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“Small but interesting park. Maintenance staff could be better.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
732 Stone Fort Drive, Manchester, TN 37855
931-723-5073
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Ranked #1 of 9 Attractions in Manchester
Type: Historic Sites, Outdoors
Activities: Camping, Picnicking, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: A 2000-year old American Indian ceremonial site consisting of a natural enclosure measuring 1-1/4 miles around.
USA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Small but interesting park. Maintenance staff could be better.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

This is a very small but interesting park for nature lovers or history buffs. The indian ceremonial structures are among the largest in the US, though the old walls have declined in prominence over the centuries. Trails run along the river and are very enjoyable, with several access points where you can see waterfalls or play in shallow water if you so desire. The less traveled yellow and red trail extensions were surprisingly beautiful and we had them mostly to ourselves.

We stayed for a couple nights in the campground. It was generally enjoyable, with a couple caveats. Although the sites vary in size, most are heavily wooded and provide partial or full shade. All sites have electric and water and there is an older bathing facility with hot showers.

Upkeep at the campground was average at best. We arrived mid-day on Friday, stayed all day Saturday, and a half day Sunday. At no time during those three days did the men's restroom in the campground have paper towels. Yet, we saw park maintenance employees constantly in the campground on Friday afternoon. There were also lots of rangers about, but the camping office was closed every time we passed it for the entire weekend. The concrete pads around the picnic tables had thick mud caked under the tables, making it pretty apparent that the employees rarely if ever bother to clean the sites. Although there seem to be a lot of employees, perhaps they could be put to better use.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay despite the few irritations. This is a small park, best enjoyed with a short visit. You can do justice to the archeology in just a couple hours, and there's enough hiking to keep you busy for a day, if you look for it. Though the Duck River runs through the park, it isn't really very accessible for canoes or kayaks. Beyond a day or so, I would seek out a larger park with more to do. (Fall Creek Falls comes to mind). This is Tennessee, so if you don't enjoy the heat, the best time to visit would be spring or fall.

Visited September 2013
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Huntsville, Alabama
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“A nice afternoon stroll”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

This park is not exactly what I expected, but we had a nice visit. The little museum is OK for giving you some background on the site, but don't expect to leave the museum fully understanding what you will see on the park. The 12 minute film is very old, dated and amaturish. They can do much better in that regard. There is a 1 1/4 mile hiking trail around the perimeter of the stone/earthwork. If you don't plan on walking the whole circuit you are better off taking the trail in reverse (turn right at the beginning instead of left). The best parts of the trail the most to see is to the left during the first 1/2 mile.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murfreesboro, TN
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Good trails, good times.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Overall, I would say it was a good all around experience. The state website helped in getting a view of the camp sites, before we picked one, online reservation ability a plus as well. For me some of the sites were pretty close to one another, as well as some would not have been able to accommodate our 6 person tent. Most everything was well marked and easily accessible. We did walk/hike 2 trails, neither paved, but a good time. The 2 negatives for me was the close proximity to the hwy, which you heard all night, and to a lesser degree was the band playing at an apparent football game taking place (that sounded like a blow out according to the band). Will most likely visit again.

Visited September 2013
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Smyrna Tn
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Natural Park In Manchester”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Nice trails overall saw two waterfalls but they were a little dry to day. We really enjoyed it though. They have a small museum on site not much information though. Would go back but enjoyed the Cumberland Plateau much better.

Visited September 2013
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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Stay was too short!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

Was traveling from Georgia to St. Louis in the RV and spent one night here on Labor Day. The campground was pretty well cleared out, so hard to tell how it would be if full of campers, but the sites were nicely spread out and pretty level. Once I got there, I really wished I had more day light to explore and do some hiking. It sure looks like a neat little park. On my next trip up this way I will budget extra time to give this park a more thorough look!

Visited September 2013
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