Tennessee State Parks

Tims Ford State Park

Activities

Birding

Essentially an upland park, open field birds such as Indigo Bunting, Song and Field Sparrow share created meadow areas on either side of the park road past the visitor center. Barred Owls can be heard calling and seen on the nearby Spann House Trail. From the scenic Marble Plains overlook, the Ray Branch Shoreline Loop hugs the lake edge and is a good way to spot herons, Pied-billed Grebe and the occasional Bald Eagle.

Fishing

Tims Ford Lake is a long winding reservoir (10,000 acre) providing boating, skiing, fishing and other water recreation activities. Fishing is decent for Largemouth, Spotted and Smallmouth Bass and is best known for the latter. The lake is stocked annually with Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass which can be caught year-round using various techniques.  Striped Bass commonly exceed 15 lbs and hybrids are typically about 7 pounds. Numerous local and professional tournaments are conducted on the lake. 

Fishing in the Elk River coldwater tailwaters below the dam during non-generation periods is very productive for Rainbow and Brown Trout.

Biking

There are 7 miles of paved biking/hiking trails that connect all the major areas of the park.  A multi-use mountain bike/hiking trail has an out and back total of over 16 miles and runs along the shoreline of Tims Ford Reservoir.

Trail Length: 22 miles
Trail Rating: Intermediate

Golfing

Just an hour-and-a-half south of Nashville lies another star of the Jack Nicklaus-designed collection. The Bear Trace at Tims Ford has received widespread acclaim almost from the day of its opening. Included among its plaudits are one of the “Top Ten Places You Can Play” and one of the “Best New Destinations” in Tennessee for 1999. Situated on a peninsula surrounded by picturesque Tims Ford Lake, this visually compelling golf course has been described by one national publication as a “glittering newcomer….an intriguing 6,764 yard layout (gold tees) with several different looks.”

Opening holes are a blend of links-style creations that gently roll across former pasture land, then gradually transition to wooded sites dominated by giant oak trees. The back nine presents a stronger test of each golfer’s mettle and culminates with the 18th hole, a 453-yard, par four with traditional Nicklaus bunkers and a deep-water shoreline of Tims Ford. In all, the Tims Ford reservoir is visible from most holes on the course and comes into play on several of the 18 holes, giving the course an excellent balance of challenge and playability.

Hiking

There are 6.5 miles of unpaved hiking trails in addition to the 22 miles of bike trails that are also used for hiking. Two of the three trails begin at the visitor center, while the third wraps the shoreline near our marina.

Lost Creek Overlook Trail — 1.3 Miles — Natural — Moderate
Overlook Trail — 1.0 Miles — Paved — ADA Accessible
Marble Plains Loop Trail — 1.2 Miles — Natural — Moderate
Ray Branch Shoreline Trail — 6.0 Miles — Natural — Difficult
Evans Loop Trail — 3.0 Miles — Natural — Moderate
Spann House Trail — 4.0 Miles — Natural — Moderate
Highland Rim Wildflower Trail — 0.3 Miles — Natural — Moderate
Tims Ford Bicycle Trail — 6.0 Miles — Paved — Easy
Clifton Doyle Trail — 0.8 Miles — Natural — Easy