Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, Manchester

#20 of 106 in Wildlife in Tennessee
The Old Stone Fort was built during the Middle Woodland Period, 1,500-2,000 years ago. Native Americans used this area continuously for about 500 years, eventually leaving it abandoned. By the time European settlers arrived, it was unclear of what the area had been used for which resulted in it being misnamed as a fort. In 1966, the state of Tennessee purchased 400 acres of the Chumley estate as the core of what is now Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park.

The park is home to an abundance of activities for guests to enjoy. The main hiking trail follows the wall of Old Stone Fort which was used by the Native Americans as a ceremonial gathering place. The trail threads through dramatic scenery where you can see the original entrance of the fort which was designed to face the exact spot on the horizon where the sun rises during the summer solstice. Visitors can learn about the Old Stone Fort on this hike with twelve interpretive panels as well as enjoying the areas graceful waterfalls.

The Old Stone Fort attracts history enthusiasts from all over. The park’s museum consists of displays of prehistoric Native American replicas as well as dioramas and photos. The exhibits provide information on the theories regarding the enclosure’s builders, archaeological excavations at the site and the culture of its builders. There is also a small theater for viewing an orientation film and other videos as well as group presentations. The museum also houses the welcome center, park office and gift shop.
Put Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park at the forefront of your travel plans using our Manchester tour itinerary website .
Create an itinerary including Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
232 reviews
  • We stopped here on the way to our hotel in Manchester for a walk and garden visit. It was a great choice! Very lovely park, nice history interpretation, and easy, pleasant walks throughout. Highly rec...  more »
  • Excellent walking trails- beautiful waterfalls - limestone crevices to explore- careful when trails are wet - slippery- fascinating story about the reason for the mounds to exist  more »
  • One the fact that all the state parks in Tennessee are free !!! Makes my heart Happy all the trails , why wouldn't you want to explore all the beauty it has to offer !! Personally this has come to be one of my favorites with a lay out of a little bit of everything! From the history lesson on the drive in , to the imagination you use wondering what that mill or area might have looked like back in it's prime . Easy trails for the less adventurous or those with little ones . Harder trails for the more experienced nature enthusiasts, grass , bugs and waterfalls what's not to love.
  • Overall, great Tennessee historical park - museum is interesting and easy to access, and the hike was easy and beautiful. Great family day trip, summer swimming, and/or hands-on historical learning. Campground was 50/50 - some sites were fine, others were flooded and it had been 3 days since it had rained. Best for RV's, some sites suitable for tents, and sites seemed fairly private as there were lots of trees.

Plan your trip to Manchester

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Manchester

Duration: 1​h 30​min
Duration: 1​h 30​min
Duration: 2​h 30​min
Duration: 4​h

Side trips from Manchester

Duration: 1​h 30​min
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Plans to Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park by other users

View more plans