Contact information for the Fort Loudoun State Park is:
Fort Loudoun State Park
338 Fort Loudoun Road
Vonore, Tennessee 37885
Visitor Center Hours: 8:00 am ‘” 4:30 pm
Come learn about what happened in Tennessee during the French-Indian war, talk with re-enactors, take a tour, watch a video and see exhibits in the visitor center. The Fort Loudoun State Park features enough Tennessee colonial history to keep a family busy for an afternoon or sometimes a full day.
This Knoxville day trip is fun for families and couples. It’s close enough to the Fort Loudoun Dam and Recreation Area that you can do both on the same day. History buffs may want to skip the dam altogether to visit the nearby Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. It’s just down the highway from the entrance to Fort Loudoun State Park.
It was a balmy sunny day when my family last visited Fort Loudoun State Park. This was at least our third trip to the park. My family always enjoys the visit and we learn something new every time. On this outing we were able to talk with some of the British soldier re-enactors and learned a little more about colonial history.
The re-enactors did an excellent job of staying in character. They explained some of the different duties to us and explained how the duties fit in with colonial life. We learned that some of the soldiers had brides who were Cherokee.
These women played an important role during the siege of 1760. When supply lines to the fort were cut off by the Cherokee Indians, it was these courageous wives who would sneak food to their waiting husbands.
We also learned that women played an active role in colonial military life. In addition to the wives mentioned above there were other women have their place in history. The re-enactors at Fort Loudoun State Park told us that women served as nurses, cooks, did laundry and other tasks. Although these jobs were menial they still had to be done.
One of the main events of the park is the annual 18th Century Trade Faire. Held the weekend after Labor Day in September the faire gives visitors an up close look at colonial life was during the French-Indian war. The hours are from 10:00 am ‘” 5:00 pm. The event takes place at the Fort Loudon State Park and at the nearby Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. Admission is $5 for adults. Parking is free and free shuttles run between the two parks.
Historic Fort Loudoun is not at its original location. When Fort Loudoun Dam was engineers determined that the fort would be flooded. Before this could happen it was completely dismantled and moved. Workers tediously reconstructed the historic site to its current location overlooking the Tennessee River.
At Fort Loudoun State Park the fort remains much the same as it did in 1756. Over the years a few modern conveniences were added to the grounds. A visitor center serves as the museum. Dozens of exhibits line the walls. These contain historic artifacts from the original site. Visitors can watch the educational video in the auditorium or purchase souvenirs from the gift shop.
Other than books, the items in the Fort Loudoun State Park gift shop are representative of what you would find during the late 1700s. Up for sale were soap, pottery, wood puzzles and even fifes!
A fully accessible paved walkway leads you from the visitor center to the fort. Benches are conveniently placed so you can rest a minute or just sit and enjoy the scenery.
Food is not available at Fort Loudoun State Park so most people bring a picnic lunch. A picnic area is on the lake near the visitor center. Nearly all of the tables have grills. There is a covered pavilion but on summer weekends it is almost always reserved. It’s a popular spot for reunions, corporate picnics and group gatherings. At the time of this writing renting the pavilion for a full day is $40.
Another amenity at the picnic area is the fishing pier. It is wide and accessible. You’ll usually find fishermen on it who are doing their best to catch dinner. If the pier doesn’t call your name don’t worry. A simple boat dock is there to help you launch your boat. Just be sure to have a valid Tennessee fishing license if you are over 13 years old.
Hikers love Fort Loudoun State Park. The hiking trails range from the easy paved trail mentioned above to the moderately strenuous. At 2.25 miles the longest trail is the Meadow Loop. This gives you incredible views. Wildlife viewing is a popular activity. Binoculars may be helpful as birds of prey may be spotted as well as other wildlife.
After you visit Fort Loudoun State Park once you’ll want to visit again and again. It’s a good trip on its own but can be combined with a visit to the dam or Sequoyah Museum for even more fun. Both sites are part of the Trail of Tears and are worth a visit.
Did you enjoy reading about Fort Loudoun State Park? More articles from this author are available here.
Tennessee State Parks
Sequoyah Birthplace Museum
National Trails System