(Last Updated On: December 2, 2022)
The Center Hill Lake impoundment of the Caney Fork River, just upstream from Center Hill Dam at Edgar Evins State Park

The Center Hill Lake impoundment of the Caney Fork River, just upstream from Center Hill Dam at Edgar Evins State Park. Photo: Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Evins park is one of the best locations for outdoor recreation activities. The park is located on the shores of Centre Hill Lake. This 6,000-acre park offers spectacular views in addition to campsites and cabins. The park also has a large on-site marina that has a restaurant and gift shop. The wide range of activities makes this park perfect for the entire family or a group of friends.

There are many wildlife species in this Tennessee state park including numerous hawks, three different owl species, and wintering bald eagles. In the summer you might also spot the rare Cerulean Warbler in the park’s mixed hardwood forests. Most of the park is covered by second-growth hardwood forest that is typical of Eastern Highland Rim.

The most common tree species in the forest are white basswood, tulip tree, white ash, Oak, Buckeye, Wild Cherry, and Buckeye. There’s an observation tower at the visitor center which presents incredible views of Center Hill Lake and the hillsides surrounding it.

Park History

The park was named after James Edgar Evins born in 1883. He was a Smithville businessman, a mayor, and a state senator. He played an important role in the development of the Centre Hill Dam and Reservoir in the 1940s. In the early 1950s, the Evins family began pushing for the establishment of a state park along the DeKalb County part of Centre Hill Lake.

The park is known for numerous outdoor activities such as camping, boating, fishing, rental cabins, hiking, swimming, and nature walking. To top it all off, Edgar Evins State Park has a picnic shelter, an amphitheater, and a conference center.

There are 60 tent and RV campsites with electrical hookups and water available. The campsites are 20 with 1 bath house that’s available all year round. The campsites feature grills, fire rings, and tables. Primitive camps are also available.

The campground itself has 3 bath houses that have hot showers, a dump station, and laundry facilities. It’s recommended you make reservations before visiting. There are 11 miles of a strenuous hike if you are interested.

Activities

Edgar Evins State Park boasts numerous outdoor activities to keep you and your family and friends entertained. The park has swimming, hiking, birding, boating, camping, and hiking. The park’s marina has a restaurant and a gift shop to buy some souvenirs. This park is perfect if you were looking for a place that can fill your itinerary. It is also ideal for overnight trips or even a few days’ stay. The bath facilities make camping a great experience. Soak in the magic of nature here as you pick any activity to keep you busy or just relax and enjoy the scenic location.

The Dam Restaurant

The Dam Restaurant which is located within the Edgar Evins Marina is the best place to go after a long and tiring day. Here you can arrive as you wish whether on foot, by boat or by car. The food is great and the drinks are perfectly cold.

Although the marina is open year-round, The Dam restaurant is only open seasonally. If it’s not the summer months, you might want to call ahead to confirm.

Boating

Center Hill Lake is at your disposal for boating. The large expanse of the lake makes for a perfect place to spend some time on the water. There are two public boat ramps so you don’t need to worry about a place to launch. The dam which is located near the Center Hill Marina provides easy access. There are boat rentals available at the marina which include pontoon boats if you are a large group. Slip rentals and boat repair services are also provided by the marina.

Swimming

There are no designated swimming areas at Edgar Evins but the shoreline and docks offer easy places to jump in for a dip. Or you could just lounge on a lawn chair.

Fishing

Fishing is available at the shoreline as you enjoy the fantastic views of the lake. You could bring your own canoe or kayak but if you don’t have any then don’t worry because there are rentals. Prepare your gear and plan for a day of quiet as you wait for the fish to bite. The lake has lots of Walleye, crappie, and various species of bass, trout, and catfish among others.

Cabins & Camping

Camping at Edgar Evins is available on the tent and trailer campsites. These campsites include bathhouses and fire circles. There are also cabins for rent available. The park has 34 cabins that feature A/C, a kitchenette, indoor plumbing, and a TV. Plan your stay for the weekend or you could have an extended stay or friends reunion. There is a pool, grills, and courtesy boat docks with 16 slips exclusive to cabin guests.

Birding

Edgar Ervins boasts of the rare Cerulean Warbler who visits in the summer to reside in the mixed hardwood forest. The observation tower will offer you the best canopy top species. You can also see numerous songbirds such as scarlet and summer tanagers in the park. The peninsula below is home to transient waterfowl and also bald eagles and osprey.

Hiking

The attraction to Edgar Elvin is the serene and beautiful outdoors. There are about 12 miles of trails ranging from easy to strenuous. The trails meander through incredibly beautiful and diverse habitats in the area. There will be wildlife as you traverse the routes so make sure to coexist well with them. The park prohibits removing anything whether plants, animals, or minerals.

These are some of the trails:

  • Dunham Cemetery Trail: This is a short 0.1-mile trail that winds up the side of the ride and takes you to the historical Dunham Cemetery. It is a peaceful location that overlooks the lake and is perfect for a long stop as you admire the scenic landscape before you.
  • Evins Ridge Trail: A 0.6-mile trail that’s in the cabin area across the interpretive center. There is a small parking lot available on this trail. If you take the rocky trail winds, you will pass through a drier forest area with quite a number of native cacti growing there. This trail will take you up and over a ridge, offering some beautiful views of the lake on either side. The trail has plenty of pawpaw trees and limestone sinks. It is a moderate trail.
  • Highland and Rim Nature Trail (Loop): This is a 1.35 miles trail that loops behind the visitor’s center. It is one of the richest and most diverse trails in the park. In the spring, this trail offers some excellent wildflowers. It is the perfect trail for birdwatching where you can spot the cerulean warbler. It descends into a forested gully before traveling along the lake and ascending back the ridge behind the visitor’s center.
  • Marina Trail: This is a 0.9-mile one-way trail that takes you from the campground to the marina and back. The trail gently slopes through a lush green lakeside forest offering you a great opportunity to view wildlife, especially birds.
  • Millennium Trail (Loop): The 2.35 miles trail is a mostly wooded route that follows an old roadbed that once led to the Wolf Creek community. There are remnants of two old homesteads along this trail and several old stone walls. After running through Wolf Creek inlet, the trail then follows the creek before climbing steeply up a ridge. The trail is moderate and offers some birding opportunities.
  • Merritt Ridge Trail (Loop) Branches Off the Millenium Trail: This 5.35 miles trail is rated moderate to difficult. It’s perfect for some vigorous exercise. There are two acres of water hyacinths to be found on this trail in the spring. Another unique feature is a mysterious wall of massive stones stacked high up on a bluff along the trailside. No one knows who put these stones there nor their significance.
  • Storybook Trail (Loop): The 0.4-mile easy trails can be found to the right of the interpretive center. There is a small parking lot available. The hike offers you a nature storybook whilst you enjoy your time outdoors.

Educational Programs

Like most Tennessee parks, Edgar Evins state park has educational programs for students. The program allows students to work with a rager for accessible and experiential educational opportunities.

As an educator, you can pick from the varied list of programs or design your own.

Educational programs provided by Edgar State Park are:

  • Field trips to the park
  • Ranger classroom or school yard visits
  • Custom programs

Edgar Evins offers programs that cover topics such as:

  • Tree Ecology
  • Native Wildlife
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Animal Adaptations & Keystone Species
  • Park Career Options

Park Location

Edgar Evins State Park
1630 Edgar Evins State Park Road
Silver Point, TN 38582
Phone: 931.646.3080

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Edgar Evins State Park: