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Cedars of Lebanon State Park and State Forest
Site Description and Habitats
The area of Cedars of Lebanon is designated as part State Park, part State Natural Area, and part State Forest. Each area has different resources and access. The majority of the Cedars of Lebanon area is forested with the eastern red cedar being the dominant tree species, which is abundant on very poor soils. The soil is very shallow in this area and exposed rock is common. These areas historically were subject to regular disturbance via fire and, at times, heavy grazing. The loss of these disturbances has caused extensive reforestation and loss of cedar glade habitats. Cedar glades support several rare and endangered plants that only occur in Wilson and neighboring counties in middle Tennessee. Areas of mature hardwood forests provide nice hikes via trail systems within the State Park. Hidden Springs trail is an easy 5 mile, mostly flat, hike loops though hardwood forests and some cedar glades. A "hidden spring" is found about halfway through the loop.
Bird species of interest
Spring and Fall Migration: A wide variety of warblers, thrushes, vireos, and flycatchers can be found, including Philadelphia Vireo, Blackburnan, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll(spring only), Nashville, Tennessee, and Blue-winged Warblers, Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrush, and Veery. Lark Sparrows are rare in the cedar glades and can be tough to find. Broad-winged Hawk can be see and heard in spring and summer.
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Detailed directions for birding Cedars of Lebanon State Park and State Forest From I-40, take exit 238 and travel south on US 231 and turn left into the park in 6.5 miles. The park office is on your right in 0.3 miles. On US 231, a right hand turn opposite the State Park entrance leads to the State Forest lands.
Several trail access points along the main road through the park provide some nice access to woodlands and interesting geological features.
Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. There are no usage fees.
The Merritt Nature Center features exhibits on geology and natural features of the park. It is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday during the on-season. The Nature Center may be opened during the off-season by special arrangement with the park's naturalist.
The Park features an Olympic size swimming pool and ample space for sunbathing. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer months. The pool opens Memorial Day weekend. Days of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. CT. Cost is $4 a person, 2 years of age and older. Cabin and camping guests pay half price admission to the pool.
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