State Officials Host Grand Opening of Restaurant, Visitors Center at Henry Horton State Park

Wednesday, June 01, 2022 | 11:37am

Officials of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Tennessee Department of General Services (DGS) held a grand opening today for a new restaurant and visitors center at Henry Horton State Park.

The 6,381-square-foot restaurant and two-story visitors center represent $8.25 million in capital improvements at the park.

“Our visitors to Tennessee State Parks deserve the best in accommodations, and these facilities provide just that,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “This has been a much-anticipated day for Henry Horton State Park, and we couldn’t be happier with the amenities we see here today.”

“A project of this size and scope requires a collective effort involving the talents and commitment of many dedicated people,” said DGS Commissioner Christi Branscom. “As the department responsible for building projects across the state, it's been an honor for us to work with our colleagues in the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to create this new, magnificent facility that visitors will enjoy for years to come.”

The restaurant will seat 106 people inside and 52 people outside. A 32-seat area will be for private dining, and a lounge will hold 30 seats. The visitors center has a 1,154-square-foot exhibit and interpretive area and a conference room of the same size. It includes a gift shop, and offices account for another 2,100 square feet of the building. The Duck River Agency generously donated interactive exhibits that feature the history and ecology of the Duck River.

The project at Henry Horton State Park is part of a larger commitment by the state to provide top-notch hospitality and accommodations to state parks guests. In the last three years, the Tennessee State Parks system has remodeled a 117-room lodge at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, remodeled a 119-room lodge at Pickwick Landing State Park in Counce, opened a visitors center at Cummins Falls State Park in Cookeville and an 85-room lodge, visitors center and restaurant at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Spencer. Construction is underway on a new lodge and restaurant at Paris Landing State Park in Buchanan. All of the projects are made possible by the support of the Tennessee General Assembly. 

Henry Horton State Park offers several lodging options, including the Lodge at Henry Horton, eight cabins, 56 RV campsites, 10 tent campsites, nine primitive campsites and three backcountry campsites. There are also three group campsites available. The Buford Ellington Golf Course at the park is one of nine courses on the Tennessee Golf Trail.

Henry Horton State Park is on the shores of the historic Duck River, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The park was constructed in the 1960s on the estate of Henry Horton, former governor of Tennessee.