Port Royal is an historic park and a day use park. Port Royal
State Park is a place of quiet natural beauty.
Canoe Access - All boats must be able to be carried by hand
into the water. No trailers allowed on river access.
Boating Regulations (exit TDEC)
Events and Programs
Civil War Era Wet Plate Photography Demonstrations -
Saturday, May 25 at 10:00 a.m. Learn more.
2013 History Lecture Series - Join us for a series of six lectures, "Remembering Indian Removal". Presented by area historians and authors, most of the topics are part of the Trail of Tears 175th anniversary series. Lectures begin at 7 p.m. CT and are free. Registration is required due to limited seating. View flyer for details.
Port Royal by Lantern - October
Take a lantern guided tour through Port Royal State Historic Park and meet some of Port Royal's most famous (and infamous) residents as they tell tales of the frontier, the Bell Witch, Night Riders and many more. Cost if FREE. All Ages appropriate. First tour leaves at 6:00 pm and last tour leaves at 9:00 pm, each night. Tours last about 1.5 hours. Reservations are not required but recommended. Call park office for more information at 931-358-9696 or email at David.Britton@tn.gov.
Interpretive tours are available upon request. Please call
ahead to schedule.
The beautiful and scenic Red River and Sulphur Fork Creek drain
approximately 975 sq. miles of northern Tennessee. Angling on
both rivers is excellent. All persons fishing are required to
a valid Tennessee Fishing License. All laws, rules and regulations
pertaining to fishing apply.
Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
State Parks fishing policies
The Overlook Trail is a short stroll along the top of the bluff to overlook the Red River and the bottom below. This trail is of moderate difficulty and about 100 yards long.
The Trail of Tears is an original, preserved section of the Trail of Tears certified by the National Park Service. This trail is about 300 yards long and is rated easy.
The River Bottom Trail connects to the Trail of Tears and provides a leisurely walk through a forested river bottom. This trail is .6 miles long and rated easy.
Port Royal was the site one of the earliest colonial communities and trading posts in middle TN being first settled in the early 1780’s as well as being a Longhunter camp as early as 1775. The town of Port Royal was founded in 1797 and rose to great prominence in the early part of the 19th century because of its strategic location at the head of navigation on the Red River, serving all of northern middle TN and south central KY and at a major stage line route.
Being situated at an important junction of roads and rivers, Port Royal became the only stop in TN on the "Great Western Road" stagecoach line between Nashville, Tennessee, and Golconda, Illinois and served as such until the 20th century. In 1977, the State of Tennessee received the deed to 26 acres of land at Port Royal, and designated it a State Historic Park in 1978.
Trail of Tears
Port Royal is designated as an official site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The Trail of Tears commemorates the forced removal of Native Americans from their homelands in the Southeastern United States and the paths they traveled westward in 1838 and 1839. Diary records of the removal mentioned Port Royal, the last stop before leaving Tennessee, as an encampment site where the Cherokee stayed overnight or longer to re-supply, grind corn and rest.
Port Royal State Park is the second Tennessee State Park to be named an official site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, joining Red Clay State Historic Park in Bradley County. Other official sites in Tennessee include Audubon Acres, Brainerd Mission Cemetery and the Chattanooga Regional History Museum in Chattanooga and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore. For more information about the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, visit www.nps.gov/trte.
With Port Royal being such an important place of travel, transportation themes play heavily into the parks and communities history. As you stroll through the park you will notice the remains of the foundations of stores, homes and warehouses with some dating back to the 18th century. Also, existing within the park are the remains of several old roadbeds, with one dating back to prehistoric times including the certified Trail of Tears site.
Preserved within the park is a very excellent example of an early Pratt Truss design steel bridge being built in 1887. This bridge spans the Sulphur Fork creek and is well preserved presents a very picturesque view of both the Red River and the Sulphur Fork creek. This bridge is available to foot traffic only.
Port Royal State Historic Park includes ADA accessible restrooms and a four table picnic area with one being wheelchair accessible.