Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park began as a local park constructed by the Works Progress Administration, a Depression Era work recovery program. Now, as a Tennessee State Park, it is home to the Tennessee River Folklife Interpretive Center and Museum situated on one of the highest points in West Tennessee, Pilot Knob. The center features the life ways and customs of folks on the Tennessee River including musseling, crafts, commercial fishing and more. Several videos on park history, Civil War history and river life are shown upon request. The gift shop offers a large variety of items related to the park story as well as Tennessee State Park souvenirs. The park contains more than 25 miles of hiking trails.
Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park was named after a Confederate cavalry leader, General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Although a controversial figure, Forrest is remembered by some as a noted military tactician of the Civil War. On November 4, 1864, he attacked and destroyed the Johnsonville Federal supply and munitions depot across the river at the mouth of Trace Creek. His operations were concentrated along the river in the vicinity of the park and the town of Eva. The area was designated a state park in 1963.
The park is located on Kentucky Lake where fishing is very prominent. Commercial marinas and public boat docks are located nearby and three boating accesses are available in the park at no cost. Fishermen may catch smallmouth, largemouth and striped bass, sauger, crappie, bream and catfish.
Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park features eight cabins overlooking the Kentucky Lake. Six cabins offer two bedrooms with two full-size beds in each room and full baths. One cabin is accessible to persons with a disability and is equipped with three beds and two accessible bathrooms. There is also one rustic log cabin located on a secluded ridge overlooking Kentucky Lake. The historic log cabin includes a full-sized bed, pullout couch, a wood burning fireplace, a full bathroom, full kitchen and a covered back porch complete with a glider and rocking chairs to overlook Kentucky Lake.
The park also offers three campgrounds, two of those being primitive. The Happy Hollow camping area has 37 sites, each equipped with tables, grills, water and electrical hookups. The second campground is primitive camping with 13 available sites. Water is available, but not at each site. The third campground is reserved for supervised youth groups such as scouts. It is located on Kentucky Lake near the park office.
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