VISITOR CENTER

 Open Daily 8:00am until 4:30pm 

The Visitor Center/Museum is a great place to stop before visiting the reconstructed fort. It offers information on the area’s history and artifacts that were excavated prior to the Fort’s reconstruction.

A 15-minute film adds to the visitor’s understanding of the period. It is located between the parking lot and the reconstructed fort. 

GIFT SHOP AND BOOKSTORE

Open Daily 8:00am until 4:30pm 

While at the Fort Loudoun State Historic Area, we hope you will visit our bookstore and gift shop. Your purchase provides additional funding to this site.

PICNIC AREA

Located convenient to the visitors center and reconstructed Fort Loudoun.

There are 30 tables, most with grills, scattered along the lakeside and in a wooded area. The tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park Picnic Area in Vonore, Tennessee

Centrally located in the picnic area, a restroom facility is available which also houses a soft drink machine.

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park Picnic Shelter in Vonore, Tennessee

Fort Loudoun State Park has 1 picnic shelter/pavilion that may be reserved for your next event or gathering. The shelter has a maximum capacity of 64 people. The shelter is equipped with 8 picnic tables, a grill and access to restrooms. This shelter overlooks Tellico Lake.

Full day shelter reservations may be made online with the Tennessee State Parks Online Reservation System or by calling the park during business hours (8AM until 4:30 PM daily) at 423-420-2331. If you are interested in reserving a shelter for less than a full day, please contact the park office for availability information.

Picnic shelters or pavilions may be reserved online up to one year in advance with a paid reservation fee. There is a $5.00 cancellation fee for picnic shelter or pavilion reservations cancelled 8 days or more in advance of the reserved date. Reservations cancelled 7 days or less in advance of the reserved date forfeit all paid fees.

Reserve the Picnic Shelter

TELLICO LAKE

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area and Sequoyah Birthplace Museum share an island that was created by the damming of the Little Tennessee River. 

The lake is approximately 15,000 acres in surface area.

BOAT DOCK

There are a number of boat ramps and marinas servicing the Tellico Lake area. A simple docking facility can be found 150 yards west of the visitor center. 

FISHING PIER

There are many opportunities for anglers by bank or by boat. Located in the picnic area visitors will find a handicap accessible fishing pier large enough to hold many anglers.

Resident and nonresident juveniles under age 13 need no license.  There is no special permit required for fishing other than a valid TN Fishing License. Licenses may be purchased from most county clerks, sporting good stores, hardware stores, local gas stations and TWRA offices.

TRAILS

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park Trails in Vodore, Tennessee

There are three hiking trails that range from easy to moderately strenuous.

The trails are the Ridgetop Loop Trail which is approximately 1.5 miles long and provides beautiful views of the mountains and valley; the Meadow Loop Trail which is approximately 2.25 miles long and the Lost Shoe Loop which is approximately .5 miles long.

The trails are for day use only and are open from 8 AM until sunset daily. Bicycles are not allowed on the trails and pets are to be leashed.

Trail maps are available in the visitor’s center at no charge.

LOCATION & HOURS

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area
338 Fort Loudoun Road
Vonore, Tennessee 37885
tel: 423-420-2331
email: FortLoudoun@tds.net

Fort Loudoun is located about 30 miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee.

-Take 75 south to Highway 72.
-Go east to Highway 411.
-North through Vonore, Tennessee and follow the signs to the park.

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park
OPEN: 7 days a week
HOURS: 8am – sunset EST
CLOSED: Christmas Day.

Museum and Visitor’s Center
OPEN: 7 days a week
HOURS: 8am – 4:30pm EST

Situated in the valley of the Little Tennessee River, near the Appalachian Mountains, Fort Loudoun State Historic Area provides a glimpse of life during the time of the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The future of the North American continent was in the balance as armies from France, Spain and England fought for control of this land and its vast resources. Native Americans were caught up in this struggle as they strove to protect their homes and way of life. Fort Loudoun (1756-1760), in the heart of the Tennessee Overhill – Cherokee Nation country, played a part in that conflict which eventually laid the foundation for our nation we live in today.

 

GROUP TOURS

GROUP TOURS PROGRAM (pdf)

Dear Group Leader:

We are thrilled that you are considering a visit to Fort Loudoun State Historic Area for your trip. Here at Fort Loudoun, our interpretive staff is prepared to take your group back in time to experience life at the fort 18th century style!
Our guided programs are approximately 1 ½ hours in length. This includes a viewing of our 15-minute film introducing the history of Fort Loudoun, an hour touring the fort with an interpreter in period clothing and 15 to 20 minutes for students to browse through our museum and gift shop.

During your groups’ Fort Loudoun tour, they may encounter an array of 18th century experiences introducing them to life at Fort Loudoun during the French and Indian War. These interactive experiences may include participation in a military drill, seeing a flint-lock musket fired, receiving an eye-opening look into the lives of 18th century women and children, or learning how far our medical technology has come by seeing the tools of an 18th century military physician. In addition, your group will obtain an understanding of the landscape and life in the Tennessee Overhill before this area became the State of Tennessee as well as Fort Loudoun’s role in the French & Indian War.

We can provide your group with a standard or customized program that is appropriate for your group age level. We invite you and your group to explore historic Fort Loudoun and experience a unique piece of Tennessee’s history!

Sincerely,

Eric Hughey
Park Manager

HISTORY

John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, for whom the fort was named.
John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, for whom the fort was named.

During the French and Indian War (1754-1763) the British Colony of South Carolina felt threatened by French activities in the Mississippi Valley. To counter this threat, the Colony sent the Independent Company of South Carolina to construct and garrison what became Fort Loudoun. This move helped to ally the Overhill Cherokee Nation in the fight against the French and guaranteed the trade would continue between the Cherokee and South Carolina.

In the course of the fort’s four-year existence, relations between South Carolina and the Cherokee Nation broke down. In August, 1760, the Cherokee captured Fort Loudoun and its garrison.

After the surrender in 1760, Fort Loudoun was never used again for any military purpose. It is thought the Cherokees destroyed the fort sometime shortly after the English marched away. In 1762, Lt. Henry Timberlake wrote in his memoirs that he “went to Tommotly, taking Fort Loudon (sic) in the way, to examine the ruins”.

Nature reclaimed the site and there was no public recognition of the Fort until 1917. In November of that year the Colonial Dames of America placed a commemorative marker at the Fort Loudoun site. They hoped there would be interest in preserving the site for future generations. In 1933, the Tennessee General Assembly purchased the site of Fort Loudoun and created the Fort Loudoun Association to manage it. The Fort Loudoun Association ran the site for nearly 45 years until it reverted to Tennessee State Parks in 1977.

Fort Loudoun continues to be managed as a day use park with a visitor’s center, reconstructed Fort Loudoun (the reconstruction sits on a 17’ deep backfill which was necessary to raise it above the summer pool level of Tellico Lake), picnic area, fishing pier, hiking trails and boat dock.