As you continue down Hwy 7, notice Spout Spring (L). It was a drinking water source for Middle Tennessee Railroad, which ran through the area.
5668 Leipers Creek Rd. Santa Fe, TN 38482
Water Valley Community
This was one of Maury County's first settlements, and the earliest marked grave (Sarah Fly, 1808) in the county lies here. In 1824, Water Valley had 61 voters and paid taxes on 14 slaves. This is a classic country drive, with stunning colors in the fall.
4849 Leipers Creek Rd. Williamsport, TN 38487
Continue W on TN-7 for 0.4 mile, turn L on Leipers Creek Rd. to pt. 42.
More About: Water Valley Community
The Water Valley Community gets its name from the devastating flood of 1874, when Leiper's Creek swelled over its banks and caused widespread damage.
Water Valley Community Center
At this corner, find the Water Valley Community Center where dances are still held every week.
4849 Leipers Creek Rd. Williamsport, TN 38487
Continue 3.4 miles, turn R to stay on Leipers Creek Rd. to pt. 43.
Beautiful scenery marks this stretch of the Old Tennessee Trail. Note the historic church (L) as you stay with Leipers Creek Road, and imagine yourself here in the early 1800s as the area was being settled and farms were being established. Relax as you take in the Tennessee countryside.
4738 Leipers Creek Rd. Williamsport, TN 38487
In 0.5 mile, turn L to stay on Leipers Creek Rd. Go 3.4 miles on Leipers Creek Rd. to int. with Snow Creek Rd.
Pigg School House Village
This school house, built in 1884 and used until 1920, was moved to this site in 2004 from Pigg Schoolhouse Road. It has been joined by another cabin, a smokehouse, an outhouse, and a replica of an old-fashioned general store to create a little "village" on a private farm.
Retrace route and head back on Snow Creek Rd. Stay straight on Snow Creek Rd. to rejoin main trail at pt. 46.
4719 Mingo Branch Rd. Santa Fe, TN 38482
Turn L on Snow Creek Rd. Go 3.3 miles to Mingo Branch Rd. and pt. 45.
Duck River Bottomland
Your scenic drive continues on Snow Creek Road near the Duck River bottomland (L). You'll pass a pre-Civil War Greek Revival home and other historic structures as you approach the river and cross the bridge.
3978 Snow Creek Road 38487
From pt. 44 and int. of Leipers Creek Rd. & Snow Creek Rd., turn R on Snow Creek Rd. Turn L onto TN-50 to continue on main trail.
More About: Flatboating
In the early 1800s, flatboating was a lucrative business, moving goods down the Duck River, to the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, on to New Orleans. Some of the boat operators, called "Kaintucks," would then walk home on the Natchez Trace.
Williamsport Wildlife Management Area
Managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, this site offers 1,800 acres for small game hunting and four lakes popular for bass fishing.
3880 Williamsport Pike 38487
To visit pt. 47 from int. of TN-50 and Snow Creek Rd., turn R onto TN-50, go 1 mile. Entrance off Hwy 50.
Continue on Hwy 50 to the Natchez Trace side village of Shady Grove.
2017 Hoover Road Shady Grove, TN 38454
Pt. 48 is 4 miles ahead on TN-50. To rejoin main trail, reverse direction and continue straight on TN-50. Continue on Hwy 50 to the Natchez Traceside village of Shady Grove.
More About: Land Trust for Tennessee
The Land Trust for Tennessee is a statewide, private nonprofit organization whose mission is “to preserve the unique character of Tennessee’s natural and historic landscapes and sites for future generations”. The area of the Old Tennessee Trail is rich with beauty and history and the Land Trust has been active in this area since its inception in 1999. From preservation of historic sites, like the Franklin Battlefield at Carnton, to iconic farms, like the Preston Farms outside of Leiper’s Fork, and scenic vistas, like the protected properties visible from the Water Valley Overlook of the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Land Trust has protected over 7,400 acres of land in Williamson and Maury Counties. The Land Trust for Tennessee works with communities and local governments to create conservation plans and with landowners to permanently protect their land. For more information, visit Landtrusttn.org or call 615-244-LAND. The Land Trust for Tennessee has two special project areas within the Old Tennessee Trail geography: Loveless to Leiper’s, which spans from the Loveless Café at the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace, down to Leiper’s Fork, and the Lower Duck River watershed, which spans from the Tennessee Valley Divide south through Maury County. The Land Trust for Tennessee has produced two nature and cultural reports within this area: The Lick Creek Report and the Duck River Highlands Report, both available online.
Ferries on the Duck River started operation in this area as early as 1807, and Williamsport became a thriving trading center. Flatboating was a lucrative business, moving goods down the Duck River, into the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers and down to New Orleans. Some of the flatboat operators, called Kaintucks, would then walk all the way home on the Natchez Trace. Today, Williamsport offers 1,850 acres for hunting and four lakes for fishing. Notice the quaint, historic homes and churches as you pass through.
3568 Williamsport Pike Williamsport, TN 38487
From pt. 46, go 0.2 mile on TN-50, turn L onto Old Williamsport Rd. to pt. 49.
More About: The African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church was born in protest against slavery. It was the first denomination to reject the idea that people of African descent are second class citizens.
Clayborne AME Church
Clayborne AME Church (L) pictured, ca. 1923, housed a congregation that began to gather immediately following the Civil War. Along this route, you'll also pass Williamsport United Methodist Church (0.3 mile on L), built ca. 1813.
3692 Old Williamsport Road Williamsport, TN 38487
Go 0.1 mile on Old Williamsport Rd. to pt 50.
More About: African-American Communities
The rapid growth of agricultural wealth in Antebellum Williamson and Maury Counties in the 1800s depended on a large slave population. By 1860, approximately one half of the residents in Williamson and Maury Counties were slaves. After the Civil War ended in 1865, the Freedmen’s Bureau was established by the U.S. Government to help establish schools for newly freed slaves and negotiate labor contracts between ex-slaves and former owners. African-American communities like Natchez Street in downtown Franklin and the Canaan Community in Maury County began to grow around new schools, churches and fraternal organizations, many of which endured intimidation and violence from the post-war Ku Klux Klan and continue to serve the Williamson and Maury County areas today.
Williamsport Market and Deli
Stop here for gas, food and restrooms. The market also features live music.
3566 Williamsport Pike Williamsport, TN 38487
Turn right on Williamsport Pk./ TN-50 to pt. 51.
This large, columned house is visible from the road only in winter months. Originally owned by James Webster, the first child born in Maury County, it is now a home again after serving as the Maury County Historical Society's meeting place from the 1970s-90s.
3331 N. Cross Bridges Rd. Williamsport, TN 38401
From pt. 50 and Old Williamsport Rd., stay straight onto Jimmy G. Robinson Rd. Go 3.7 miles, stay R to N. Cross Bridges Rd. to view pts. 52 & 53.
This well-kept estate and 1830 mansion once belonged to George Lipscomb, a veteran of Andrew Jackson's Seminole campaign. It remains a private residence.
3200 North Cross Bridges 38401
Built by George Pope Webster in 1844, this is generally considered the grandest Antebellum home in western Maury County. Captain Henry J. Webster, the older son of the builder, was the first captain of the famed Company Aytch (Company H), First Tennessee Regiment, the most highly decorated company in the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War.
3143 N. Cross Bridges Rd. Mount Pleasant, TN 38401
Continue 1.1 miles, turn R at int. past pt. 53. Go 0.3 mile to view pt. 49.
Cross Bridges Community
Originally the property of Revolutionary War veteran Jonathan Webster, the Cross Bridges Community came to be known as such thanks to the four toll bridges that used to exist in the area. You'll pass Cross Bridges Baptist Church.
In 1 mile, turn L onto Hampshire Pk. to stay on main trail.
2881 N. Cross Bridges Rd. Columbia, TN 38401
Continue 1.2 miles, stay R to stay on N. Cross Bridges Rd. to pt. 55.
Jonathan Webster Home
The historic 1808 home of the Revolutionary War veteran Jonathan Webster.
3166 Hampshire Pike 38474
Learn the history of the area inside this former local bank building. Open Thurs.-Sun.
4107 Highway 412 Hampshire, TN 38461
Pt. 57: 2389 Hwy 166 N. Hampshire To resume main trail, reverse direction, stay straight on Hampshire Pk.to int. with N. Cross Bridges Rd.
More About: Hampshire Wine Country
The high ridges of this area, which reach 1,000 feet, are great for growing grapes that make delicious wines. In the 1800s, the state agriculturalist saw the opportunity and worked with developers to bring Swiss settlers to use the land for wine making. In one of their first years, they bottled over 15,000 gallons. For a taste of Tennessee's wine country, visit Amber Falls Winery & Cellars and Keg Springs Winery, both located off Hampshire Pike/Hwy 412 toward Natchez Trace Parkway. Open Wed.-Sun.
Zion Presbyterian Church
The church was organized in 1807 by 11 descendant families of Scottish and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who originally immigrated to South Carolina around 1731. It was located in the center of the 5,120 acres purchased from General Nathanael Greene's land grant from the Revolutionary War. These pioneer settlers erected the first church on the site even before building their own homes. Zion Church has served as the religious and social center of the community continuously to the present time. The current building was built in 1849.
2322 Zion Rd Columbia, TN 38401
From int. of Hampshire Pk. & N. Cross Bridges Rd., continue straight on Hampshire Pk. for 1.4 miles. Turn R on Canaan Rd., go 0.9 mile, turn L on Zion Ln. Go 2.1 miles to pt. 58.
Canaan African Methodist Episcopal Church and Community
Located at the corners of the Zion lands and Polk Plantations, this area became a natural settlement for former slaves. Small plots were given to newly-minted Freedmen by their former owners, both from a sense of familial patronage, and the need to keep their field help tied to the land. For a hundred years after the end of the Civil War, the Canaan community was a vibrant, crowded, African-American neighborhood. The old Canaan School House, restored by the community, is a testament to that period. Take a moment to notice the historic cemetery.
3046 Ashwood Rd. Columbia, TN 38401
Continue 1.2 miles on Canaan Rd. to pt. 59.
Coming into town on N. Main Street, you'll pass historic homes (Private Residences) recognized by the APTA (Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities) including: Walnut Grove, ca. 1858, the 1847 Price-Porter Home pictured, the pre-1824 Breckenridge-Barrier House and First Presbyterian Church.
100 Public Square Mount Pleasant, TN 38474
Park and enjoy the squares charming shops and eateries, including points 61-64.
More About: Mount Pleasant
Established in 1824, Mount Pleasant began as an agricultural town. Settlers flocked to this area, and its fertile soil became legendary; farmers were amazed at the harvest that continued in abundance, year after year. What they didn't know then was that their farms were situated over the world's largest deposit of phosphate, a powerful fertilizer. Phosphate ore in Mount Pleasant was first discovered in 1888, sparking a booming new industry in phosphate mining and rapid community growth, drawing workers from 25 states and 10 countries. Today, Mount Pleasant is a quaint small town, with a rich industrial and Civil War history and down-home Tennessee charm.