One of my goals for this year was to visit new (to me) Tennessee State Parks. It’s easy for me to keep going back to parks that I love because I know what to expect and I have a much lower chance of being disappointed. 🙃 I made it to Pickett and now I ventured south (instead of east) to David Crockett State Park. (Not to be confused with the David Crockett Birthplace State Historic Park. Make sure you are looking at the right map and park!)
One of my hesitancies of going to some of the state parks I haven’t been to yet is the shorter trails. I’ve said it before, but when I make the effort to drive somewhere, I want to hike for at least 3 hours. So, I made the unofficial David Crockett State Park Loop, connecting multiple trails to traverse most of the land in the park, totaling about 7.5 miles. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see my route. I started near the playground and Campground 1 at the south end of the Shoal Creek Trail.
(Side note: Many of the trails are not on GAIA GPS or Google/Apple maps, so I had to keep checking and comparing GAIA to the park map since I was making my own loop. Plus, I also did some of my ‘hiking’ on paved roads so I could connect everything.)
WIll this state park completely take your breath away? Probably not. But, there’s still things worth seeing. There’s the two waterfalls, a peaceful stroll along Shoal Creek, a small lake, plus a portion of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. There’s nice cabins, fishing in the lake, a campground, a covered bridge and I even saw an archery range and blackpowder rifle range. (I’m not sure if these are open and active.) There’s also a handful of ‘Connector Trails” that link the Shoal Creek Trail aight the Trail of Tears, so you can create a loop of varying lengths. I could see this being a great park for a family trip.
I mentioned 2 waterfalls: Crocket Falls and another (unnamed?) cascade kind of around the back end of the lake. It’s at the end of that little spur on my route. It was really beautiful and I had no idea it was there because it’s not marked on any of the maps. (I had to turn around at this fall and not complete the Crawfish Valley Trail because I deemed completely crossing that fall with a dog was too dangerous, so I hiked along the road for a bit instead.)
The park is almost right in Lawrenceburg, so it’s definitely not secluded but may be worth a visit if you’re looking to go somewhere new. And remember, any time outside is good!
Distance from Nashville: 1 hour 30 minutes
Trailhead: Shoal Creek Trailhead off Davy Crockett Park Rd
Trails: “Loop” form by Shoal Creek Trail, Crawfish Valley Trail, Lake Road Trail, Trail of Tears and Turkey Ridge Trail (see full route below)
Link to trail map: David Crocket State Park Map
Length of hike: 7.6 miles
Type of hike: Make your own loop
Camping: Campground No. 1 and 2 (Drive-in/RV sites)
Overview: An easy hiking tour of a state park with creeks, small waterfalls and history.