Hohenwald means “High Forest” in German. This classic small town is tucked seven miles back into the trees along the Natchez Trace Parkway, just 85 miles southwest of Nashville. It’s a friendly, thriving community with loads of charm, a one-of-a-kind claim to fame, and a surprising wine country vibe. 


As the seat of Lewis County, Hohenwald naturally brings folks together, fostering a supportive entrepreneur community and true taste of small-town living. From life-long residents to recent transplants, people put down roots in Hohenwald for its high-quality public and private schools; safe, family-friendly parks; unique local shops and businesses; and retired circus elephants. 

Elephants come home

That’s right, elephants. Hohenwald is home to the Elephant Sanctuary, the nation’s largest natural-habitat refuge developed specifically for African and Asian elephants. Circus and show elephants live out their retirement here, away from crowds and noise and pressure, on 2,700 gorgeous acres in the Tennessee hills. The sanctuary itself is private, but the Elephant Sanctuary Discovery Center downtown Hohenwald will give you a glimpse into their lives and personalities. 

Off-the-Grid Flavor

The elephants are onto something. Hohenwald is a picture-perfect escape from the hustle and urgency of urban living. In fact, it’s a magnet for homesteaders of all kinds looking to live or learn about life off the grid. Hohenwald is home to the The Sonnenschein Green Initiative, a non-political organization dedicated to helping people learn how to get back to the land through energy efficiency, agriculture, artisan crafts, emergency preparedness, and more. 

Nature on the Buffalo

You don’t have to be a self-sufficient organic farmer or an all-in survivalist to enjoy the great outdoors here. Hohenwaldians have a giant back yard full of year-round opportunities for life-land connection with abundant camping, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and more along the gorgeous Buffalo River. The Swan Conservation Trust works hard to protect the headwaters of Swan Creek and the Swan Valley.

Wine Country Charm

The soil and climate in Hohenwald make it ideal for grape growing and spectacular for winemaking. Lewis County is home to three award-winning wineries: Amber Falls Winery & Cellars, Keg Springs Wineries, and Natchez Hills Vineyard. They’re not just tourist attractions, though plenty of people cruise the Natchez Trace Wine Trail to visit each one. They’re also beloved local businesses, perfect spots for sunset picnics, scenic date nights, and a happier happy hour than anything you’ll find at a crowded pub.

Small-Town Delights

Hohenwald affords folks a delightful mix of rural living and close-knit community, offering affordable acreage that’s still relatively close to the heart of the town. You can put acres between you and the next neighbor and still make an easy trip into town for the Oktober Heritage Festival, Summer Block Parties, Christmas In Hohenwald or the locally famous Oak Grove Fish Fry.


At a Glance
  • Seat of Lewis County

  • Gorgeous scenery

  • Four-season living

  • Available farm land/ acreage

  • Low tax rate

  • Population 3700

  • Schools: Lewis County School District, Highland Retreat Academy, General Assembly Academy, Hohenwald Christian Academy

  • Nearest Hospital: Ascension St. Thomas Hickman Hospital; Perry Community Hospital; Maury Regional Medical Center (Level 1 Trauma Center)

  • Airport: John A. Baker Field Airport; BNA (1 hour 35 minutes)

  • Nearest Grocery: Save A Lot, Power’s Food Town, WalMart SuperCenter

Community Highlights
  • The Elephant Sanctuary Discovery Center

  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Rated #1 in TN)

  • Buffalo River Access/ Camping, kayaking, hiking

  • Three award-winning wineries

  • Meriwether Lewis Monument/ Burial Site

  • Summer Block Party Series

  • Junkyard Dog Steakhouse

  • Lewis County Museum

  • Historic Strand Theatre

Real Estate

Median House Price

Median Price per Square Foot



Get in Touch! 

Get in Touch! 

For questions or information 
about moving to town or visiting us 
Join our Facebook Group to connect with people in the communities of Nashville’s Big Back Yard

Sign up for our newsletter

Find out about events, music, news and more in Nashville's Big Back Yard

Thanks for submitting!


Thank you to our generous sustaining partners