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 life ways 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 Kentucky Lake near the park office.
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.
Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) and kayaks may be rented online or at Eva Beach for use on Kentucky Lake.
The ball field at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park features a 9-hole (currently 5-hole) disc golf course that encircles the perimeter of the field. It features wide, level fairways that appeal to the beginner plus some challenges for the more experienced player.
Swimming is available in Kentucky Lake at the Eva Beach site. This unsupervised, sandy beach area is open to the public at no charge.
Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park has more than 20 miles of hiking trails offering short jaunts or longer treks.
Fishing is productive from the bank, but the best way to experience this large river is by boat. The creek mouths and embayments are popular for spring crappie fishing from late March through May. Bluegill and Redear Sunfish are also commonly harvested from the lake.
Numerous migrating and wintering waterfowl along with herons, eagles, egrets and several gull species can be seen from the expansive open waters, available from the boat ramps and at open spots on trails along the shoreline.
HAPPY HOLLOW CAMPGROUND
Happy Hollow camping area has 37 sites, each equipped with tables, grills, water and electrical hookups. This area is served by a playground and a central bathouse with hot showers. A dump station for self-contained trailer rigs is available.
There are two backcountry shelters for backcountry hikers. Reservations and a permit are required prior to setting out on your hike. Please call the park office for more info.
5-Mile Trail Backcountry Shelter Campsite
Located on the 5-Mile Trail, the shelter is atop a very steep hill. The trail elevation rises 150 feet in under one-quarter of a mile. Consult with a ranger if you are not confident of your ability to complete such an ascent. Water may be filtered from the creek at the base of the hill on which the shelter is located, but it is highly recommended to pack in your own. There is a fire ring. The distance to the 5-Mile Trail shelter is 2.95 miles. There is room for two tents and an eight person limit.
20-Mile Trail Backcountry Shelter Campsite
it is 4.50-miles to this shelter. The nearest creek is 5/8th of a mile away. It is highly recommended to pack in your water. There is a fire ring. There is a 14 person limit and room for five tents.
The third campground is available for supervised youth groups such as scouts, etc. This campground is available upon request and is located on Kentucky Lake near the park office. The area is served by porta-johns and water is located nearby.
The Lakefront Campground is primitive camping with 13 available sites. Water is available, but not at each site; and there is a central restroom.