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McKinnon - Erin - Tennessee Ridge

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Welcome to McKinnon!

Including Erin, Tennessee Ridge, Danville & Hurricane Creek

The communities of Houston County, Tennessee, are not your typical tourist destinations. These communities contain a variety of affordable, off-the-beaten path attractions and a curious, albeit somewhat mysterious, glimpse into the history of middle Tennessee. There are a few bed and breakfasts located in downtown Erin, the county’s largest city, as well as a motel in nearby Stewart.

Kentucky Lake cabins and resorts are also located just a short drive from Houston County.

Things to See and Do in Houston County

If you’re looking to explore middle Tennessee will enjoy a few of the unusual attractions that the communities of Houston County have to offer. Located about 45 minutes from I-24 and I-40, the county borders the Tennessee River. In the 1870s lime kilns were built and some of those abandoned kilns are still visible today.

Irish Celebration Festival

Houston County is home to an annual Irish Celebration Festival in the community of Erin. It is held the third week of March. Event organizers claim this to be the biggest Irish festival this side of Chicago. The event invites visitors to enjoy beauty contests, a carnival, a fish fry and a 5K run. 

Shops in Erin, Tennessee

Erin is the place to go antique shopping and to peruse an “old-fashioned” flea market. There are a variety of restaurants located in the town’s downtown district, as well as a few bed and breakfasts where visitors can stay the night.

What to See in McKinnon

If you’re seeking out a secluded tourist destination, a visit to McKinnon is a great option. McKinnon is located at the junction of Tennessee State Routes 147 and Route 232. While unconventional, the attractions in this area convey the region’s rich agricultural history and a reminder of the industries that once thrived here.

The Houston County Airport

McKinnon is home to the Houston County Airport, which is a popular air strip for those travelers looking to land a small plane. It’s also located within an easy distance of The Southernaire Restaurant.

The Benton-Houston Car Ferry

One thing that you’ll want to see while visiting McKinnon is the nearby Benton-Houston ferry. The ferry spans the Tennessee River between Benton and Houston Counties. It operates seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Old Transfer ElevatorRailroad History

You may also enjoy a voyage out on Kentucky Lake. At the spot where the town of Danville once stood (It’s now underwater!) you will find the abandoned Louisville and Nashville (L & N) Railroad bridge that once connected Paris, Tennessee, to Erin. The original bridge is believed to have been constructed around 1860-61, however that original bridge was demolished. What visitors see today was constructed around 1931.

Because the area seemed to be rich in opportunity, L & N established a transfer station there on the banks of the Tennessee River in 1914. You can find the remains of this transfer station right in the middle of the lake. The station is known to locals as the Old Danville Grain Elevator.

By the late 1800s and on into the early 20th Century, barges transferred their grains and other goods to the railcars waiting there. The elevator ceased to be used by the early 1940s, once the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began clearing the area in order to form Kentucky Lake.

These historic remnants serve as reminders of the industries that once thrived in Houston County. The railroad bridge is now privately owned, but visitors will find that homes have been built along the right-of-way, with one such home built just on the edge of the bridge itself. It’s certainly something interesting to observe.

Restaurants Nearby

A favorite casual eatery and hangout for visitors to Houston County is The Southernaire Restaurant and Motel. This family-owned restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The restaurant runs daily specials and serves a potato bar and salad bar. It is a local eatery famous for its over-sized rocking chair where adults and children love to take a photo by which to remember the occasion.

An Unusually Affordable Adventure

Houston County offers several low-key, non-traditional tourist attractions. History lovers and those who enjoy adventuring out on the waters will find their experiences intriguing and very rewarding. For more information, contact the Houston County Chamber of Commerce at (931) 289-5100.

Lodging In & Around McKinnon

A Closer Look at the McKinnon Area

There are many things to do in and around McKinnon especially if you love the outdoors.  Fishing, boating, and other recreational opportunities are waiting for you.

For those considering relocating to the McKinnon area, you can get a closer look at the community and also take a look at McKinnon, Tennessee real estate agencies.  You can even view a list of churches in McKinnon area.


Big Bass
Photo by Brandon Hunter

Nathan Long holds up two nice bass while fishing with guide Brandon Hunter recently on Kentucky Lake.