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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.

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Parkers Crossroads Battlefield
"The battle was fought on Dec. 31, 1862. Union forces sought to capture Confederate troops on their return from their first West Tennessee raid. When Confederate General Forrest found himself caught between two Union forces, he ordered his troops to “charge both ways” and made a successful escape. Seven marked sites can be visited on a self-guided ...more

City:  Parkers Crossroads, TN
Phone:  (731) 968-1191

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Percy Warner Park
"Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, collectively known as The Warner Parks, are managed by the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation of Nashville and Davidson County. The Warner Parks are the largest municipally administered parks in Tennessee and together span 2684 acres of forest and field, 9 miles from downtown Nashville. Over 500,000 people visit the Parks annually to utilize ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  (615) 352-6299

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Pickett State Park
"Dramatic sandstone cliffs, stone arches, rock shelters and rushing mountain streams make Pickett State Park on the Cumberland Plateau a scenic wonderland. Unique microclimates form around these geologic formations, creating havens where diverse flora and fauna thrive. In Tennessee, Pickett is second only to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in biodiversity. Rare plants, such as Cumberland sandwort, Lucy Braun’s snakeroot, ...more

City:  Jamestown, TN
Phone:  877-260-0010

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Pickwick Landing State Park
"Pickwick Landing was a riverboat stop dating from the 1840s. In the 1930s, during the Depression, the site was chosen for one of the Tennessee Valley Authority's dams on the Tennessee River. What today comprises the park was once the living area for the TVA construction crews and their families. The property passed from TVA to the Tennessee State Park ...more

City:  Pickwick Dam, TN
Phone:  800-250-8615

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Pilot Knob/Nathan Bedford Forest State Park
"Tennessee River Folklife Museum sits atop the highest point in West Tennessee. Displays, exhibits and programs offered. Wildlife ...more

City:  Eva, TN
Phone:  800-714-7305

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Pin Oak Lodge at Natchez Trace State Park
"With the many acres of scenic woodlands, the park includes four lakes, a swimming beach, a 47 room resort inn and restaurant complex, cabins, group lodge, camping areas, picnicking sites, playgrounds, a ball field, a regulation pistol firing range, picturesque hiking trails, a wrangler camp, 250 miles of horse riding trails, a park store and archery range. Located at I-40, ...more

City:  Wildersville, TN
Phone:  800-250-8616

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Pittman Center Heritage Museum
"The community of Pittman Center had a strong desire to showcase its cultural heritage, and out of that desire came the Pittman Center Heritage Museum, located in the new Pittman Center Elementary School. The motto for the museum is “heritage is that which we have received from our ancestors and are obligated to pass on,” and the museum passes that ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  865-436-5499

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Point Park
"Point Park commemorates the 1863 battles for Chattanooga. Point Park Visitor Center houses the James Walker Painting, "Battle of Lookout ...more

City:  Lookout Mountain, TN
Phone:  423-821-7786

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President Andrew Johnson Museum & Library
"First (1841) college building. Includes President's personal books and Tusculum College archives on display. Oldest college in Tennessee. 23rd oldest in ...more

City:  Greeneville, TN
Phone:  800-729-0256

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Randolph Bluff Historic Site
"Just past the Randolph United Methodist Church, you’ll find one of the best views of the Mississippi River, high above the floodplain on the second Chickasaw Bluff. A Civil War historical marker describes the area’s significance including Fort Wright (now private property) near this spot. The 1861 fort served not only as a defensive position for the Confederates on the ...more

City:  Randolph, TN
Phone:  615-329-4441

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Red Clay State Historic Park
"Red Clay was the last seat of Cherokee government before the tribe's forced removal on the Trail of Tears. The spring on site supplied water during council meetings of chiefs. The Cherokee capital was moved here from Georgia in 1832 when that state stripped the tribe of the right to govern itself. The Trail of Tears actually began here as well, ...more

City:  Cleveland, TN
Phone:  423-478-0339

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Reelfoot Lake State Park
"The lake's scenery continues to draw visitors for pontoon and canoe trips into the remote areas to see wildlife, including bald eagles and other water fowl. Reelfoot was the site of the last active bald eagle nest in Tennessee in 1961. Presently, there are approximately 25 active bald eagle nests in the Reelfoot ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  731-253-8003

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Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
"Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to manage the northern third of Reelfoot Lake as a refuge for migratory birds. Additional lands acquired in Southwestern Kentucky expanded the refuge to it s current 10,428 acres. The proximity of Reelfoot Lake and the refuge to the Mississippi river has always made the area a major stopover and wintering ground ...more

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

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Reelfoot Scenic Boat Cruises
"A tradition at Reelfoot Lake--since 1961--cruise boats piloted by experienced naturalists provide the best way to view and experience Reelfoot's most interesting areas. Your cruise tours the islands, flooded timber and lily pads as state park naturalists offer insight and information about all aspects of the lake. Cruises provide a great opportunity to view birds, including Great Blue Herons and ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  731-253-9652

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Rice 18th Century Gristmill
"The Rice Family operated the mill in Union County from 1798 - 1935 when TVA moved it to Norris Dam. During the summer the mill grinds ...more

City:  Lake City, TN
Phone:  865-494-0720

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Twin Rocks Nature Trail
"Charming opportunity to commune with nature. Not too challenging, but not quite a gentle stroll. Enjoy the natural beauty of our great ...more

City:  Spring City, TN
Phone:  423-365-5210

Green Travel Vendor

Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness Area
"Virgin Falls is a 1,157-acre natural area located adjacent to the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness in White County. The natural area is named for Virgin Falls, which is formed by an underground stream that emerges from a cave, then drops over a 110-foot high cliff before disappearing into another cave at the bottom of the sink. The area is noted ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Volunteer Princess Cruises
"Luxurious and fully climate controlled, the Volunteer Princess departs from Volunteer Landing Marina in downtown Knoxville. The chefs prepare your meal fresh on board, and every outing is a special occasion. Enjoy sunset dinner cruises, champagne brunch cruises, and more. Also, available for corporate and private ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-541-4556

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 property was purchased with wetland acquisition funds by TWRA who cooperatively manages the site with the Natural Areas Program. It is located in the West Tennessee Uplands, a subunit of the Coastal Plain Physiographic Province. The preserve straddles the immediate floodplain of the ...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 Wildlife Management Area. Both of the public lands on the Tennessee and Alabama side total 21,453 acres. The initiative to acquire this land was a lengthy project completed by The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee and Alabama. The natural area is approximately twelve miles ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Walterhhill Floodplain
"Walterhill Floodplain State Natural Area is a 34-acre natural area in Rutherford County. It is uniquely different from most natural areas in that it is primarily comprised of an agricultural field. Its main function as a natural area is to protect, maintain, and restore a healthy population of a rare plant species, the Stones River bladderpod (Lesquerella stonensis), which grows ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Walterhill Floodplain
"Walterhill Floodplain State Natural Area is a 34-acre natural area located in Rutherford County. It is uniquely different from most natural areas in that it is primarily comprised of an agricultural field. Its main function as a natural area is to protect, maintain, and restore a healthy population of a rare plant species, the Stones River ...more

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

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Warner Park Nature Center
"The area's foremost provider of environmental education and outdoor recreation programs. Free programs, activities and services for park visitors. The Warner Parks are open dawn - 11 p.m. ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-352-6299

Green Travel Vendor

Warriors Path State Park Golf Course On the Tennessee Golf Trail
"An 18-hole course designed by George Cobb. Bent grass greens, Bermuda fairways and tees overseeded for winter play. Located on the shores of Fort Patrick Henry Lake, the course is along rolling countryside and has a scenic view of the lake from the No. 5 ...more

City:  Kingsport, TN
Phone:  423-323-4990

Green Travel Vendor

Washmorgan Hollow
"Washmorgan Hollow, a sheltered ravine on the Eastern Highland Rim in Jackson County, is an excellent habitat for both plants and animals. Owned by the Nature Conservancy of Tennessee, this 73-acre natural area has an uncommonly rich and diverse flora. Steep slopes, dropping 200-300 feet, separate winding ridges. A perennial stream creates a waterfall at the head of the hollow, ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Watauga River
"The Watauga River tailwater begins just below Wilbur Dam, in Elizabethton, TN. The stream is well known for its trophy rainbow and brown trout fishing. The upper section offers some public access, for wading. However, most of the trophy section is only accessible by boat. Within its 16 miles of fishable trout water, the Watauga River has one of the ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Watauga River Bluffs
"Watauga River Bluffs is a 50-acre natural area located in Carter County along the Watauga River. Its most conspicuous feature is the steep slope that drops more than 200 feet to the river's edge. The slope and the narrow bluffs make up most of the 50 acres. It is ecology noteworthy because Watauga River Bluff supports the largest known population ...more

City:  Johnson City, TN

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WC Johnson Park Nature Trail
"The boardwalk runs along laterals of the famous Wolf River, preserving natural vegetation and providing protected wildlife habitats. Interpretive signage and outdoor nature classroom make it a good stop for outdoor education ...more

City:  Collierville, TN
Phone:  901-853-3225

Green Travel Vendor

West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center
"An Authentic Southern Experience! Just off I-40, Exit 56, (behind McDonald's) in Brownsville, Tennessee, is the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Opened in 1999, the center offers visitors a taste of what West Tennessee has to offer — a staging area for your West Tennessee adventure. Learn more about Brownsville's Historic Homes, the famous "Mind Field," Dunbar Carver Museum, the ...more

City:  Brownsville, TN
Phone:  731-779-9000

Green Travel Vendor

Wetlands Water Park
"Five water slides, kids' pools, nature trails and picnic areas. Groups and parties welcome. "Fantastic Fridays" events all ...more

City:  Jonesborough, TN
Phone:  423-753-1558

Upcoming events

Date: Sep 6, 2014 - Sep 28, 2014
Football at the Falls
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Date: Sep 27, 2014 - Sep 28, 2014
Craft Fair
Location: Rock Island, TN

See more September events »

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