Photo Credit: Ashley Marcin
Written by Keith Wimberley, Park Manager
As the first designated state archaeological park in Tennessee and one of only two currently, we are very proud of our heritage. Tennessee State Parks offers many diverse types of parks and Old Stone Fort holds a special niche in the system of 56 parks. Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park was officially established on April 23, 1966 when Governor Clement came and dedicated the site.
What is called the Old Stone Fort in reality was never used for defensive purposes. It was simply misnamed by the early settlers of the area when they discovered the 50 acres surrounded by mound walls. All evidence points to the site as a regional ceremonial gathering place with no indications of burials or habitation. The mound site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a special place indeed. It has been expertly recognized as “perhaps the most spectacularly sited…Woodland sacred place”. The amazing natural setting was the obvious draw for the pre-historic Native Americans. From the orientation of the mounds toward the summer solstice sunrise to the deep plunge pools below the two main waterfalls and the steep cliffs this is truly an amazing place to see firsthand.
We enjoy hosting visitors of various kinds. We strive to interpret the site accurately and appropriately to increase the love and protection for park, cultural sites and nature in general. Many of our programs are free and we do offer special programs which will be crafted to the needs of the visitor. These specialty programs do require an additional fee for time and resources. This money helps support the park and helps us make improvements.
Another great way to support the park is by becoming a member and volunteer for the Friends of Old Stone Fort. I know you will come to love this place as much as we do.
Thank you for your time and your support of our park and its mission.
- Keith Wimberley
For programming information and outreach contact
Park Ranger Leigh Gardner