Located in Gallatin, TN, just 45 minutes northeast of Nashville, Bledsoe Creek State Park holds a rich history on its land and is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and hiking in Middle Tennessee.
The land the state park occupies today holds over 12,000 years of history as a hunting ground for various indigenous groups in the region. The land’s occupation dates back to Missippian-era tribes– nearby Castalian Springs Mound Site offers glimpses into this era– with more recent occupations by Shawnee and eventually Cherokee and Chickasaw groups. In the 18th century, Euro-American settlers largely displaced indigenous groups out of the area, along with much of the abundant wildlife that once occupied the region.
In 1973, the area was established as a Tennessee State Park following its designation as a recreational area as part of the Old Hickory Dam project. Today, the park’s location on Bledsoe Creek, an embayment of Old Hickory Lake, makes it a popular destination for visitors seeking boating and water activities outside the surrounding metropolitan region.
The state park hosts 77 campsites, located on both waterfront and inland plots. 58 campsites are ADA accessible and paved to accommodate RVs, while 17 serve as primitive tent sites. All campsites are accompanied by a picnic table, fire ring, and grill, along with water and electric hookups at the paved sites in the main campground. All campsites share a bathhouse with air conditioning and hot showers and a laundromat.
Firewood is available to purchase at the park’s visitor center.
Boating is among the most popular activities at Bledsoe Creek State Park. Park visitors cool off during hot Tennessee summers by taking advantage of Bledsoe Creek’s calm waters and meandering shorelines.
The park hosts two boat launch ramps for motorized and non-motorized vessels, along with kayak and paddleboard rentals. While swimming is not permitted at the park, visitors can appreciate the waters by relaxing on motorboats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.
While you’re enjoying the water, why not cast a line? The state park offers good fishing for bass, crappie, catfish, and sauger in Bledsoe Creek’s waters. Anglers can choose to fish from their boats or on the banks of the creek. Waterfront campsites and lakeside trails make for easy access to the park’s shoreline.
Bledsoe Creek State Park offers more than 6 miles of hiking trails that follow the shoreline and venture into the wooded areas around the park.
The Shoreline Trail, one of the park’s more popular options, forms a loop around the park along both shore and woods. The Birdsong Nature Trail and Mayo Wix trails offer good walks for birders. Located near streams that feed into Bledsoe Creek, the trails are ADA compliant and considered easy hikes. In addition, the Mayo Wix trail offers a storybook read-along component perfect for children and families curious about learning more about nature and wildlife on their hike.
Bring your binoculars- Bledsoe Creek State Park is a known destination for birdwatchers hoping to observe abundant avian life. 116 species of waterfowl, waders, and songbirds have been observed at the park, which offers opportunities for bird watching year-round.
The Mayo Wix, Shoreline, and High Ridge Trails offer especially good opportunities for spotting birds, along with the wildlife observation deck which looks out onto the park’s waters.
Find more info about species spotted at the park and which birds to keep an eye out for on the park’s website!