee and plunge to the level of the Central Basin of Tennessee. As the forks of the Duck River cut down from the plateau level they isolate a promontory between them before they join. This promontory was further set apart by the construction of long, wall-like mounds during the Woodland prehistoric period.

    At the narrow neck of land between the two rivers there is a set of parallel mound walls oriented to within one degree of the summer solstice sunrise. It was typical of ancient societies to recognize this significant farthest north sunrise and to hold reenactments of creation myths at such times. Mound sites such as the 50-acre Old Stone Fort provided modified landscapes for ceremonies that may have represented in some way the culture’s concept of their place in the cosmos and a separation of the sacred and mundane or pure and impure.


    Old Stone Fort State Park offers 51 campsites with water and electrical hookups, grills, picnic tables and hard-surface pads that can accommodate a unit up to 50 feet in length. A dump station is available during the summer months. One of the two restroom facilities includes showers. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis only and the stay limit is two weeks. A group tent primitive camping area is also available for use by scheduled, organized groups only, such as boy scouts.

    Click a link below for more information on that lodging option.
    Group Camp


    There's a lot to do and see at Old Stone Fort State Park! Good fishing is available along the scenic course of the Bark Camp and Barren forks of the Duck River, as well as the Duck River itself. Non-motorized boats and canoes are welcome on Old Stone Fort State Park’s one-mile long linear lake. A 9-hole golf course is located within two miles of the archaeological park. A museum provides interpretation and orientation to the site, and programs can be scheduled for school and other groups that provide insight into the significance of Old Stone Fort, the culture or lifestyles of Woodland Indians, and the goals and techniques of archaeology. Click a link below for more information on that activity.
    Picnic Facilities
    Planned Programs