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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.