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Big Hill Pond State Park

Western Tennessee, Tennessee

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Big Hill Pond State Park

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  • The entrance sign off Highway 57.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A restroom and shower at the campground area.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The campground area.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A fire pit and pavilion in the campground.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Travis McNatt Lake.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The beginning of the Park Trail near the boat launch.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A view of a trail bridge over the lake.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Wild black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia hirta).- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A trail bridge off of Park Trail.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Big Hill Pond trail marker.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • On the Big Hill Pond Trail.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The first intersection marker toward the tower.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Heading south on Big Hill Pond Trail.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Views of the forest.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The forest is dense.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A beautiful spider.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The crossing sign of three of the main trails.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • An unidentified mushroom.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Ash and elm trees dominate the canopy.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A crossing sign at the top of the Levee Parking Area.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Heading south on Azalea Spring Day Loop.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The trail is well maintained.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A rock that looks like petrified wood.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A crossing sign to the tower.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The Cypress Dismal Swamp Boardwalk.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The cypress tree grove looking northeast.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Looking southwest at the cypress tree grove.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A copperhead snake in a stream.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A boardwalk.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) doe.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Wild petunia.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Ash and elm trees dominate the canopy.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The last crossing sign to the tower.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The view from the tower.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • A view of Big Hill Pond from the tower.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • The view from dam levee.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • Butterfly pea.- Big Hill Pond State Park
  • - Big Hill Pond State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great trails. Wildflowers. Paddling.
Cons: 
Small campground. No electrical hookups.
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Alerts: 
The boardwalk over the Cypress Dismal Swamp is currently being repaired, but can still be crossed safely.
Region:
Western Tennessee, TN
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Just north of the Tennessee and Mississippi border you will find Big Hill Pond State Park. The entrance to the park is right off Highway 57. If you are looking to get away for a day or even a weekend, this is the perfect spot for many outdoor activities. The park has 4,138 acres to its name, and it was named after the man-made 35-acre pond that is located in the southeast corner of the park. In 1853, the soil where the pond is now was shoveled out to build a levee across the Tuscumbia and Cypress Creek bottoms for the Memphis to Charleston Railroad.

There are several hiking trails throughout the park that lead you to different areas of interest. One of the best places to hike to is the old fire tower. It's a sturdy metal tower where you can see for miles across the treetops. If you are hiking from the boat launch area heading toward the tower, you will pass through the Cypress Dismal Swamp on the elevated boardwalk which stands seven feet above the swamp. You will likely see a wide variety of wildlife, such as whitetail deer, barred owls, egrets, and maybe even a snake or two. The end of the boardwalk is just under three-quarters of a mile from the tower. Once you reach the tower, take the steps to the top. If you are lucky, you might see a bald eagle or two soaring through the sky once you reach the top. 

After you have stepped back down the tower you can either continue back the way you came or take the Dry Ridge Trail north around the west side of Travis McNatt Lake, which will take you back to the boat launch area. Starting from the tower the Dry Ridge Trail is 2.85 miles back to the boat launch area. While taking the Dry Ridge Trail you will likely encounter some horseback riders from time to time. The summer and fall in Tennessee can be humid, so make sure you are prepared for the heat with plenty of water.

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(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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