Standing Stone State Park is a 855- acre state park nestled in Standing Stone Forest in the Cumberland Plateau in Overton County, Tennessee. The park offers a variety of water and land recreation opportunities with several different options of lodging catering to every type of visitor. Standing Stone’s rich history and offerings of unique events make it stand out as a state park definitely worth exploring.
The land on which the park sits has a rich history, starting with the origin of the state park’s name. The Standing Stone park’s namesake is a 12-ft tall upright rock perched on a sandstone ledge. Thought to be a historical border marker between Cherokee and Shawnee tribes, the stone is no longer standing in the park, but preserved in Monterey, TN.
More recently, the park’s land was known for its past of poor soil quality and erosion. A number of national conservation groups and administrations, such as the CCC and WPA, worked in the early 20th century to solve these land management issues. Through their efforts, farmers were relocated to land with better soil, and erosion control and reforestation measures were implemented in the area, vastly improving the land quality. In 1939, the area was designated as a state park.
Standing Stone State Park hosts a variety of lodging options, including campsites, cabins, and group lodging options. With this range of accommodations, visitors looking for different levels of outdoor exposure and comfort are sure to find a suitable option for their stay.
The park has 36 campsites, each with electricity, water, a grill, and a picnic table. The campground offers bathhouse amenities and a dump station.
Guests can choose from a range of cabins to reserve during their stay at Standing Stone State Park, including 17 historic WPA cabins and 7 modern cabins. All cabins are fully equipped for housekeeping, with appliances, cooking materials, and linens. The cabins are located in the middle of the 11,000 acre state forest and overlook Standing Stone Lake.
Large groups may opt to reserve the Overton Lodge for their stay at the park. This T-shaped lodge can accommodate up to 48 people and has a full industrial kitchen, bedrooms, and shared living areas.
Large groups can also make use of the Tea Room, a 800 square foot meeting room that can accommodate up to 80 people. The Tea Room has great views of the lake from its large back deck and is perfect for events such as weddings, conferences, and family reunions.
Visitors looking for an active stay at the park are invited to explore the 8 miles of day-use trails Standing Stone offers. These trails range from easy to strenuous and provide a variety of scenery to hikers, including virgin forest, fields of wildflowers, streams, and sweeping views of Standing Stone Lake.
The park is home to an Olympic-sized swimming pool near its campground, where visitors can cool off during summer months. Guests can purchase day passes as well as seasonal memberships to swim, wade, and dive in the park’s pool.
For those looking to venture out into bigger waters, Standing Stone offers boat rentals for non-motorized boats on the 69 acre lake. Rowboats, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and pedalboats are available to rent from the state park.
Standing Stone lake is stocked with trout and offers bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout fishing.
Birdwatchers visiting the park can travel down a gravel road past nearby Dale Hollow Dam to view American goldfinch and common yellowthroat species in park-managed meadows.
National Rolley Hole Marble Tournament
One activity at Standing Stone State Park stands out from the rest: the National Rolley Hole Marble Tournament. Hosted every September at the park for the past 30 years, this internationally-recognized marble tournament has been featured in major media sources such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, and the Smithsonian. The tournament is a traditional marble contest that draws the best marble players from all over the country to test their wit and skills as they compete on specially-constructed flint spheres. Kids’ games, marble making, demonstrations, food, and music also draw visitors to attend the tournament and get involved with the marble games.