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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.

Plan Your Visit

Hours of Operation
8 a.m. - sundown

From Nashville travel west on I-24. Take Exit 11 and travel east for 5 miles. Port Royal is located approximately 12 miles southeast of downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, off Hwy. 76.
Detailed directions
To the park | From the park

Park Activities

Boating Fishing Hiking Trails Picnic Facilities

Points of Interest

  Dunbar Cave State Park
  City of Clarksville

Port Royal is an historic park and a day use park. Port Royal State Park is a place of quiet natural beauty.

This park is a satellite of Dunbar Cave State Park.


Canoe Access - All boats must be able to be carried by hand into the water. No trailers allowed on river access.

Tennessee Boating Regulations (exit TDEC)

Events and Programs

Interpretive tours are available upon request. Please call ahead to schedule.


The beautiful and scenic Red River and Sulphur Fork Creek drain approximately 975 sq. miles of northern Tennessee. Angling on both rivers is excellent. All persons fishing are required to have
a valid Tennessee Fishing License. All laws, rules and regulations pertaining to fishing apply.

Tennessee Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
Tennessee State Parks fishing policies

Hiking Trails

The Bluff Trail begins near the covered bridge site and extends along the Red River. Wildflowers and birds are abundant along this leisurely 1/4 mile trail.

Contact the park if you need more information.

Historic Park

An area rich in history, 26-acre Port Royal is the site of one of Tennessee's earliest communities and trading centers, being settled in 1782 and Founded in 1797. It was an important site on the route to the West. An old Indian trail that lead to the Ohio River had evolved into a major stagecoach route during the early 1800's and had crossed the Red River at Port Royal.

Port Royal is designated as an official site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The Trail of Tears commemorates the forced removal of Native Americans from their homelands in the Southeastern United States and the paths they traveled westward in the 1830s. Diary records of the removal mentioned Port Royal, the last stop before leaving Tennessee, as an encampment site where the Cherokee stayed overnight or longer to re-supply, grind corn and rest.

Both water and land routes crossing nine states comprise the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to acknowledge the significance of this tragic event in the nation's history. The National Park Service works with federal agencies, state and local governments, organizations, tribes, and private individuals as partners to administer the national historic trail.

Port Royal State Park is the second Tennessee State Park to be named an official site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, joining Red Clay State Historic Park in Bradley County. Other official sites in Tennessee include Audubon Acres, Brainerd Mission Cemetery and the Chattanooga Regional History Museum in Chattanooga and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore. For more information about the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, visit

History of the Covered Bridge
The present bridge is a reconstruction of an earlier bridge. Not much is known of the first bridge except that its remains were washed away in the flood of 1866. The second bridge was constructed in 1903. While workmen were removing the false support timbers from this bridge, 200 feet collapsed, sending three workers and one bystander into the Red River. One young man died. The bridge was rebuilt the following year; it served the area until 1955, when a new concrete and steel bridge was constructed. The old covered bridge deteriorated until it crashed into the river in 1972.

The State of Tennessee received the deed to 22-acres of land at Port Royal in 1977 and rebuilt the present covered bridge. Port Royal was dedicated as a State historic Area in October, 1978. On June 10, 1998, heavy rains and tornado activity caused severe damage to the bridge. Much of the structure was destroyed leaving approximately half of the bridge in place.

The Sulphur Fork Bridge was erected in 1890 by the Converse Bridge Company, one of only two major bridge companies in Tennessee specializing in metal truss designs. The bridge, an example of the Pratt truss design, is significant due to its unusual composition. The bridge is open only to foot travel.

Picnic Facilities

There are four tables in the lower parking lot area, one is wheelchair accessible.