Tims Ford State Park, Winchester

#2 of 6 in Things to do in Winchester
Q: Why is the park called Tims Ford?

A: Before the development of Tims Ford Reservoir, the Elk River main channel was used by several families for farming, recreation, milling and more. However, the river was difficult to cross at points. Many families designed their own “fords,” or ways to cross people and equipment over the river. These fords often became family businesses just like that of Abner Mansfield Tims, an early Franklin County settler. The location of this ford was near what is now the Tims Ford Dam and was used until 1885 when the Tims Ford Bridge was installed. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decided to use that ford as the namesake of the reservoir and thus the park also used that name.

Q: What is the history of the park?

A: Many families and businesses residing along the Elk River Valley formed the Elk River Development Association in the mid 1950’s. Their goal was to bolster the economic growth in the region. They partnered with TVA in 1966 and contracted to make the reservoir for the purpose of “providing a source of water for municipal, industrial, agricultural and domestic use and as a recreational resource”. In 1969, the partnership decided to set aside approximately 1000 acres of land on the most scenic part of the lake to form a public park. Because communities were relocated during construction of the lake, the area is also a huge historical resource.

Q: What is your parks mission?

A: To plan and manage for the protection and interpretation of the natural, cultural and scenic areas that are found within Tims Ford State Park, and to provide the opportunity for a variety of outdoor experiences for the park’s visitors.

To Share the stories of the relationship between the Tennessee Valley Authority and those families affected by the inception of Tims Ford Dam.

To reveal the history of the Elk River Valley and its use across the ages. To interpret the flora and fauna found across the region and how Tims Ford State Park works to conserve and protect it.

Q: Is there any other interesting history about this area?

A: Plenty; long before the inception of the reservoir, the Elk River served as a trading and hunting ground for the Creek and Cherokee tribes of Native Americans. It was also one of the many old roads moving north to what is now Nashville, another trade center.
Our Winchester route tool makes visiting Tims Ford State Park and other Winchester attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
Create an itinerary including Tims Ford State Park
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Tims Ford State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
139 reviews
  • Even though we live nearby we occasionally chose to camp here. The campground is clean and quiet. Their staff is informative and very helpful. The trails are very well maintained. The pool is nice and...  more »
  • As a native to Franklin county I have spent many days at this park. The location is great. There is always wildlife to be seen roaming around. A nice shady paved walking trail for those with disabilit...  more »
  • We got a nice pet friendly cabin that was handicapped accessible. This cabin had an electronic fireplace; we missed the gas fire of other cabins we had stayed in here. We liked the new furniture. We felt the charge per pet was a bit excessive. The trails are great, particularly the trail with two swinging bridges.
  • Very beautiful. They have a great bike path that leads to a great bridge over the water. The kids loved this place. Our cabin was perfect!

Plan your trip to Winchester

  • 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 Winchester

Duration: 2​h
Duration: 4​h
Duration: 1​h

Side trips from Winchester

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