PUBLIC NOTICE May 14, 2020: The trails at Mousetail Landing are currently closed due to storm damage. We recently had a wind storm and there are numerous trees down on our hiking trails. We are working on the situation. Thank you for your patience while we clean up.
Tennessee State Parks will be conducting timber harvests and sales at Mousetail Landing State Park and Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park due to storm damage over the winter and spring. This action will necessitate the temporary closing of some trails.
Park officials plan to clear tracts of salvage timber damaged by storms in order to best establish uniform new growth in the affected areas and remove any hazards from the trail systems.
“These steps are designed with the long-term health of the parks in mind,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “We understand this will mean a temporary inconvenience for some of our visitors, and we ask for their understanding as we address the needs of our parks.”
At Mousetail Landing State Park, the work is expected to last from June through September. All hiking trails on the park will be closed. The backcountry shelters at the park will also be closed, as well as the primitive group camp.
At Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, the work is expected to last from June through August. All trails north of Pilot Knob will be closed as well as the group campground.
The timber sale at each park will be overseen by the park manager and a consulting forester to ensure best practices are observed throughout the process. A detailed bid and selection process will be used, and the contractor will clear the trails system and affected surroundings of hazardous trees for the safety of park guests and the re-establishment of a healthy forest. Each park will implement a plan for growth of hardwood forest with early successional habitat established in the next few years.
Tennessee State Parks are open for day-use visitors and overnight guests. We do provide travel tips and FAQs for those wishing to visit our parks. Availability of inventory for online booking may be lower than normal as the park pursues social distancing.
Certain parks or areas of parks may close if they reach capacity. Events may have limited capacity. Park hours may vary from normal operations in response to COVID-19.
Please Note: Masks are required inside all state park facilities. For more information about this and other guidelines, please see our Keeping Visitors Healthy page to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Statewide Alert (effective August 10, 2020): Visitors are required to wear a mask in any state park facility staffed by employees or where the general public may congregate. This includes park offices, visitor centers, stores, nature centers, restrooms or while touring any indoor facility being considered for rent. If visitors do not have a mask, parks will maintain a small amount of paper masks to provide to a visitor for their use. Any park rental facility- including cabins, Lodge rooms, campsites, picnic shelters, group facilities, etc. - are considered as having “restricted use” and will be the responsibility of the party renting that facility. It is recommended that they follow all CDC recommendations and guidelines regarding social distancing and mask wearing.
Visitors are required to follow the mask ordinances of the county they are in, or the park rules listed above, whichever are more stringent.