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Parks & Natural Areas

Tennessee is a rich and varied place with mile-high mountains in the east, the grand Mississippi River in the west and 19,000 miles of sparkling rivers in between. Parks, forests, birding, hunting, camping and water, water everywhere--Tennessee has a mind-boggling array of natural resources.

Investigate the beauty and mystery of Reelfoot, a cypress-filled natural lake in Tennessee's northwest corner, created by a series of earthquakes, where dozens of species of fish and shore and wading birds are harbored, including golden and bald eagles. Grab your binoculars and explore the diversity of habitats, stretching 65 miles alongside the Tennessee River, on Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge which provide ample feeding, nesting and resting areas for 301 bird species. Get spritzed by the highest waterfall in the eastern United States, Fall Creek Falls, laced with cascades, gorges, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber. Stride a celebrated riverfront greenway, Chattanooga's Riverpark, and cross America's longest pedestrian bridge, the Walnut Street Bridge, spanning the Tennessee River as it flows south-southwest. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national park in the east and America's most visited. A tour of the Smokies, by any means of locomotion, offers panoramic views, tumbling mountain streams, weathered historic buildings and uninterrupted forest stretching to the horizon.

Green Travel Vendor

Mud Island River Park
"Experience the river on the river. Recreational and educational facility showcasing the Mississippi River with museum. Riverwalk model. Canoe, kayak, bike rentals. Gift shop, restaurants, 5,000-seat amphitheatre. Banquet facilities. Special ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  800-507-6507

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Parkway
"The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway and Byway commemorates the ancient trail used by animals and people that connected portions of the Mississippi River to the salt licks in central Tennessee. It took “Kaintucks” about 30 days to walk along the Trace, carrying goods to sell at the port of New Orleans. Numerous short hiking trails are some of the ...more

City:  Pasquo, TN
Phone:  800-305-7417

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Parkway, Meriwether Lewis Park and Monument
"The grave of celebrated explorer Meriwether Lewis lies along the Natchez Trace, where he died in mysterious circumstances in September 1809. As part of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition, Lewis added volumes to our scientific and geographical knowledge of the northwestern U.S., and he later became the first governor of the Louisiana Territory. At milepost 385.9 on the parkway, ...more

City:  Hohenwald, TN
Phone:  662-680-4027

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Wine Trail
"The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway commemorates an ancient trail that connected southern portions of the Mississippi River, through Alabama, to today's central Tennessee. The Tennessee cities along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway are Nashville, Franklin, Leiper's Fork and Brentwood. Visitors can experience this National Scenic Byway and All-American Road through driving, hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping. Along the Trail, enjoy ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  (800) 305-7417

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Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park
"The park was named for General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the intrepid Confederate cavalry leader, who on November 4, 1864, attacked and destroyed the federal supply and munitions depot at (Old) Johnsonville at the mouth of Trace Creek. His operations were concentrated along the river in the vicinity of the park and the town of Eva. In 1929 the park was dedicated ...more

City:  Eva, TN
Phone:  800-714-7305

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Norris Dam State Park
"This 4,038-acre park, located on the Norris Reservoir, began in 1933 as the first Tennessee Valley Authority project. Miles of trails lead hikers through deeply forested valleys and ridges. The Rice Gristmill built in the 1790s and restored by TVA still operates during the summer months. Many other attractions draw visitors to Norris Dam State Park, including the Lenoir Museum. The ...more

City:  Lake City, TN
Phone:  800-543-9335

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Norris Dam State Park Lenoir Museum
"Exhibits display thousands of items of early settlement and everyday life in East Tennessee, German Barrel Organ and Native American ...more

City:  Norris, TN
Phone:  865-494-9688

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Oak Ridge Driving Tour
"Discover the WWII secret city while visiting landmarks and attractions that tell the story of Oak Ridge, the Manhattan Project and how 75,000 people kept the making of the Atomic Bomb a secret from the world. CDs and tapes for rent or ...more

City:  Oak Ridge, TN
Phone:  800-887-3429

Green Travel Vendor

Oakwood Cemetery
"During the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, there was a lack of time and able-bodied men to dig individual graves for the many victims, so they were laid to rest in a mass grave here. A marker inside the 1827 cemetery notes the location among the beautiful ...more

City:  Brownsville, TN

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Odd Fellows Cemetery
"Established in the early 1800s, Odd Fellows Cemetery serves as the resting place for some of Knoxville's most prominent early African Americans, including Cal Johnson, Knoxville's first African American ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Old Graveyard Memorial Park
"Dedicated in 1969, was a pilot project in urban beautification. Cemetery was used from 1817-1883. The renovation project included the locating and charting of all gravesites, cleaning and mounting gravestones, and landscaping and lighting the grounds. Contains the graves of many early settlers. Open all year. ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN
Phone:  931-424-4044

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Old Gray Cemetery

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-522-1424

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Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
"The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail follows the Revolutionary War route of Patriot militia men to the battle of Kings Mountain in ...more

Phone:  864-936-3477

Green Travel Vendor

Panther Creek State Park
"Panther Creek State Park, covering approximately 1,435 acres, is located on the shores of Cherokee Reservoir, an impoundment of the Holston River. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located about 45 miles south. Legend has it that both Panther Creek and Panther Springs, located about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the park, received their names from the claim of a ...more

City:  Morristown, TN
Phone:  888-TN-PARKS

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Paris Historic Downtown
"Unique shops and cafes surround one of the oldest courthouses in Tennessee with antique stores and walking tours of the historic downtown ...more

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  731-642-1030

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Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
Site marks the home of the 17th president, who succeeded Lincoln and oversaw Reconstruction. Contains a ...more

City:  Greeneville, TN
Phone:  423-638-3551

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Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers access to the Tennessee portion of the Appalachian Trail, or ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  (865) 436-1200

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Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River passes through 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys containin ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  423-286-7275

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Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is named for the dense cedar forest that existed in the biblical lands of Le ...more

City:  Lebanon, TN
Phone:  800-713-5180

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Cherokee National Forest
Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest stretches from Chattanooga to Bristol. The 640,000-acre Cherokee ...more

City:  Cleveland, TN
Phone:  (423) 476-9700

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Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge
Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge lies in the Lower Mississippi River floodplain along the Chickasaw Blu ...more

City:  Ripley, TN
Phone:  (731) 635-7621

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Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge
Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge is located four miles east of Dover, in Stewart County, Tennessee, ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-7477

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Donelson National Battlefield
The site of the first decisive Union victory of the Civil War. A visitor center explains the importance o ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-5706

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Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
This refuge along the Hatchie River puts wildlife first. A drive around O'Neal Lake features wetland hab ...more

City:  Stanton, TN
Phone:  731-772-0501

Green Travel Vendor

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge
Wildlife viewing and nature walks available. Hiwassee Refuge is closed from Nov. 1-Feb. 28, except at des ...more

City:  Birchwood, TN
Phone:  800-262-6704

Green Travel Vendor

Kyker Bottoms Refuge
Kyker Bottoms Refuge is a 350-acre area in southern Blount County owned and managed by the Tennessee Wild ...more

City:  Maryville, TN
Phone:  865-856-8691

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Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge was established as an inviolate sanctuary for wintering waterfowl in 1 ...more

City:  Union City, TN
Phone:  731-538-2481

Green Travel Vendor

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Nestled between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Native wildlife abounds as well as a maintained herd of e ...more

City:  Golden Pond, TN
Phone:  800-525-7077

Green Travel Vendor

Laurel-Snow Pocket Wilderness and Buzzard Point
Natural wilderness area with waterfalls, forests, unique rock formations, deep gorges and trails for hiki ...more

City:  Dayton, TN
Phone:  423-566-2229

Green Travel Vendor

Lower Hatchie Wildlife Refuge
Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) sits along the lower 17 miles of the Hatchie River in wester ...more

City:  Henning, TN
Phone:  731-738-2296

Green Travel Vendor

Lucius Burch Natural Area
The natural area is a remnant of historic river meanders, bald cypress-water tupelo swamps, bottomland ha ...more

City:  Ellendale, TN
Phone:  901-382-0235

Green Travel Vendor

Manus Road Cedar Glade
Manus Road is a 15-acre natural area in Rutherford County about 10 miles east of Murfreesboro. It support ...more

City:  Rutherford County, TN

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May Prairie
May Prairie boasts one of Tennessee's most diverse plant communities, with more than 300 species, 25 of ...more

City:  Manchester, TN

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Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Bordering on the mighty Mississippi River, two-thirds of this 13,467-acre park are bottomland hardwood fo ...more

City:  Millington, TN
Phone:  800-471-5293

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Parkway
The 444-mile Parkway commemorates the "Old" Natchez Trace, beginning as an animal path and progressing ...more

City:  Pasquo, TN
Phone:  800-305-7417

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Obed Wild & Scenic River
Recreation includes whitewater kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, fishing and picnicking. A sceni ...more

City:  Wartburg, TN
Phone:  423-346-6294

Green Travel Vendor

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail follows the Revolutionary War route of Patriot militia m ...more

Phone:  864-936-3477

Green Travel Vendor

Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to manage the northern third of Reelfoot Lake a ...more

City:  Union City, TN
Phone:  731-538-2481

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Savage Gulf State Natural Area
Savage Gulf, a 15,590-acre natural area, is carved into the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau in Gru ...more

City:  Palmer, TN
Phone:  931-779-3532

Green Travel Vendor

Sequatchie Cave State Natural Area
Sequatchie Cave is a 10-acre, biologically significant, natural area where Owen Spring Branch flows from ...more

City:  Jasper, TN
Phone:  423-942-2552

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Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge
Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife sanctuary with recreational use by the general public. The 31 ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-525-9400

Green Travel Vendor

Shiloh National Military Park
Established in 1894 to preserve the scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil W ...more

City:  Shiloh, TN
Phone:  731-689-5696

Green Travel Vendor

Short Springs Natural Area
Beautiful, peaceful nature preserve with wildlife and walking trails located on the edge of the city. ...more

City:  Tullahoma, TN
Phone:  931-455-5497

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Stillhouse Hollow Falls State Natural Area
Stillhouse Hollow Falls is a 90-acre state natural area named for its most significant feature, 75-feet S ...more

City:  Summertown, TN

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Stinging Fork Pocket Wilderness
Natural wilderness area with forests, unique rock formations, deep gorges and trails for hiking. ...more

City:  Spring City, TN
Phone:  423-566-2229

Green Travel Vendor

Stones River National Battlefield
The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest and most significant battles of the Civil War. ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-893-9501

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge has more than 50,000 acres on Kentucky Lake in Northwest Tennessee and ...more

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  731-642-2091

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
Nature walks, lakeside areas, open horseback riding, hunting, boat ramps, migratory bird sanctuary, eagle ...more

City:  Camden, TN
Phone:  800-225-7469

Green Travel Vendor

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
Partners with organizations and individuals across the state to tell the whole story of America's greate ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-898-2947

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Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 ...more

City:  Multi-city, TN
Phone:  (505) 988-6888

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Twin Arches State Natural Area
Twin Arches state natural area is approximately 1,500 acres located in parts of Fentress, Scott, and Pick ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  865-569-9778

Green Travel Vendor

Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness Area
Trail features a 317-acre natural area, 110-foot falls, two lesser falls and cave, eight mile round trip, ...more

City:  Sparta, TN
Phone:  931-836-3552

Green Travel Vendor

Walker Branch Natural Area
Walker Branch is a 225-acre natural area located just miles south of Savannah in Hardin County. The prope ...more

City:  Pittsburg Landing, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Walls of Jericho
The Walls of Jericho is a 750-acre natural area that is within the 8,943-acre Bear Hollow Mountain Wildli ...more

City:  Pitcher Ridge, TN
Phone:  (615) 532-0431

Green Travel Vendor

Walterhill Floodplain
Walterhill Floodplain State Natural Area is a 34-acre natural area located in Rutherford County. It is un ...more

City:  Walterhill, TN
Phone:  615-898-2523

Green Travel Vendor

Washmorgan Hollow
Washmorgan Hollow, a sheltered ravine on the Eastern Highland Rim in Jackson County, is an excellent habi ...more

City:  Gainesboro, TN
Phone:  (615) 383-9909

Green Travel Vendor

Watauga River
Watauga River Bluffs is a 50-acre natural area located in Carter County along the Watauga River. Its most ...more

City:  Johnson City, TN
Phone:  (800) 238-2264

Green Travel Vendor

William B. Clark Conservation Area
William B. Clark Conservation Area is a 460-acre natural area along the Wolf River in Fayette County loca ...more

City:  Rossville, TN
Phone:  731-512-1369

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William R. Davenport Refuge
William Davenport Refuge is 120-acre natural area located in Polk County. It was named after the previous ...more

City:  Ducktown, TN
Phone:  931-484-9571

Green Travel Vendor

Sunk Lake
Sunk Lake supports excellent examples of bald cypress swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, and emergent marsh aquatic habitat. The diversity of wetland and upland communities offer a wide range of habitat for waterfowl and other birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and rare plant species ...more

City:  Lauderdale, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
"Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge has more than 50,000 acres on Kentucky Lake in Northwest Tennessee and is managed by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife ...more

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  731-642-2091

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
"Nature walks, lakeside areas, open horseback riding, hunting, boat ramps, migratory bird sanctuary, eagle watching roosts and ...more

City:  Camden, TN
Phone:  800-225-7469

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee River Gardens
"The Tennessee River Gardens and Nature Preserve is a spectacular gated wildflower garden and wildlife preserve in the heart of the Tennessee River Gorge. It is dedicated to the education and enjoyment of students and residents in the surrounding Chattanooga area. A seasonal feature is the enclosed Butterfly Pavilion exhibiting 20 native species of butterflies shown their natural habitats during every ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-821-7341

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee River Gorge
"The only large river canyon bordering a mid-sized city, the Tennessee River Gorge is a unique carving of the river through the Cumberland Plateau, encompassing 27,000 acres. Habitats for more than a thousand varieties of plants, trees, grasses and flowers as well as a diversified wildlife population exist in this scenic terrain. The Gorge is referred to as "Tennessee's Grand Canyon," ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-266-0314

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee River Trails
"The Tennessee River Trail is waiting for you: a winding trail through Tennessee’s diverse river country featuring some of Tennessee’s most unique activities. Stop in Waverly, a historic railroad town featuring a museum and Civil War Fort. For something truly unique, take a guided tour of a working pearl farm at the Tennessee Freshwater Pearl Farm in Camden. For even ...more

City:  Jackson, TN
Phone:  731-668-6424

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee Riverboat Co.
"Come aboard the <I>Star of Knoxville</I>, a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler for fun, excitement, festive entertainment and fabulous food and beverage. They'll show you Knoxville like nobody else ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  800-509-2628

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee Safari Park
"Claude M. Conley as a young boy had a vision of someday having his own zoo. At the young age of 10 he started with 2 peacocks. Continuing to realize his dream, he purchased the first herd of buffalo in the state of TN from Witchita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Lawton, OK in 1963. Today with over ...more

City:  Alamo, TN
Phone:  731-696-4423

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-781-6500

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife
"Tennessee Watchable Wildlife's website is a valuable resource for visitors interested in learning about the wildlife in Tennessee. The site has information on the birds of Tennessee where the user can easily search by habitat, color or use of backyards or feeders, among other search options. In addition, users will be able to read about the birds of Tennessee, see pictures, hear ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  800-372-3928

Green Travel Vendor

The Lost Sea
"The Lost Sea, designated a Registered Natural Landmark, lies discreetly in the extensive and historic cave system, Craighead Caverns. Take a guided tour of the 4-acre lake by boat and caverns by foot where one of its earliest visitors was a giant jaguar whose 20,000 year-old tracks still remain. Guests can also discover an extensive community of flora and fauna ...more

City:  Sweetwater, TN
Phone:  423-337-6616

Green Travel Vendor

Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial & Nature Center
"Located in the largest urban park in Tipton County, the museum is a tribute to military history, environmental education and historical ...more

City:  Covington, TN
Phone:  901-476-0242

Green Travel Vendor

Todd Family Fun Farm
"Corn maze, Pumpkin patch, Hay mazes, Play area for children, hayrides, Pig races, Duck races, Geocaching, field trips and groups. Gift shop and concessions. Fresh sweet corn in ...more

City:  Dyer, TN
Phone:  (731) 643-6720

Green Travel Vendor

Top Secret Trail
"Top Secret is waiting for you: a trail of secrets hidden among the scenic wilds of the Upper Cumberland Plateau. Immerse yourself in early Knoxville history by touring Blount Mansion, James White Fort and Bleak House, General Longstreet’s 1863 Battle of Knoxville headquarters. You’ll surely find the perfect souvenir at one of the many antique galleries along Kingston Pike and ...more

Green Travel Vendor

Town of Pittman Center & Pittman Center City Hall
"Just minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg nestled in the mountains of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the quaint community of Pittman Center. Pittman Center provides a unique blend of history, culture and natural scenic beauty that captures the imagination. Proud of their mountain heritage, residents work hard to preserve the historic landscape and mountain culture that beckons visitors to ...more

City:  Sevierville, TN
Phone:  (865) 436-5499

Green Travel Vendor

Twin Arches State Natural Area
"Twin Arches state natural area is approximately 1,500 acres located in parts of Fentress, Scott, and Pickett Counties and contains two impressive geological formations known as the Twin Arches. These arches form the largest natural bridge complex known in Tennessee and represent one of the worlds largest such complexes. The two sandstone arches are situated end-to-end, and are commonly referred ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  865-569-9778

Upcoming events

Date: May 1, 2014 - Oct 30, 2014
Full Moon Jam
Location: Bristol, TN

Date: Oct 29, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014
Pumpkin Lights and Carving Contest
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

Date: Oct 29, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014
Pumpkin Lights and Carving Contest
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

See more October events »

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