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Hiking historic sites in Tennessee makes for a fresh start to spring. If you’re wishing for a perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your dog, head out to Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park for an afternoon’s ramble.

I can’t promise you an epic 10-mile hike with scenic views. But I can promise you a lovely afternoon strolling through the fields and woods that will make you feel like you are on the Emerald Isle itself.

Australian Shepherd sitting next to a low stone wall with a cottage in the background at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park

Your leashed dog is welcome to explore the park with you. Please remember to clean up after your pup. And please respect the delicate and historical artifacts found here.

Located in Castalian Springs in Sumner County, Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park is about 38 miles from downtown Nashville. This 80-acre park is open year-round for visitors. It is the location of one of Tennessee’s first settlements. The park is home to several restored cabins and the archeological outline of the fort that stood guard here in 1780.

When we discovered this historic site, we were mesmerized by the stories of the people who settled here. And, of course with Irish roots ourselves, the big draw was Rogana.

Rogana - authentic Irish cottage built by settler Hugh Rogan in Sumner County, TN

Hugh Rogan was born in 1747 in Glentown Northern Ireland. After immigrating to the newly formed colonies, he finally settled in Sumner County. Unlike the typical log cabin houses built by settlers in the same time frame, Rogan constructed his cottage of limestone blocks in the style of cottages from his homeland.

The Rogan cottage was carefully and painstakingly moved from its original location not far away. It was reconstructed at Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park in 1998.

Australian Shepherd in front of the Hugh Rogan cottage at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park

The history of Hugh Rogan and the many other settlers of this area is fascinating. You’ll find interpretive panels throughout the grounds. They’ll give you context and background of Sumner County’s first European settlers and Native American settlements.

Archaeological site of Bledsoe's Fort in Sumner County TN
Nathaniel Parker Cabin in Sumner County TN
The Nathaniel Parker cabin – and what happened at our last visit.
Australian Shepherd lying on the wooden front porch of the Nathaniel Parker cabin at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park

Even if history isn’t your thing, you and your dog will enjoy exploring the grounds. There is a short trail, a frontier cemetery, the remains of a spring house and the archaeological layout of Fort Bledsoe.

Dog sitting on the Holston Road at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park
The sign reads: “You are now on a section of the first wagon road to the Cumberland Settlements from East Tennessee. Blazed in 1787.”
Settler cemetery at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park
Aussie looking at the remnants of the spring house at Bledsoe Fort Historical Park
Australian Shepherd jumping over a log at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park
Australian Shepherd running across a wide green field toward the camera at Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park

Why this is a perfect dog friendly historic site in Tennessee:

  • Spacious grounds to explore
  • Low crowd levels
  • Picnic pavilion to enjoy an outdoor lunch
  • Easy walking trail for dogs of all sizes
  • No big time commitment – go at your own pace
  • Bledsoe Creek State Park located nearby for more trails

We would love to hear about your visit to this under-appreciated historical park. And keep this Pin on-hand so you don’t forget!

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