SADDLE UP AND SOAK UP SOME HISTORY ON THE JACK TRAIL
History will rise up to meet you along the Jack Trail, one of the 16 Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways. Travel back to a time of natural horse power, a time when whiskey wasn’t just a beverage but a way of life. Learn of Sam Davis, a man who paid greatly for his loyalty, one of Tennessee’s farms that has a sweet back story, and where exactly “The Grand Canyon of the South” is located. You can find all this and more so gas up, pack up, and head out on the Jack Trail.
Pick up your brochure at the Nashville Visitor Center and get in tune with the countless music venues and honky tonks along Broadway where new and old talent belt out country favorites and original, soon-to-be hits.
Did you know Nashville has its own micro-brewery? Yazoo Brewing Company has been making hops fans happy with not only good beer but tours with samples and even a souvenir logo glass. The tours last about 45 minutes.
You’ll do a lot of sippin’ and samplin’ on the Jack Trail with stop-offs like George Dickel Distillery, Short Mountain Distillery, Bears Creek Winery & Gift Shop, country artist Kix Brooks’ Arrington Vineyards, Prichard’s Distillery, Pickers Creek Winery, and, of course, the world-famous Jack Daniel Distillery. Find out how Jack Daniel Distillery started and how its founder died (that bit of information is debated still today).
Tennessee has a lot of history, especially on this trail where you can learn of the “Boy Hero of the Confederacy,” Sam Davis, at his nine-room, circa 1820 childhood home. His story is written all over the Jack Trail and his famous quote, “I would sooner die a thousand deaths before I would betray a friend…” is honored and celebrated through the tours conducted on the property.
Continue your Civil War lesson with a visit to the 650-acre Stones River National Battlefield where 81,000 soldiers fought and 23,515 were killed, wounded and captured during one of the bloodiest battles of the War. Catch ranger programs April through October. Living history programs are periodically conducted also. Head to Fortress Rosecrans where, following the Battle of Stones River, Union troops and freedmen worked to build the fort which protected critical railroad segments and served as an important supply base.
Stop in Manchester, home of Bonnaroo Music Festival, for a lunch of traditional Southern cuisine at Miss Audrey’s Tea Room or roll your sleeves up and dig in at Jiffy Burger, which has been serving comfort food for approximately 50 years. Other dining options along the trail include Miss Mary BoBo’s Boarding House in Lynchburg and Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint with delicious, fall-off-the-bone barbecue.
Travel through the gorgeous countryside of Tullahoma and stretch your legs while visiting the mid-1800s historic town of Decherd where shopping for antiques, knitting and craft materials is highly encouraged.
Remember the Cherokee people who walked the Trail of Tears at the Trail of Tears Interpretive Center. Housed in a former church, the center was built thanks to a large donation by Frank Mars, owner of Milky Way Farms. Take a tour of the farm located in Pulaski where tours can be made by appointment. Various weekend horse races, weddings, and receptions are hosted here and the farm has festivals throughout the year. You can even ride the horse trails anytime for a minimal fee.
Wind through Bell Buckle, Eagleville, Arrington, Franklin, and Nolensville to end up right where you started at in Nashville where attractions like the Nashville Zoo, Nashville’s Music Mile, Adventure Science Center and the Ryman are waiting for you to explore.
Have you been on the Jack Trail? What are your favorite stop-offs? Let me know in the comments below!