Old Hickory Trail In Tennessee

Here is everything you need to know about the Old Hickory Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Tennessee
  • Length: 1.7 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/cherokee/recarea/?recid=35096

The Old Hickory Trail, also known as the Andrew Jackson Heritage Trail, holds significant historical importance in the United States. This trail is named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, who was nicknamed “Old Hickory” due to his tough and resilient nature. The trail follows the path that Jackson and his troops took during the War of 1812, specifically during the Creek War of 1813-1814.

During this time, Jackson led his troops through the southeastern region of the United States, primarily in present-day Alabama and Georgia. The Old Hickory Trail retraces the steps of Jackson’s military campaigns, highlighting the sites of key battles and strategic locations. It serves as a reminder of the bravery and determination displayed by Jackson and his troops during this tumultuous period in American history.

The Old Hickory Trail offers visitors a glimpse into the challenges faced by Jackson and his soldiers as they fought against the Creek Nation, a Native American tribe allied with the British. The trail showcases various historical landmarks, such as Fort Mims, where a devastating attack by the Creek Nation took place in 1813, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of settlers. Other notable sites along the trail include Horseshoe Bend, where Jackson’s forces achieved a decisive victory over the Creek Nation, and the Battle of New Orleans site, where Jackson’s troops successfully defended the city against British forces in 1815.

By exploring the Old Hickory Trail, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the events that shaped the United States during the early 19th century. This historical trail serves as a testament to the bravery and leadership of Andrew Jackson and his role in defending American interests during a critical period in the nation’s history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Old Hickory Lake Dam Trailhead
2. Cedar Creek Marina Trailhead
3. Rockland Recreation Area Trailhead
4. Sanders Ferry Park Trailhead
5. Drakes Creek Park Trailhead
6. Lock 3 Park Trailhead
7. Old Hickory Beach Trailhead
8. Bledsoe Creek State Park Trailhead
9. Shutes Branch Recreation Area Trailhead
10. Laguardo Recreation Area Trailhead

Transportation Available

1. Old Hickory Trail Bus Stop – Public bus stop serving the Old Hickory Trail area.
2. Old Hickory Trail Taxi – Local taxi service providing transportation in and around Old Hickory Trail.
3. Old Hickory Trail Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering bicycles for exploring Old Hickory Trail and its surroundings.
4. Old Hickory Trail Car Rentals – Car rental agency providing vehicles for convenient transportation in and around Old Hickory Trail.
5. Old Hickory Trail Rideshare – Ridesharing service connecting passengers with local drivers for transportation in the Old Hickory Trail area.


The amenities available at the Old Hickory Trail may vary depending on the specific location or park. However, here are some common amenities that you may find:

1. Restrooms: Public restrooms or portable toilets may be available along the trail or at designated areas.

2. Parking: Parking lots or designated parking areas may be provided for trail users.

3. Camping Sites: Some trails may have designated camping areas or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up tents or park RVs.

4. Picnic Areas: Picnic tables, shelters, or designated areas for picnicking may be available along the trail.

5. Water Stations: Some trails may have water fountains or hydration stations for visitors to refill their water bottles.

6. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailhead or entrance, you may find information boards, maps, visitor centers, or ranger stations.

7. Benches and Seating: Benches or seating areas may be placed along the trail for visitors to rest or enjoy the surroundings.

8. Interpretive Signs: Educational signs or interpretive panels may provide information about the trail’s history, flora, fauna, or points of interest.

9. Trash Receptacles: Trash cans or bins may be provided to encourage proper waste disposal.

10. Dog-Friendly Areas: Some trails may allow dogs on leashes and provide waste disposal stations for pet owners.

11. Accessibility Features: Depending on the trail, there may be accessible paths, ramps, or facilities for individuals with disabilities.

It is recommended to check with the specific park or trail management for the most accurate and up-to-date information on available amenities at the Old Hickory Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Old Hickory Lodge – A cozy lodge offering comfortable accommodations near the Old Hickory Trail.
2. Hickory Diner – A local eatery serving delicious comfort food and quick bites.
3. Hickory Inn – A budget-friendly motel providing convenient lodging options for trail visitors.
4. Hickory Campground – A scenic campground offering tent and RV sites for outdoor enthusiasts.
5. Old Hickory Hospital – A nearby medical facility providing emergency services and healthcare.
6. Hickory Grocery – A small convenience store offering basic supplies and snacks for trail-goers.
7. Hickory Fire Department – A local fire station providing emergency response services to the area.
8. Old Hickory Trail Rest Area – A designated rest area along the trail with restroom facilities and picnic tables.
9. Hickory Gas Station – A nearby gas station offering fuel and basic amenities for travelers.
10. Old Hickory Trail Visitor Center – A resource center providing information and assistance to trail visitors.

Old Hickory Trail Difficulty Notes

The Old Hickory Trail is known for its moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail offers a mix of flat sections and gradual inclines, providing a good balance between challenge and accessibility. While some parts may require a bit of effort, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, ensuring a relatively smooth hiking experience. With its scenic views and diverse flora and fauna, the Old Hickory Trail offers a rewarding adventure for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

The Old Hickory Trail is a historic trail that stretches from Nashville, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the Old Hickory Trail:

1. Nashville, Tennessee: The starting point of the trail, Nashville offers a vibrant music scene, historical sites like the Ryman Auditorium and the Parthenon, and beautiful parks like Centennial Park.

2. Natchez Trace Parkway: This scenic road follows the Old Hickory Trail for a significant portion. Along the parkway, you can enjoy stunning views, hiking trails, and historical sites like the Mount Locust Inn and the Emerald Mound.

3. Tupelo, Mississippi: Birthplace of Elvis Presley, Tupelo offers attractions like the Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum, Tupelo National Battlefield, and the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center.

4. Jackson, Mississippi: The endpoint of the Old Hickory Trail, Jackson is the capital city of Mississippi and offers historical sites like the Mississippi State Capitol, the Old Capitol Museum, and the Mississippi Museum of Art.

5. Cypress Swamp: Located near Ridgeland, Mississippi, this natural landmark is a beautiful wetland area with cypress trees, wildlife, and scenic views. It is a great spot for birdwatching and nature photography.

6. Meriwether Lewis Monument: Located near Hohenwald, Tennessee, this monument commemorates the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It offers a scenic view of the surrounding countryside.

7. Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee: A charming village near Franklin, Leiper’s Fork is known for its scenic beauty, quaint shops, and art galleries. It offers a peaceful and picturesque stop along the Old Hickory Trail.

8. Franklin, Tennessee: This historic town is known for its rich Civil War history. Visit sites like the Carnton Plantation, Lotz House Museum, and the Franklin Battlefield.

9. Vicksburg National Military Park: Located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, this park preserves the site of the Civil War Battle of Vicksburg. It offers historical monuments, walking trails, and scenic views of the Mississippi River.

10. Mississippi Petrified Forest: Located near Flora, Mississippi, this natural landmark features ancient petrified logs and offers hiking trails through a beautiful forested area.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Old Hickory Trail. Exploring this trail will provide you with a rich experience of the region’s history, culture, and natural beauty.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
– Bicycles are permitted but must yield to pedestrians.
– No camping or overnight stays are allowed on the trail.
– Fires and open flames are strictly prohibited.
– Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the trail.
– No littering; please carry out all trash.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
– Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto private property.
– Do not disturb or harm wildlife or plant life.
– Use caution and be aware of potential hazards, such as uneven terrain or wildlife encounters.
– Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Old Hickory Trail, located in the beautiful state of Tennessee, offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the stunning natural beauty of the region. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting. Spring and fall are particularly popular due to the mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. During these seasons, hikers can enjoy pleasant weather conditions and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

In the spring, the Old Hickory Trail comes alive with colorful wildflowers and blooming trees. The temperatures are usually comfortable, ranging from the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit (15-25 degrees Celsius), making it ideal for outdoor activities. Hikers can witness the renewal of nature as they traverse the trail, spotting various bird species and other wildlife along the way.

Fall is another fantastic time to visit the Old Hickory Trail. The foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a picturesque backdrop for hikers. The crisp air and cooler temperatures, ranging from the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (10-20 degrees Celsius), make it perfect for long walks and hikes. Fall also brings the opportunity to witness the migration of birds, adding an extra element of excitement for nature enthusiasts.

It’s important to note that the Old Hickory Trail does not have any seasonal closures. However, it’s always a good idea to check for any temporary closures or restrictions due to weather conditions or maintenance work. Additionally, it’s advisable to bring appropriate gear and supplies for the specific season you plan to visit. This includes sturdy hiking shoes, layered clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water.

Whether you choose to visit during the vibrant spring or the enchanting fall, the Old Hickory Trail promises a memorable outdoor experience. With its diverse flora and fauna, breathtaking views, and well-maintained trails, it’s a destination that will captivate nature lovers throughout the year.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathways: Smooth and level pathways throughout the trail suitable for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways.
4. Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options.
5. Braille Signage: Trail signs with Braille text for visually impaired individuals.
6. Accessible Trailhead: An accessible entrance to the trail with ramps or lifts for wheelchair users.
7. Handrails and Guardrails: Along steep sections of the trail, handrails and guardrails are installed for added safety and support.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Water fountains at regular intervals along the trail with accessible height and controls.
9. Benches and Rest Areas: Wheelchair accessible benches and rest areas for individuals to take breaks along the trail.
10. Audio Guides: Audio guides available for individuals with visual impairments to provide information about the trail’s features and history.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Old Hickory Trail is rated as moderate difficulty, suitable for hikers with some experience.
2. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 6 miles long, offering a good half-day hike.
3. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction to navigate the uneven terrain.
4. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with signs and blazes, making navigation relatively easy.
5. Weather Awareness: Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for changing conditions, as the trail is exposed in some areas.
6. Water Availability: Carry an adequate supply of water, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
7. Wildlife Encounter: Be cautious of wildlife encounters, including snakes, bears, and other native species; maintain a safe distance and do not feed them.
8. Tick Prevention: Apply insect repellent and wear long pants to protect against ticks, which may be present in the area.
9. Trail Etiquette: Respect other hikers by yielding the right of way, keeping noise levels down, and leaving no trace behind.
10. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, a map, and a fully charged cell phone in case of emergencies.
11. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and assistance if needed.
12. Trail Conditions: Be aware of trail conditions, such as fallen trees or washed-out sections, and report any issues to the appropriate authorities.
13. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash and minimizing impact on the environment.
14. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect against sunburn and excessive sun exposure.
15. Trail Closure: Check for any trail closures or restrictions before your hike, as maintenance or safety concerns may temporarily close the trail.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Old Hickory Trail is considered to be stable and well-maintained. The trail is actively managed and protected by local authorities and conservation organizations to ensure its preservation and sustainability. Efforts are made to minimize human impact on the trail and its surrounding environment, promoting responsible use and conservation practices.

The Old Hickory Trail is regularly monitored for any signs of degradation or threats to its ecological integrity. Conservationists conduct regular assessments to identify and address any potential issues such as erosion, invasive species, or habitat disturbance. These monitoring efforts help maintain the trail’s ecological balance and ensure the long-term viability of the surrounding ecosystem.

Conservation measures are also in place to protect the biodiversity along the Old Hickory Trail. The trail passes through diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and meadows, which support a wide range of plant and animal species. Conservationists work to preserve these habitats and protect the native flora and fauna from any potential threats. This includes implementing measures to prevent the spread of invasive species, promoting habitat restoration, and educating trail users about the importance of respecting and preserving the natural environment.

Overall, the conservation status of the Old Hickory Trail is considered favorable, thanks to the ongoing efforts of conservation organizations and local authorities. By actively managing and protecting the trail, they ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy its natural beauty while preserving the ecological integrity of the surrounding area.

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