Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
732 Stone Fort Drive | Manchester, Manchester, TN, USA
state.tn.us/environment/park… - 931-723-5073
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park Manchester Reviews
Jan 17, 2008
This little park is located just north of Manchester, TN. It is free and has pretty nice (but short) hiking trails. The trails start on top of 85 ft cliffs and drop down to river level (and back up, of course!). There are a few different waterfalls, most of which you can climb down near them (although you are supposed to stay on the trail). I think they mainly want you to stay on the trail so you don't destroy the ruins, but if you just climb down the rocks, all you could destroy is youself if you fall - so be careful! The trails are dirt filled with rocks and tree roots for excitement. And the rocks are slippery when wet.
The park protects a Woodland Indian ceremonial site built about 2000 years ago. When the ruins were first found, they were not recognized as an Indian site and assumed to be a fort from early European settlers, hence the name. The stone walls have been eroded and filled in with vegetation over time and are barely recognizable now. They appear as mounds lining the tops of the cliffs between the two rivers. You can actually see the stones near one of the waterfalls (if you climb down). The site was used primarily for ceremonial purposes and not lived, so there aren't many artifacts. They did dig up an effigy pipe that is now located in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of the American Indian in New York. See more photos in the Manchester, TN part of my Southeast US blog.
There is a campground and picnic area as well as a small museum and bookstore. Donations are accepted and appreciated.
Part of the Southeast US travel blog
Part of the list Stops for the geologist
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