Summertime fun is easy to find in Lawrence County

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

Do you remember your first ‘adult’ summer, when you had to work instead of enjoying your vacation from school? Childhood passes quickly, so I hope every Lawrence County kid is making the most of summer 2023.

Thankfully, long summer afternoons and weekends offer time for all of us to play, especially when opportunities are around every corner in Lawrence County. Here are a few ideas for all ages:

From the desk of the County Executive, David A. Morgan


Trails in David Crockett State Park include a 2.5 mile retracement of the Trail of Tears’ Bell Route, where about 700 Native Americans walked in November, 1838. The park offers over six more miles of hiking trails with matchless views of Shoal Creek and Crockett Falls, limestone bluffs, and forest. At the head of the Fitness Trail you can enhance your workout at 13 exercise stations.

Stillhouse Hollow Falls is a natural area about 3 miles north of Summertown off Highway 43. A 1.2 mile loop takes you to its namesake falls, which includes small cascades and a beautiful 75-foot drop.


Rotary Park’s pool is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; Loretto’s City Park pool is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Lawrence County is covered in a network of creeks perfect for wading and more. Shoal Creek includes public access spots at Veteran’s Park in Lawrenceburg and Crockett Falls in our state park, but almost everyone has a favorite stream to recommend.

Shoal Creek winds through the heart of Lawrenceburg and Crockett Shoals Tubing Co. (1104 West Gaines St., Lawrenceburg) allows you to float those shallow waters. Shoal Creek deepens and widens as it travels south, where UPA Creek Canoe & Kayak Rentals (5585 Wayland Springs Road, Iron City) and Double G Canoe Rentals (629 Busby Road, West Point) have your boat and paddle ready.

Creeks offer opportunities to fish, and so do three lakes that are popular with local anglers. Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, Blue and Channel Catfish are stocked at the 325-

acre Laurel Hill Lake and nearby 22-acre VFW Lake, both located in northwest Lawrence County. Laurel Hill offers a youth-only fishing area for 16 and under, and both have handicap-accessible piers. Lake Lindsey in David Crockett State Park also allows fishing from its piers, from your own trolling-motor powered craft, and from boats available to rent.


Eighteen-hole Disc Golf courses are located at Lawrenceburg’s Scout Park and city parks at St. Joseph and Loretto. Play is free and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Lawrenceburg Golf & Country Club (1901 West Gaines Street) offers memberships that include use of the club pool and other amenities. The public can also pay to play the 18-hole, 5,800-yard course.

Dixie Oaks is a public course located at 76 Pleasant Garden Road, Summertown. A driving range and putting green will get you ready for 18 holes spread out over 6,213 yards.


The Mitzi L. Sweet Memorial Dog Park at 830 Gaither Avenue, Lawrenceburg provides two play areas where small and large breed dogs can run off leash. Fresh water and trash bins are available in each area, as well as seating and WiFi. The park also includes a walking trail where leased dogs and their owners can enjoy a quiet walk.

At Laurel Hill Wildlife Management Area, almost 15 miles of horseback riding trails are accessible from three parking areas that offer ample room for trucks and trailers. Trails pass through woods and meadows, along Laurel Hill Lake and its feeder streams and the Little Buffalo River. Horses are also allowed on all roads open to motorized vehicles.


Thunderhill Raceway Park is a 1/3 mile high-banked oval dirt track at 75 N. Old Military Road, Summertown. Divisions featured every Saturday include Limited Late Model, Modified Street Stock, Pure Stock, and three Crate Racin’ USA divisions.

Ethridge Motorsports Park is a 1/8 mile dragstrip at 29 Dooley Rd., Ethridge. Events are scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights, March through November.

If you want to do a little driving of your own, check out Wheelin’ in the Country off-road park at 128 Anderson Creek Road, Summertown. The acreage includes plenty of spots that will test you and your vehicle.

The North Alabama Trail Riders Association (NATRA) is an organization of motorcycle, ATV and UTV enthusiasts who rent 5,600 acres with 170 miles of developed trails in West Point. The organization offers regular organized events, and members can use the trails at any time.


Parents and kids can find great playgrounds in every part of the county – David Crockett State Park, Rotary Park, and municipal parks in Ethridge, Loretto, and St. Joseph.


Everyone can enjoy a slow-paced wagon ride through Lawrence County’s Amish Country, which begin at the Amish Welcome Center, located at the corner of Highway 43 North and Brewer Road. Tours are approximately 1.5 hours, offered Monday through Saturday beginning shortly after 9 a.m. The last tour of the day begins at 2:00-2:30.

Signs outside Amish houses tell you if that family sells vegetables and other goods. Plowboy Produce Auction, 469 Brace Road, Ethridge, is another way to buy Amish produce in small or very large lots. Any farmer can bring their products, but 95% of sellers live within 10 miles of the site and 90% are Old Order Amish.


Fruits, veggies, and other locally-produced goods are also available at Farmers Markets in Loretto, open at Weathers Park on Fridays, 4:30-6:30 p.m., and for second Saturday markets; and at the Lawrenceburg Square, open 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.


You can also appreciate others’ gardening with a visit to Hope Botanical Garden, a four-acre masterpiece at 16 Ford Road, Leoma. Visitors can stroll through

themed areas including a water garden, Japanese garden, meditation garden, children’s garden, and get pleasantly lost in a classic maze. The garden is closed Mondays, open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays 1 to 6 p.m.

Almost every place in Lawrence County, including most back yards, provide opportunity to watch wildlife, but two spots are well-known for it. Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife website sings the praises of Laurel Hill’s birdwatching opportunities. Migratory birds spend warmer months there, and the Great Blue Heron, Eastern Bluebird and Belted Kingfishers can be seen year-round.

Whitetail deer, turkey and other native wildlife are plentiful in David Crockett State Park. Deer venture from the woods during late afternoons to graze in areas visible from the park’s roadways. Aviaries at the Museum are home to birds of prey that cannot be released into the wild. A flock of Canada geese reside at Lake Lindsey, and a pair of bald eagles nest in nearby trees. A viewing station is available near the boat docks if they are at home.

Plenty of events are scheduled this summer as well, from Lawrenceburg’s annual fireworks show on June 24 to Bulls & Barrels, an annual benefit for Abigail’s Plan. I will surely leave some out if I try to list everything, so keep an eye out for social media, radio and newspaper announcements.

You can also find out much more about all my suggestions on Facebook, where most have their own pages listing their hours and prices. I also owe a big thanks to the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, whose new Visitor’s Guide provided much of the information I’ve shared. Free copies are available at locations all over Lawrence County.

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