Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Program approximately 48,000 acres of land were purchased in the area of the park. This purchase provided jobs for many people. Programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration established many of the buildings still being used today and laid the foundation for what is now Natchez Trace State Park at the core of the large tract of public lands.
The park's hiking trails, range from a one-half mile up to 4.5 miles, and a 40 mile overnight trail. The trails wind through the forest and fields and along the lakeshores and streams of Natchez Park. Visitors also enjoy the museum that features local and park history, picnic facilities, camping, cabins and lodges, boating and the park’s restaurant.
The park offers activities for visitors of all ages. Fishing is a favorite activity at Natchez Trace and anglers have four lakes from which to choose. Fifty-eight acre Cub Lake and 690 acre Pin Oak Lake are operated by Tennessee State Parks, while 90 acre Maple Creek Lake and 167 acre Brown’s Creek Lake are operated by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Natchez Trace State Park is one of the few parks that have an onsite wrangler camp. Located 2.2 miles south of I-40 on Hwy. 114 the Bucksnort Wrangler Camp features 65 campsites with full hook-ups, two bathhouses and a dump station. There are 250 miles of riding trails on the south end of the park in the Natchez Trace State Forest operated by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
Natchez Trace State Park is located on an alternate route of the old Natchez Trace. This route of the old trace is on the opposite side of the Tennessee River from the Natchez Trace Parkway. The name originally applied to a series of trails and paths that originated with animal migration routes and American Indian trade and travel routes. These were later used by returning boatmen that had floated goods to markets in Natchez and New Orleans from the Nashville area.
The 9,629-acre Natchez Trace State Park consists primarily of pine and hardwood forest. Three man-made lakes occur within the park, where great blue herons, pied-billed grebes, American coots and a small number of ducks can be found in winter. Over 23 miles of hiking trails including a 14-mile overnight trail are ideal for woodland birding. A wide variety of migrating warblers, vireos, thrushes and flycatchers pass through the area. Summer birds that can be seen include yellow-billed cuckoo, great crested and Acadian flycatchers, scarlet and summer tanagers, wood thrush, pine, prairie, and Kentucky warblers. In winter, brown creepers, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and occasionally red-breasted nuthatch can be found. The park is part of the large 48,000-acre Natchez Trace State Forest and Wildlife Management Area. Over 135 species of birds have been observed in the park.
A free public swim beach is located at Cub Lake. No lifeguards are on duty. The Pin Oak Campground has a swimming beach only for campers. A pool is located at Pin Oak Lodge. The unheated pool is for inn and cabin guests only and is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Pin Oak Lake is popular for all types of boats and water recreation. Guests may also rent jon boats at the boat dock for use on Cub Creek Lake. Personal electric trolling motors can be used on park jon boats. Brown’s Lake and Maples Creek Lake are managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Natchez Trace State Park's hiking trails range from one-half mile up to 4.5 miles, and a 40 mile overnight trail.
Mountain biking is allowed on the multi-use fire trails.
Brown’s Creek Lake and Maple’s Creek Lake are managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Pin Oak Lake is managed by the park. Bait, tackle and snacks are for sale at nearby locations. Fishing licenses may be purchased at the inn.
With many acres of scenic woodlands, Natchez Trace State Park offers many options for the equine enthusiast. Ride on over 250 miles of public use trails when visiting the Wrangler Camp.
The camping cabins are a unique lodging option at Natchez Trace. The cabins are located right by the water on a grassy slope overlooking Pin Oak Lake. Each cabin has air conditioning, two bunks, (sleeping four people total), a picnic table, BBQ grill, lantern holder, and water (in-season).
CUB LAKE CAMPGROUNDS
Cub Lake Campground #1 has 23 sites and 1 bathhouse. The sites feature 20, 30-amp electric and Sites # 8, 9, 11 and 12 have 50-amp electric. All sites have water hookups. There is a strict RV size restriction of 25 feet and under. This campground is open seasonally and also has a dump station.
Cub Lake Campground #2 has 46 sites and 1 bathhouse. The sites are primarily primitive. Water is available in the campground, but not at each campsite. There is a strict RV size restriction of 20 feet and under. This campground is open seasonally and also has a dump station.
Backcountry camping is allowed although a permit is required. There are four backcountry campsites and up to 35 people may camp at any one site. Pets on leashes are allowed, pack animals are not.
PIN OAK CAMPGROUND
The Pin Oak campground has 77 sites, 2 bathhouses, 50 amp electric, sewer and water hookups. The campground is located on the shore of Pin Oak Lake and can accommodate RVs up to 80 feet in length. The RV camp also offers a swimming beach, playground, picnic shelter, camping cabins and boat dock. While this campground is open year-round, some campsites close after December 1.
Natchez Trace Wrangler Camp is located 2.2 miles south of I-40 on Hwy. 114. The Bucksnort Wrangler Camp features 62 campsites with electric and water, two bathhouses, and a dump station. All electrical hook-ups are 50 amps. Each site has a picnic table, ground grill, pedestal grill, lantern holder, water and posts to picket horses. There are 250 miles of riding trails in the park and forest. Campsites should be reserved online or by calling the park. Campers are requested to leave site clear of horse waste. Pets must be kept on a leash. Quiet time is at 10:00 PM. While this campground is open year-round, some campsites close after December 1.
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