Metal Ford and Buffalo River is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 382.8.

Hiking Trail short nature trail along Buffalo River
Picnic Area 4 picnic tables, 2 grills
Top 30 Natchez Trace Favorite Site Old Trace
Metal Ford and Buffalo River - Natchez Trace Parkway
Metal Ford Tennessee

Photo Credit: Phil Roberson
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“I was roused from this melancholy reverie by the roaring of Buffalo River, which I forded with great difficulty.” Alexander Wilson, 1811
Here travelers on the Natchez Trace crossed the river which was fordable except after heavy rains. The ford takes its name from its stone bottom, which reminded frontier travelers of stone-surfaced or “metaled” roads of the day.

A 5 minute stroll beyond Metal Ford leads you beside the Buffalo River to the McLish stand exhibit and then back to this point by way of the historic mill trace.

Steele's Iron Works - Here about 1820 stood a charcoal burning furnace used to manufacture pig iron. All that remain of this pioneer enterprise are the slag pile and the evidence of a millrace used to bring water from the Buffalo River to operate the furnace's air blasting machinery.

Metal Ford and Buffalo River Photo Gallery
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  • Approximate time to explore site: 10-30 minutes
  • Click for a Location Map
  • Latitude: 35.46321
    Longitude: -87.47895
    Elevation (approximate): 764 feet
    Milepost: 382.8
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