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  • Writer's pictureBrandi & Candace

Ceders of Lebanon, Tennessee State Park

This is SUPER SIZED cause we left Nashville city parks to go to a neighboring STATE PARK! EVERYTHING is supersized for this post: MORE history, MORE details, MORE pictures! So let's get into it!

This land was once the site of an old Moccasin Trading Post amongst natives in the land. It was gifted to Tennesseean pioneers who served in the Revolutionary War. The trees in the area began to be chopped down in the early 1800s almost immediately after Europeans began to settle it. This area has been called "the cedars of Lebanon" since at least the 1880s, which is a reference to a religious utopia from the Bible. The trees themselves are "red ceders" which aren't ceders at all, but juniper trees. The forest was chopped away at by many in the lumber industry, notably, pencil manufacturers. As early as 1909, citizens of Wilson county were quoted in the Tennessean as being concerned about deforestation in the area, and calling for conservation efforts. It was particularly notable that all of this destruction eroded the soil in the area, so farming communities in the area struggled. In October 1935, as a part of The New Deal, the federal government announced it would spend $65,000 to re-forest the area. Eugene Pementer, the manager of the project, announced families in the area would be removed from the land for better land options, and the forest would be utilized for recreation and conservation. Also exciting at the time would be to give 275 men consistent jobs, during a depression. The park officially opened in August 1938. In 1955, the federal government gifted the land to the state of Tennessee, as a part of the state parks system. The land itself has some unique items like the Glade Cress flower, the Limestone Fameflower, the Tennessee Coneflower, and the Nashville Breadroot.

The park itself is in Wilson County, a neighbor of Davidson. It's a total of 1,139 acres. It was a 55 minute drive from my home in Bellevue, which means it's less than an hour trip from almost anywhere in Nashville. The grounds themselves include nine cabins, campgrounds, several lodges, a gazebo, horse stables, a gift shop, a pool that was closed but had multiple signs advertising an upcoming renovation/rebuild, a couple of cute playgrounds, a butterfly garden, picnic shelters, and a nature center. The nature center hosts cute activities like broom making classes, scavenger hunts, and cave tours that you can sign up for on the website. There are six hiking trails in the park- Hidden Springs Tail (4.2 miles), Ceder Run Trail (1.9 miles), Ceder Forest Trail (1.9 miles), Dixon Merrit Trail (.6 mile), Ceder Glad Trail (.5 mile), and Limestone Sink Trail (.4 mile). We did the Dixon Merrit Trail, Ceder Glad Train, and Limestone Sink Trail. We had so much fun!

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