Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park began as a local park constructed by the Works Progress Administration, a Depression Era work recovery program. Now, as a Tennessee State Park, it is home to the Tennessee River Folklife Interpretive Center and Museum situated on one of the highest points in West Tennessee, Pilot Knob. The center features the lifeways and customs of folks on the Tennessee River including musseling, crafts, commercial fishing, and more. Several videos on park history, Civil War history, and river life are shown upon request. The gift shop offers a large variety of items related to the park story as well as Tennessee State Park souvenirs. The park contains more than 20 miles of hiking trails.
Overnight lodging options include cabins overlooking Kentucky Lake and your choice of RV camping or pitching a tent at our primitive campground. A third campground is reserved for supervised youth groups such as scouts. It is located on Campground Road along Harmon's Creek. Five backcountry shelters are available.
Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park was named after a Confederate cavalry leader, General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Although a controversial figure, Forrest is remembered by some as a noted military tactician of the Civil War. On November 4, 1864, he attacked and destroyed the Johnsonville Federal supply and munitions depot across the river at the mouth of Trace Creek. His operations were concentrated along the river in the vicinity of the park and the town of Eva. The area was designated a state park in 1963.
Watch the YouTube video below to learn more about the Battle of Johnsonville that took place in 1864.
The park is located on Kentucky Lake where fishing is very prominent. Commercial marinas and public boat docks are located nearby and three boating accesses are available in the park at no cost. Fishermen may catch smallmouth, largemouth, and striped bass, sauger, crappie, bream, and catfish.
More than 20 miles of hiking trails offer short jaunts or longer treks. Two backcountry shelters are available for overnight hikes and can be reserved with a permit issued at the park office. Trail maps are available at the park office and museum. After your hike cool off with a swim at Eva Beach.
The park's annual events draw people from across the region and ranger-led programs are available for groups upon request throughout the year. Please call the Park Office at 731-584-6356 to schedule a private program. Current public programs may be viewed on our Upcoming Events page.
Park Trail Maps
Looking for a trail map? Click the link below to see a list of the maps available at this park. The page includes all the trail maps we have available, organized by park. We have free and paid options that provide you the details you need to have your next great adventure in Tennessee.
Geo-referenced Trail Maps
Did you know that certain types of PDF maps can show your exact position on a trail? We are creating geo-referenced maps for our parks. When the map is opened with an app on your smartphone, a dot/reference point displays on the device screen at your exact location. These maps use your GPS, not your cell signal, so they work even when you do not have service. Here is what you need to access our maps: