Big Hill Pond State Park

Quick Facts

Big Hill Pond State Park

Tennessee

(731) 645-7967

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Big Hill Pond State Park, which offers thirty miles of hiking trails, fishing, picnicking, and horseback riding, lies in the southwestern part of McNairy County and encompasses approximately 5,000 acres of magnificent timberland and hardwood bottomland. Cypress Creek and Tuscumbia River border the property. Several oxbow lakes and sloughs add to the waterway. The flood plain adjacent to both the Tuscumbia River and Cypress Creek contains small oxbow lakes and swamp areas which are desirable habitat for waterfowl, wildlife, and fishing. The park derives its name from Big Hill Pond, which was created in 1853 when dirt was scooped from a borrow pit to build a levee across the Tuscumbia and Cypress Creek bottoms for the Memphis to Charleston Railroad. Over the years, a great stand of cypress trees has grown in and around the 35-acre pond. The pond is accessible by four-wheel drive. Some highlights of the park include the boardwalk through Dismal Swamp, the Observation Tower, wildlife viewing, and Civil War artifacts. Each year, the park hosts two Bluegrass Music Festivals, one during the first weekend in May and the other in the second weekend in October.

Map of Big Hill Pond (TN)

Latitude, Longitude: 35.047391, -88.726540

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Big Hill Pond park has approximately 14 miles of horse trails, which mountain bikers are allowed to use.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Tour buses are welcome on the paved roads in the park.

  • Camping

    No backcountry camping allowed. However, backpackers may hike in to four different camp shelters, three of which are very remote. The shelters are available on a first come, first-served basis. The shelters have six bunks, but can accommodate more people is some are willing to sleep on the floor. Four scout camps are also available, one in the campground area and three past the park office. Quiet time in the campground is 10:00 p.m. Because the campground is small, there is no generator operation after 10:00 p.m.

  • Fishing

    The old Big Hill Pond, accessible by four-wheel drive, has great fishing. This lake was created in 1853. Travis McNatt Lake is 165 acres and is spring fed year-round. Visitors can catch bass, bream, and catfish with a valid Tennessee fishing license.

  • Hiking

    Thirty miles of overnight and day use trails with four backpack trail shelters can be found on the park. Five miles of hiking trail and two trail shelters lies south of railroad. This is within the hunting area. A popular hike is the 0.8-mile boardwalk through Dismal Swamp.

  • Historic Sites

    The Memphis to Charleston Railroad, built in 1853, was a major East-West artery for commerce and travel through the southern states. During the Civil War, Union soldiers built and manned earthworks overlooking the Dismal Swamp Railroad trestle. These earthworks can still be seen today. The area in and around Big Hill Pond State Park was home to many farming families' homesteads over the years: a fireplace foundation from one such home can still be seen in the playground area.

  • Horseback Riding

    Big Hill Pond park has approximately 14 miles of horse trails. The trails are shared with mountain bikers. No horses are allowed on the hiking trails. No horses are allowed on the back or the front of the Lake Dam.

  • Picnicking

    Visitors may picnic in the campground or the chimney area across from playground. The picnic area down by the lake has 22 sites, two of which are accessible. The sites are available on a first come, first-served basis.

Seasonality/Weather

The park offers excellent visitor experiences year-round. The highest diversity of wildlife can be seen during the spring and fall migrations.

Directions

Driving

Big Hill Pond is located about 18 miles south of Selmer, TN, in McNairy County on State Hwy. 57. From U.S. Hwy. 45, turn west on Hwy. 57 from Eastview. Big Hill Pond is located on Hwy. 57 about 10 miles from the U.S. Hwy. 45 and 57 intersection.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(731) 645-7967

Links