The pioneer spirit lives on. Retrace the footsteps of Tennessee’s earliest pioneers through forested mountains and hills. Stop to enjoy charming communities filled with quaint restaurants and cafes, shops full of unique treasures and natural areas showcasing the sights, sounds and wildlife the settlers encountered more than 200 years ago.
Andrew Jackson's Hermitage: Home of the People's President
Walk where President Andrew Jackson lived. His home is one of our nation's most authentically preserved early presidential home sites, as well as one of the oldest and largest historic site museums in the U.S. Through exhibits and tours, visitors can see how this 1,000-acre property evolved from a modest frontier farm in the early 1800s to Jackson's prosperous and extensive cotton plantation. Since opening in 1889, more than 15 million people have visited this historic landmark. Admission charged. From 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., April 1st - October 15th and from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., October 16th - 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
This progressive town in the western part of Wilson County was formed in 1835 and received its name from a castle in Kilkenny County, Ireland. It is known as the "Purple Martin Capitol of Tennessee," and is home to country music stars Charlie Daniels and Tracy Lawrence.
Rice's Country Hams
Stepping inside this wooden, roadside building is like stepping back in time. Once the community's old country store, today it's home to some of the area's best home-cured country ham, sausage, and bacon, and they have a wall of trophies and ribbons to prove it! Edward Rice, Sr. started curing country hams more than 60 years ago in his backyard smokehouse. Today, in addition to their famous meats, visitors can buy homemade jams, jellies and mixes. Open Easter-Christmas.
12217 Lebanon Rd.
Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce
While you're on the square, stop here for info on Lebanon and other interesting sights.
149 Public Sq.
City of Lebanon Museum & History Center
Take a walk through Lebanon's past and learn about the town's interesting history from its beginnings as a Native American region to the modern era. The 2,500-square-foot museum is located at the lower entrance of the City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights, one of many restored buildings of the former Castle Heights Military Academy, whose campus is listed on the National Historic Register. Audio descriptions by famous residents introduce the periods on display.
200 Castle Heights Ave. N.
Wilson County Museum
The Fite-Fessenden House, built in 1870 by surgeon Dr. James Fite, is home to a museum that features many artifacts from the county's 200-year history. Its main display is an exquisite collection of art and Victorian glassware.
Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area
Ever wonder what Wilson County was like in the "real early days"?" During the Mississippian period of Native American habitation in Tennessee, the Cumberland River Valley became the site of a cluster of fortified towns. One such town is now known as Sellars Farm, which was inhabited from 1000 A.D. to 1300 A.D. Take a walking tour through the area while learning about the inhabitants. For more details call 615-885-2422.
Poplar Hill Road
Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Enjoy a stay in one of the many cabins or campsites in this 1,000-acre park. Hit the horseback trail, swim, hike or just stop for a picnic. Visitors frequently get glimpses of foxes, deer, squirrels, rabbits and turkeys throughout the park.
The grill is always fired up and ready at this area favorite. Famous for its steaks and delicious Memphis-style BBQ, Timberloft's cozy, rustic lodge setting has welcomed thousands, including a few famous guests, from Darrell Waltrip and Al Gore to Diane Sawyer and the Dixie Chicks. Even the desserts get special treatment from the restaurant's own Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef!
470 Gordonsville Hwy
Granville Marina & Resort
This is a great spot to spend an hour or a weekend. Stop here for beautiful lake views and homemade burgers and bologna sandwiches. Call for more information and hours of operation.
Granville Bed & Breakfast and Gift Shop
This Granville business operates from the former post office, bank and mercantile buildings downtown, with rooms and suites for rent and antiques and gifts for sale. Make Granville an overnight stop on the trail and borrow a bicycle from the B&B to explore this small community's charm and natural beauty. Call for more information and hours of operation.
Sutton Ole Time Music Hour
Situated just a stone's throw from the Cumberland's banks, this was Granville's general store and grocery from the 1800s until the 1970s. Today, it has been beautifully restored to respect its heritage, with a second-floor balcony and many original features and fixtures. The space functions as a gift shop, family-style dining room, art gallery and bluegrass pickin' parlor — the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour is recorded here on Saturday nights and broadcast worldwide. Open Wed.-Sat., noon-3 p.m.
Housed in an historic 1873 church building, this museum is filled with photos and memorabilia that provide a detailed pictorial history of Granville, along with artifacts and antiques from a bygone era. Open Wed.- Sat., noon-3 p.m.
Cummins Falls State Park
Listed as one of the 10 best swimming holes in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure magazine, Cummins Falls is Tennessee's eighth largest waterfall at 75 feet high. Originally granted to a Revolutionary War veteran in the late 18th century, eventually becoming a mill site in the 19th century, and now Tennessee's 54th state park, the site has been a favorite scenic area for visitors and residents for more than a century. Take in beautiful views, and find plenty of opportunities for swimming, picnicking, hiking and more.
DelMonaco Winery & Vineyard
The full wine experience starts here. Open daily, the site offers free walking tours of the vineyards and free tastings of its award-winning wines. Visitors may also browse the gift shop filled with wines and items for the wine connoisseur or novice, or just relax on the patio or in any of the open Bella Rooms.
Cookeville History Museum
Chosen for its two springs and its central spot in the new county of Putnam, Cookeville was chartered in 1856 as the county seat and named for Richard Fielding Cooke, who was instrumental in founding the county in 1854. The routing of the Nashville & Knoxville Railroad (later the Tennessee Central) through Cookeville in 1890 greatly stimulated its prosperity. The rails carried out products of its farms and forests and brought in manufactured goods. After a depot was built west of the square, businesses and residences sprang up nearby, giving Cookeville two commercial districts, WestSide and the Square.
Cookeville- Putnam Chamber of Commerce & CVB
Did You Know?Cookeville is one of the smallest towns in the Southeast to be home to a professional, full-blown symphony orchestra — Bryan Symphony Orchestra. The group performs at nearby Tennessee Tech University which was recently named one of "America's 100 Best College Buys".
1 W. 1st St.
Putnam Courthouse Square
Since 1854, four courthouses have stood in the center of this thriving and beautiful square. Fires destroyed the first building soon after it was erected in 1855, a second during the Civil War, and a third in 1899. The current building was completed in 1900 and designed by James Yeaman, the same architect who designed the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Take some time and enjoy the area and its side streets filled with restaurants, shops, a coffee house and cafés.
2 Sisters Blue House Primitives
Primitives, Antiques, Candles, Shabby Chic, Furniture and More. Discover treasures at this unique shop in Algood. Open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tues. - Friday and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday
518 W. Main St.
The Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast at Bee Rock
This is one of the more popular climbing spots in Middle Tennessee, with a spectacular overlook of the Calfkiller River and Stamps Hollow. The Garden Inn offers guests a selection of 11 rooms with garden and mountain views. Located on private property, the owner allows photos and use of the area for climbing and hiking during limited hours. Climb at own risk.
Standing Stone Monument
The Standing Stone was a 13-foot rock that once stood upright on a sandstone ledge in the area. It was the legendary boundary between Cherokee and Shawnee territory and marked the Cherokee Tallonteeskee Trail. It later served as a marker for the white men as they traveled west. An eight-foot remnant of this stone has been preserved and stands adjacent to the Monterey Branch Library.
Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill
Visit the Gunther family in the beautiful hills of Tennessee during September and October starting the Saturday before Labor Day to see sweet sorghum being made. Open Tues., Thurs. & Sat. through end of Oct. Closed Tues. after Labor Day.
Crossville Flea Market
If the trail leads you to Crossville on any given weekend, don't miss the flea market with vendors offering a variety of merchandise; it's Tennessee's largest weekly market. Open year-round, Sat. & Sun. plus Memorial and Labor Days.
3034 Hwy 70N
Wonderful World of Model Trains
Come and explore the history of the country's railroads in miniature scenery, towns and railroad settings. This unique museum, located in the Crossville Outlet Center, features the largest operating display of Z, N, HO O & G Scale model railroad layouts ever to be seen. Open Fri., noon-4 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. & Sun., 1-4 p.m.
Aged to perfection, Stonehaus is a family-owned winery located high atop Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau. It's open year-round for wine lovers and those who are interested in learning more about the wine-making process. You can watch a free DVD presentation when you arrive, or take a more detailed guided tour by appointment. There's also a wine tasting bar, gift shop and the Halcyon Days Restaurant on the premises.
2444 Genesis Rd., #103
Forte's on the Square
Tucked away but close to the courthouse, Forte's serves up a variety of delicious American dishes in a cozy, renovated brick building. Closed Sun. & Mon.
27 E. 4th St.
The earliest settlement in the Cumberlands, Crab Orchard received its name from the numerous wild crab apple trees that grew here. The Crab Orchard Inn, built by slave labor around 1820, operated for many decades but was torn down in 1933. The famous Crab Orchard sandstone that has been used in buildings all over America was quarried nearby.
Tennessee Hwy. 68
Homesteads House Museum & Tower
This house museum is part of Tennessee's largest historic district and was the second of President Roosevelt's Subsistence Communities in the country. The Cumberland Homesteads Project helped families acquire and clear land, build houses and outbuildings, and plant crops. The museum is one of the 252 original houses built in the community. It has been fully furnished to give visitors the experience of what the daily lives of the Homesteaders were like during the 1930s and 1940s. Admission charged.
96 Hwy 68
This farm delights visitors from April through December. Visit the nursery and garden center, gift shop and miniature race track. Train enthusiasts, don't miss the model train hobby shop. Nursery open April- June & Sept.-Dec.; Christmas tree farm open Sept.-Dec.
4439 Blaylock Rd.
Simonton's Cheese & Gourmet House
Opened in 1947, Tennessee's oldest family-owned cheese and gourmet shop is filled with delicious delicacies and great gift items. Stop in for a sample.
2278 Hwy 127S, #101
Coal Miner Railroad Section House Museum
These buildings were called "section houses" because they were used as residences by railroad employees who worked on specific sections of the railroad line. This home is one of the last remaining in its original condition in Tennessee. Fully restored, it now showcases rail and coal mining life as it was on the mountain during the 1900 timeframe. Visitors have the opportunity to see artifacts, pictures and various memorabilia that provide a glimpse into the life of the people who helped build White County and power much of America with the "black gold"" pulled from deep inside the mountain.
Bridgestone-Firestone Centennial Wilderness Wildlife Management Area
Called "The Grand Canyon of the Cumberlands" by an early 19th-century traveler, this 10,000-acre WMA is recognized as a natural treasure for its uniqueness and beauty. Gaze at its nine waterfalls, as well as enjoy hiking, birdwatching, hunting, fishing, canoeing, class-5 kayaking, and cave exploring. Trail maps are available from the Sparta-White County Chamber of Commerce (point 85). Open year-round; closed to non-hunting activities during Big Game hunting season.
Scott's Gulf Rd.
Virgin Falls State Natural Area
Although considered a moderately difficult hike, the four miles of pristine scenery offer a reward at the final turn that is unparalleled. Virgin Falls, one of the area's most well-known features, emerges from an underground stream on the south slope of Little Chestnut Mountain, drops 130 feet and vanishes underground again. Open year-round.
Scott's Gulf Rd.
The Rock House Famous Stage Stop
Built between 1835 and 1839 by innkeeper Barlow Fiske, the Rock House was a temporary stop for famed politicians such as James K. Polk, Sam Houston and Frank Clement, all once governors of Tennessee. Andrew Jackson often stopped here on trips from Nashville to Washington. Today its artifacts and furnishings present life of an early American frontier home. It's been entrusted to the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Country Club Rd.
Historic Liberty Square in Downtown Sparta
Quaint historic buildings and homes, along with many shops and restaurants, art galleries and windows full of antiques make this courthouse square a must-see on the trail. It's the perfect mix of hometown flavor and days gone by. Business hours & days vary; free parking available around square.
White County Heritage & Lester Flatt Museum
Located just one block from the courthouse, this artifact-filled museum features permanent and temporary exhibits that celebrate the rich history of the Highland Rim region of Tennessee, from pottery and music to military and railroads. Open Thurs.-Sat.; free admission.
Historic Oldham Theatre
Before you leave the square, take a photo in front of the famed Oldham Theatre. Built in the 1930s, its faÃ§ade makes a great backdrop. It's now used for several annual Liberty Square events.
1 Liberty Sq.
If you stay the night in Sparta, why not take a drive into yesteryear and enjoy a big screen blockbuster in the family atmosphere of a classic drive-in theater. Throw frisbees and enjoy a great big "Full Moon Burger" from the concession stand. Open evenings, April-Oct.
220 Robert Matthews Hwy
Burgess Falls State Park
Burgess Falls is named after Tom Burgess, a Revolutionary War veteran who settled along this section of the Falling Water River in the 1790s. A 1.5-mile trail loop follows the bluffs along the south bank of the gorge, starting at Falling Water Cascades and ending at a platform overlooking Burgess Falls. Two other falls are also visible from the trail. A stairway leads down to the overhang of Burgess Falls and continues down into the gorge.
This hidden gem features Cajun dishes, fresh seafood, steaks and nightly specials. Peanut sacks cover the ceiling and a good deal of the lighting is provided by colanders converted into overhead fixtures. Although the hours are limited to evenings, locals make it a regular place for dinner. Open Tues.-Thurs., 5-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 5-9 p.m.
Appalachian Center for Craft
This 87,000-square-foot facility, located on more than 500 wooded acres overlooking Center Hill Lake, includes spacious studios, a retail gallery, exhibition galleries, hiking trails and an on-site café. In addition, it offers academic degrees and workshops in clay, fibers, glass metal and wood. Everyone can enjoy this beautiful craft-education facility. Special events include April's Celebration of Craft and November's Holiday Festival. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Edgar Evins State Park
This 6,000- acre park on the banks of Center Hill Lake is a great place to take in the splendor of one of Tennessee's most beautiful reservoirs. Don't miss the observation tower at the Visitor Center for a spectacular view of the lake and surrounding hillsides. Spend some time here picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, taking photos and observing the wildlife. Stay overnight in the lodging complex or dine at The Galley Restaurant located at Edgar Evans Marina.
Prior to the town's establishment, this land was an American Revolutionary War grant given to Colonel Archibald Lytle and his brother William. In 1885, the Nashville & Knoxville Railroad built a depot here, making it a business hub for the area. After a 1903 fire swept through the wooden structures in town, a new square, surrounded by brick buildings, was laid out creating the current city of Watertown.
Stardust Drive-In Theater
Relive the golden age of outdoor movies at this two-screen drive-in. Stardust shows the newest releases with the latest technology of sound and projection. It's a fun outing for everyone in the family. The concession stand is stocked with all your drive-in favorites, too.
310 Purple Tiger Dr.
Fiddler's Grove Historic Village
Ever wonder what life was like in Wilson County at the turn of the century? You can relive those days firsthand in this unique and historical village at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. More than 50 structures, original and replicated, have been brought from their original locations in the county, or built on site, to create a small village, including a one-room schoolhouse, a working blacksmith shop, church, jail, grist mill and more. Open Tues.- Sat., 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
945 E. Baddour Pkwy