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soldiers fire a cannon at Johnsonville State Historic Park

soldiers fire a cannon at Johnsonville State Historic Park. Photo: Park Facebook Page.

At Johnsonville State Historic Park, you can enjoy nature and history all in one in your time outdoors. The 1,000-acre Tennessee state park has adventurous trails for anyone seeking some thrill. It is also an ideal location for a family trip. The park is perfect for everyone whether you are looking for an active getaway or a relaxed time outdoors.

The park’s history is intriguing and will provide civil history fans with lots of fun. Johnsonville State Park was named after former President Andrew Jackson. He served as the Union Military Governor of Tennessee during the Civil War. The park commemorates the site of the Battle of Johnsonville in Humphrey County. During the Civil War, this was a bustling location used to move supplies loaded onto the railroad cars and transported to armies in Georgia. Johnsonville Depot was attacked in 1864 by Confederate forces. Despite Union’s defense fighting back, Confederates won the battle. Later on, the depot grew into the thriving town of Johnsonville.

The Kentucky Lake was made by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) by damming the Tennessee River. There are several sights to enjoy in the park including Fort Johnson, the railroad bed, and the Crockett Cemetery of the former Old Johnsonville residents.

You can also participate in interactive programs the park hosts and several events for the public. The park offers guided hikes and a Living History Event for history enthusiasts. Other activities in the park include geocaching, swimming, birding, fishing, and picnicking.

The park actually features a welcome center that has a museum, theater, and a gift shop launched in 2012. This is the best place to learn more about Johnsonville Depot and the 1864 Battle of Johnsonville. It also features the history of the town that thrived in this location, Old Johnsonville.

This is a great recreational park with lots of activities to fill your day. The hiking trails are all well-maintained and there are about 10 miles of routes to explore. Picnicking is also quite a fun activity in the park with beautiful sights to enjoy. The park has picnic tables and grills. Dogs are most welcome in this park but owners are advised to keep them leashed all the time.

Activities

Activities in the park range from geocaching, swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and birding. The park has plenty of space to just sit and relax as you enjoy the outdoors. The 10-mile trail is available if you want to hike and it is rated moderate to difficult. It’s good if you are looking for some challenge. Fishing is a given since the Tennessee River runs along the park.

Picnicking

Picnicking is a pretty popular activity in the park. Given the great and beautiful outdoors and nature, the park provides, it’s no surprise. The park has picnic tables and grills. There is lots of shade as well and the park is well maintained so you can be assured of a clean area. The park is quite picturesque and forms a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere. You can be solo or with a large group or family. The park is day-use and closes in the evening.

Hiking

The park is great for hiking. There are 10 miles of trails available for hiking, birding, and walking. They range from moderate to difficult. There is one easy trail that mainly takes you to the cemetery. Johnsonville has a great atmosphere and fresh air perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. With its challenging trails, hiking lovers can enjoy some thrill and be rewarded with phenomenal sights at every stop.

  • Historic Johnville Trail: This is an 8-mile trail in New Johnsonville, Tennessee. It is considered a moderate to challenging trail depending on your experience. This route is ideal for hiking, birding, and walking. You are likely to encounter people as you use this trail. The trails are really beautiful and open year-round. Dogs are allowed to be on a leash.
  • African-American Cemetery Loop Trail: This trail takes you to the cemetery where the African-American Union defense was buried. The trail is 0.5 miles and rated easy. The trail is mainly made of crushed rock surface.
  • Civil War Forts Trail: This 2 miles trail explores the civil war forts in Johnsonville State Park. It is ideal for history enthusiasts to check out the forts and learn about the great battle that took place here. It is a difficult trail so prepare yourself for a bit of a challenge.

Fishing

Fishing in Johnsonville State Park is on the Tennessee River that runs through the park. The Tennessee River offers sport fishing and a variety of water recreation activities. Fishing is good at the bank but even better on a boat since it is a large river. You get to explore more areas so your chances will definitely increase.

In late March through May, crappie fishing is popular at the creek mouths and embayments. Bluegill and Redear Sunfish are also quite common in the lake. The spring and fall are best for bass fishing. Summer and fall are the seasons for catfish.

Birding

There are tons of birding locations in Johnsonville. There is an observation deck along the wooded trail that starts off at the entrance of the park following Trace Creek. Here you can observe gulls, sandpipers and the occasional bald eagle can be seen during winter.

Tennessee’s woodpeckers and white-breasted nuthatches can be sound in the hilltops with open forests near the Civil War earthworks. Migration and also winter present bay ducks and ring-billed cavort out in the open water.

Park Location

Johnsonville State Historic Park
90 Nell Beard Road
New Johnsonville, TN 37134
Phone: 931.535.2789

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Johnsonville State Historic Park: