Natchez Trace State Park once contained some of the most heavily abused and eroded land in Tennessee. In the 1930s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture acquired the acreage and set up a “Land-Use-Area” project that showed how damaged wasteland could be made productive again. Today, the park has beautiful woodlands to explore in addition to four lakes with fishing and boating, a swimming beach, cabins, playgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, off-road vehicle trails, firing and archery ranges, and three campgrounds with 143 sites.
The Red Leaves Overnight Trail allows those who are interested to hike into camp, but a backcountry permit must be obtained before starting out. A new campground, wrangler camp, and equestrian center were built, and more rooms and meeting space were added to Pin Oak Lodge, which was also renovated along with the group lodge. Open year-round. There is no entrance fee, but there is a charge for camping and cabins. This eTrail from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Nashville.
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