Port Royal, once one of the most prominent towns in colonial Tennessee, was a Longhunter camp as early as 1775 and truly settled by the early 1780’s. Port Royal's strategic location at the junction of main roads and the Red River made it a hub of commerce for northern Tennessee and south central Kentucky, and a major stagecoach route. It was the only stop in Tennessee on the "Great Western Road" stagecoach line between Nashville and Illinois.
It was said to be in the running to become state capital, losing by one vote. Four of the delegates to the 1796 State Constitutional Convention were residents of Port Royal.
Port Royal was the second Tennessee site to be named to the official Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Others are Audubon Acres, Brainerd Mission Cemetery and the Chattanooga Regional History Museum in Chattanooga and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore. Port Royal was a stop on the northern removal route, in 1838 and 1839. It was the last stop before leaving Tennessee, where the Cherokee camped and replenished supplies and ground corn for meal.
Port Royal is also closely connected to the Bell Witch legend, as it was the town closest to the site of the disturbances.
Port Royal became a State Historic Park in 1978. Today, many visitors come to fish and canoe the Red River and see the remains of the old community. Given its history as a commercial and travel hub, transportation is an important theme in the activities and programs in the park.
The beautiful and scenic Red River and Sulphur Fork Creek drain approximately 975 sq. miles of northern Tennessee. Angling on both rivers is excellent. All persons fishing are required to have
a valid Tennessee Fishing License. All laws, rules and regulations pertaining to fishing apply.
The Overlook Trail is a short stroll along the top of the bluff to overlook the Red River and the bottom below. This trail is of moderate difficulty and about 100 yards long.
The Trail of Tears is an original, preserved section of the Trail of Tears certified by the National Park Service. This trail is about 300 yards long and is rated easy.
The River Bottom Trail connects to the Trail of Tears and provides a leisurely walk through a forested river bottom. This trail is .6 miles long and rated easy.
Canoe Access - All boats must be able to be carried by hand into the water. No trailers allowed on river access.
Port Royal State Historic Park includes ADA accessible restrooms and a four table picnic area with one being wheelchair accessible.
Check back soon for more events, or visit our event page for events in other parks.
Visitors will notice the remains of the foundations of stores, homes and warehouses, with some dating back to the 18th century. The remains of several old roadbeds lie within the park, including one prehistoric road and the certified Trail of Tears site.
Preserved within the park is a very excellent example of an early Pratt Truss design steel bridge being built in 1887. This bridge spans the Sulphur Fork Creek and offers a very picturesque view of both the Red River and the creek.
3300 Old Clarksville Hwy
Adams, TN 37010
Phone: (931) 358-9696
From Nashville travel west on I-24. Take Exit 11 and travel east for 5 miles. Port Royal is located approximately 12 miles southeast of downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, off Hwy. 76.
8 a.m. - sundown