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Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park

Group Programs & Events

The following ranger-led programs are available for groups upon request from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend for a small fee. Outside of this peak season, these programs are available free of charge. Please call the Park Office at 731-593-6445 to speak to a ranger and sign up for an available time.

Guided Hike
Join the ranger for a guided hike of one of our shorter trails. These hikes can be up to 3 miles during the day and up to 1 mile at night. The hikes will be on one of our posted trails and you can determine which trail you would like to go on. The ranger may suggest a shorter/easier trail depending on the size/makeup of the group. For the night hikes, please bring a flashlight or other form of light (glow wands, necklaces, bracelets, etc.) for all people attending the hike. This program can take up to 2.5 hours depending on length of the trail.

Archery Shoot
Join the ranger at the ballfield to test your skill with a bow and arrow. We will supply the equipment. Everyone in the group will get a chance to shoot at a designated target multiple times and at multiple distances, and we will finish the event with a short competition (boys vs girls, leaders vs students, etc.). This program could take up to 1.5 hours depending on size of group.

Owl Prowl
We will meet at a predetermined location (ballfield, shelter, scout camp, etc.) to call in barred owls. The ranger will provide an electronic call to call in the owls and a spotlight to observe the owls.  We will have a discussion about owls and other creatures of the night. This program should take about 30 minutes.

Wagon Ride
The ranger will bring a wagon to you or meet you at the ballfield and take you on a tour of our park. You will be able to see some wildlife and different views on the park. This tour should take about 20 minutes per group and will allow you to see our park. 

Canoe Float
Meet the ranger at Fossil Point Cove (first right off of Lakefront Rd.) and join them on a canoe float around parts of our park. Bring water and sunscreen because it does get warm on the lake. We can currently take 15 people per canoe trip. Life jackets will be provided, but you can bring a personal one if you would like. This canoe trip will allow you to see the park from a different perspective and should take about 1.5 hours. 

Reptile Program
Join the ranger at a predetermined location and learn about the reptiles of our park. We will bring live animals for you to see and touch. You will learn about what these animals do for us and how we should interact with them. This program should take about 45 minutes.

Campfire Program
Meet the ranger at one of our predetermined sites (depending on where you are staying) for a bonfire. We will provide marshmallows for roasting, but if you would like to bring items for s’mores or anything else to roast, feel free. If you want to bring a guitar, feel free, and you can lead everyone in campfire songs. This program should take about an hour.

Group Adventure Guide

Annual Events

Please check our event calendar for registration details and dates about the programs below and other activities offered by the park. In addition to annual events, the park participates in five statewide hikes each year. These annual hikes are a great way to explore the park with an experienced and knowledgable park ranger. 

First Day Hike: January
Spring Hike: March
National Trails Day Hike: June
National Public Lands Day: September
After Thanksgiving Day Hike: November

Astronomy Day - April (Held on a Saturday, varies year-to-year)
Astronomers will be at the ball field with a variety of telescopes and other observational equipment and a wealth of knowledge to help us understand the mysteries of the night sky. Programs are scheduled throughout the day. 731-593-6445

Storytelling Event – On the 3rd Saturday in May
Storytellers gather around the campfire at the ballfield to share stories and tall tales. Bring your favorite lawn chair and enjoy light refreshments with friends and family. 731-593-6445

Fishing Rodeo - Free fishing day is the Saturday of the first full week in June
This event coincides with TWRA’s Free Fishing Day and is held at Eva Beach Day Use Area in an inlet of KY Lake stocked with hundreds of fish. Lots of great prizes are awarded to participants. 731-593-6445

Eva Beach Music and Arts Festival – 3rd weekend in September
The Eva Beach Music and Arts Festival now includes the best in local performers, arts, crafts, food, and more. To add to the excitement, the Friends of Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park have partnered with the Camden Central High School Rebound Club to bring you The Amazing Race. Two-person teams will compete in a variety of sports including biking, canoeing, and running. This will be a weekend to remember! 731-593-6445

Fall Festival – October
Every year near Halloween the Polk Creek Trail is visited by ghosts and ghouls of all kinds. Take a wagon ride from Shelter 1 to this ghostly site and be prepared for a scare as you hike the trail.  731-593-6445

Pilot Knob 10K Race – 3rd Saturday in October
This challenging race sponsored by the Friends of Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park traverses a course from Eva Beach to the top of Pilot Knob and back.

Civil War Days - 1st Friday and Saturday in November
Commemorating the Battle of Johnsonville with artillery, infantry, cavalry, and civilian life demonstrations taking place at Eva Beach Day Use Area as well as the ballfield in Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park and throughout Johnsonville State Historic Area. For further information please contact the park office at 731-593-6445 

TN River Christmas Event – Last Saturday in November
One of the most spectacular sights you will find during the Christmas season is Pilot Knob adorned with thousands of lights and decorations. The festive atmosphere is topped off with refreshments, holiday music, and even an appearance by Santa himself. 731-593-6445