The park was named for General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the intrepid Confederate cavalry leader, who on November 4, 1864, attacked and destroyed the federal supply and munitions depot at (Old) Johnsonville at the mouth of Trace Creek. His operations were concentrated along the river in the vicinity of the park and the town of Eva. In 1929, the park was dedicated to Nathan Bedford Forrest on land acquired in part from Benton County.
Forrest was one of the greatest military tacticians and leaders of the American Civil War. Pilot Knob, the highest elevation in West Tennessee, houses the Tennessee River Folklife Interpretive Center. The center features the life, ways, and customs of folks on the Tennessee River and includes musseling, crafts, commercial fishing, and more. Visitors can also enjoy browsing the gift shop that offers a large variety of Tennessee State Park souvenirs and other items.
Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park features eight cabins overlooking the Kentucky Lake. The park also offers three campgrounds, two of those being primitive. 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 25 miles of hiking trails. 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.
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