Although Old Stone Fort State Park is along the way to St. Louis, and would make a great stopping point, we decided to make this little State Park and the surrounding attractions an adventure all on its own and had a fantastic time! Following work on Friday afternoon, we drove from Atlanta to Old Stone Fort in Manchester, TN, which is about three & half hours away-making it the perfect weekend excursion.
Once we arrived there we set up our tent and had dinner. The camp site was absolutely picturesque! We camp for two reasons 1) a cheap place to stay on the way to our final destination or 2) we love camping and enjoy being out in nature. This trip definitely fell into the latter reason and was the ideal setting for a camping weekend without completely “roughing it.” We have stayed at several camp sites where everyone was literally on top of one another and there was absolutely no sense of being in the wilderness, but at Stone Fort every campsite was tucked down away from the road and divided by trees giving you more privacy and nature. Since we were located in Manchester, TN there was no traffic, noise, or air pollution, creating a true city get away and a beautiful look at the stars. We both were amazed at the multitude of stars we could see and spent awhile just gazing at them. The last couple times we have gone camping we were shocked by either a) how early everyone went to bed or b) how loud and late everyone stayed up partying, but Stone Fort was primarily families who were just enjoying one another and nature. On site are bathrooms and showers, as well as individual water pumps and electrical boxes at each site, providing visitors with amenities if need be (I love camping, but I also love a quick shower before I go to sleep). We both found the evenings extremely relaxing, although slightly chilly, and enjoyed just hanging out, eating, and staring at the stars.
After a chilly evening snuggling in our little two person tent, we made breakfast, cleaned up and headed to the fort! Even though we headed out quickly, this site is definitely great for just hanging out at the campsite and preparing food. The Stone Fort is actually built by early Native Americans and has a little museum inside explaining the history of Native Americans in the region, as well as delving into the knowledge discovered about the fort. There are also restrooms and a little gift shop to buy books and other trinkets in relation to Native Americans. Past the museum are several trails that run along the wall of the fort. The hike was easy and included a small waterfall, remnants of an old mill, a beautiful array of changing leaves since we went during fall, and the “fort” wall itself. We both really enjoyed the little hike and would come back again. Afterwards we went to a local winery Bean Winery, Lodge Cast Iron Cookware, and Russell Cave right over the border into Alabama (we will write separate blogs on each of these) making for a full weekend of fun, road tripping, and exploration. Nearby are other attractions including the George Dickel Distillery, Jack Daniels Distillery, and Tim’s Ford State Park, which we have yet to visit, but plan on making into a trip. For those driving through TN or looking for a short get away from city life, such as Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, or somewhere else nearby, Stone Fort is a perfect solution and has plenty of nearby places to explore as well!
Side Note: Whenever we go on any trip we pack a cooler and bag full of several quick meals, as well as snacks to save on money