Old Stone Fort in Coffee County, Tennessee (about an hour and some change south of Nashville, also home of Bonnaroo) is not a fort. When it was discovered by white settlers, they mis-identified it as a fort, and the name has stuck. In fact, the stone walls covered in earth works were created by Native Americans in the Middle Woodland Period (1,500-2,000 years ago). The site has been studied by archeologists on and off since the 60’s, but we still don’t know for sure what it was used for. The low wall is build along the edge of a peninsula created by the confluence of two rivers. The placement of the entrance to the large clearing within the wall suggests the area was used for ceremonial purposes.
There are some interpretive panels around the site that can tell you more, but they are rather old. You can’t really see much of the wall, since it’s covered in earth and forest growth, but the site itself is a great place to walk around and explore for a few hours. There are a few little waterfalls and you plenty of paths to take you down by the rivers. There are also some ruins from civil-war era mills here and there. Aleksi and I drove down there last spring, and had a grand old time. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a nice half-day trip from Nashville.
[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more photos of Tennessee.]