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Tips for Visiting Montgomery Bell State Park

Spillway at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, Tennessee

With its picturesque lakes, miles of hiking trails, restaurant, and lodge, Montgomery Bell State Park is a great getaway full of activity. This natural oasis is located just 40 minutes west of Nashville in Dickson County, Tennessee.

Montgomery Bell State Park

Hiking Trails at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, Tennessee

This Tennessee State Park boasts three beautiful lakes on its 3,850 acres of land, along with a multitude of hiking trails, a Lodge, a full-service restaurant and bar, cabins and campsites, and a golf course.

The park’s namesake, Montgomery Bell, was the founder of one of the largest iron industries in Tennessee. His furnaces produced cannonballs for the War of 1812, farm tools, and more.

The main furnace within what is now the state park was the Laurel Furnace. This furnace wasn’t owned by Bell but rather Robert Napier. There’s nothing left of the Laurel Furnace today, but a sign in the park does mark the site where it once stood.

The state park was also the site of the founding of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1810. A replica of Reverend Samuel McAdow’s log cabin home and a small chapel mark the spot of the founding.

Montgomery Bell State Park is located in Burns, Tennessee, only 40 minutes from Nashville and a few minutes from downtown Dickson.

Dogs and pets are allowed at all Tennessee State Parks as long as they’re leashed.

Parking at Montgomery Bell State Park is free. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The park’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Lodge at Montgomery Bell

The Lodge at Montgomery Bell offers a retreat to nature with all the modern amenities you might need.

This 117-room hotel overlooks one of the park’s three lakes — Lake Acorn — and features modern rooms, a full-service restaurant and bar, and event space. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool, a fitness room, and outdoor patios.

The rooms contain large windows and balconies overlooking the lake. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Montgomery Bell State Park Facilities

Picnic Area at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, Tennessee

For those looking to stay overnight at the state park, there is the 117-room lodge; 109 tent, trailer, and RV campsites; and 8 cabins.

There is also the historic Group Camp One, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp, with 36 rustic cabins that can sleep up to 120 people. The cabins, dining hall, kitchen, picnic shelter, bathhouses, counselor buildings, and boat dock can be rented out in the summer from mid-April through October 31.

If you just want to picnic in the park for the day, there are 4 picnic shelters and plenty of picnic tables throughout the park.

You can rent meetings and conference rooms at the Lodge as well as a pavilion at Lake Acorn.

There is a swim beach on Lake Acorn that’s available Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, boating on all three lakes, and kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and flat bottom fishing boats for rent on Lake Acorn.

The 18-hole golf course offers lessons, a driving range, practice green, pull carts, and a clubhouse with a veranda. The course hosts the Dogwood Classic, usually the opening event in the Tennessee tournament season. Tee times are required seven days a week.

There are gift shops in the visitor center, the Lodge, and the camp store where you can buy snacks, gear, and keepsakes.

Montgomery Bell State Park Hikes

Ore Pit Loop Trail at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, Tennessee

Montgomery Bell State Park has 19 miles of hiking trails.

  • The 1.5 mile Ore Pit Loop Trail explores the wilderness where the old iron pits were dug. This trail takes you past the site of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, as well.
  • The 10.4 mile Montgomery Bell Overnight Trail is a moderate hike around the entirety of the state park.
  • The 1.7 mile Creech Hollow Trail follows along the edge of the Creech Hollow Lake, connecting two points of the Montgomery Bell Trail.
  • The 1.4 mile Wildcat Trail connects the Lodge and the campground.
  • The 0.95 mile Baker’s Cemetery Trail loop on the east edge of the park takes you around the small, overgrown cemetery.
  • The 0.7 mile Jim Bailey Nature Trail is an easy loop hike around the park office and visitor center.
  • The 0.55 mile Spillway Trail follows along Will Hall Creek from the Montgomery Bell Trail to Lake Woodhaven.

Hiking Essentials

Come prepared for your hike by making sure you pack the essentials. Check out this must-have hiking gear before you set off on the trails:

More Things to Do at Montgomery Bell State Park

Iron Miner Statue at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns, Tennessee

This state park has even more fun things to do, including birding and fishing. There are 23 miles of mountain biking trails winding through the northern section of the park.

Seasonal activities like swimming and water sports are only available in the warmer months, so plan accordingly.

Nearby Attractions

Where to Stay Near Burns, TN

Ready to visit Dickson, Tennessee? Plan your trip with these tips.



Tips for Visiting Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee

Have you visited Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, Tennessee? Let me know in the comments!

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