Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park | Tennessee Vacation

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

A stone museum and visitors center, tucked into hillside beneath a beautiful stone plaza, offers maps of trails and exhibits.
732 Stone Fort Dr.
Manchester, TN 37355

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park is a special type of Native American site, a hilltop ceremonial enclosure begun 2,000 years ago and used at least through the fifth century. It has been called the most spectacularly sited sacred area of its period in the United States.

Two rivers drop off of the Highland Rim and plunge dramatically to the Central Basin, where the forks of the Duck River create a promontory. During the Woodland prehistoric period, Mound builders constructed a set of parallel mound walls on this narrow neck of land. These walls orient to within one degree of the sunrise on summer solstice. Ancient societies often recognized this sunrise as a time to celebrate and reenact creation myths.

Old Stone Fort, now nearly 900 acres, was dedicated on April 23, 1966, by Governor Frank Clement. Although the park’s purpose is the preservation, protection, study and interpretation of an ancient culture, many visitors come to the park for fishing, boating, hiking, museum, picnicking and camping.

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