Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park is just that: a state park dedicated to the birth of Davy Crockett, the “King of the Wild Frontier”. While the park features a campground, short hiking trail, fishing and water access to the Nolichucky River, the heart of the park is a small wooden cabin that is part re-creation, part historical relic where Davy Crockett was born in 1786. It may be a small park, but it’s a park you need to visit at least once.
The heart of the state park is a small wooden cabin near the Nolichucky River. The cabin is not exactly the same cabin Crockett was born in, but it is a re-creation using the same materials and design from a cabin Crockett was associated with during his life. One day when I stopped at the park during a road trip on Highway 11E from Bristol to Knoxville, Tennessee, I came across a young man portraying a frontier settler in the 1780’s, during the time Crockett was born. He was a wealth of information and really passionate about his portrayal, showing me around the cabin and demonstrating the firing of a rifle.
Although I find history fascinating (although I hated it during school) the small cabin is just a small cabin. It is open during the peak seasons of the year, but I have visited the park during the fall months to find it shuttered up tight and devoid of re-enactors. But there is more to this park than just the cabin. There is a good-sized campground along the river with electricity and sewer hookups. There isn’t much to do inside the campground, but maybe that’s part of the appeal? I could definitely see myself spending some quiet nights stargazing in the large field beside the park office, sitting at the edge of the river listening to the rushing sounds, or maybe just doing that sleep thing I so rarely get a chance to enjoy.
Speaking of the river, there is a nice trail along the water’s edge in the campground. I’m not sure if there is an official beginning point to the trail, but I found a wooden staircase access inside the campground that led down to the waterfront. The trail was rough and natural, but easy to walk, and continued just beyond the edge of the campground to a bend in the river and a really beautiful view.
If you head past the cabin, you’ll find another river access, this one with a boat ramp. You can easily slide a kayak or canoe into the water here, though I’m not sure how you get home at the end of the day! It’s also a great place to enjoy fishing and a picnic with a few tables nearby.
The park is small, there isn’t really much to write about, but it’s still something to put on your travel plans for a summer excursion or road trip through the area. If you really want to experience the park, call ahead and ask about events or re-enactors at the cabin.