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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

Sleepy John Estes House
"Sleepy John Estes, an American bluesman, was also a legendary guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. Born in Ripley, Tennessee, Sleepy John's family moved to Brownsville, Tennessee, when he was 16. His father was a sharecropper who also played guitar, and Sleepy John took a cue from him. Due to an accident in a baseball game, Sleepy John lost sight in his ...more

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

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Soldier in Grey
"Dedicated on April 6, 1905, on the 43rd anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. The hand-chiseled granite monument stands guard on the courthouse lawn at the center of Historic Court ...more

City:  Dyersburg, TN
Phone:  731-286-7800

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South Cumberland Recreational Area State Park
"South Cumberland protects 25,000 acres of land, 90 miles of hiking trails, and natural and historic treasures. The visitor center is one of the most visited sites on the plateau, providing information to visitors and a social hub for area ...more

City:  Monteagle, TN
Phone:  (931) 924-2980

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Southeast Tennessee Civil War Trail
"Southeast Tennessee's Civil War Trails, Fighting for the Rails brochure provides a designated path for southeast Tennessee travelers to follow as they explore sites associated with the American Civil War in Tennessee. The brochure has 47 sites and covers 10 counties. Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association (SETTA) worked in conjunction with Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation and ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  (423) 424-4267

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Spring Hill Battlefield
"Interpretative walking trail at site of one of the most controversial events of the Civil ...more

City:  Spring Hill, TN
Phone:  888-852-1860

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Standing Stone State Park
"Standing Stone State Park takes its name from a huge, dog-shaped rock monolith that once stood nearby. The stone may have belonged to a prehistoric native people; Native Americans in the area later regarded it as a religious icon. When railroad workers blasted the remainder of the rock into small pieces, local tribes incorporated a piece of it into a ...more

City:  Hilham, TN
Phone:  800-713-5157

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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 ...more

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

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Surrender House/Dover Hotel
"Site of the surrender of Fort Donelson. Original structure built in 1851 was formerly the Dover ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-5706

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Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area
"Nature, as well as history, is in full view at Sycamore Shoals. A prime example of an East Tennessee river valley, the park sits beside the Watauga River. Bottomland forest is an excellent habitat for sycamore trees, annuals, many bird species, two butterfly gardens, and colonial ...more

City:  Elizabethton, TN
Phone:  423-543-5808

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T.O. Fuller State Park
"T.O. Fuller State Park, the first park east of the Mississippi River and the second in the nation to be open to African Americans, is named in honor of Dr. Thomas O. Fuller, who spent his life empowering and educating African Americans. Fuller was a former North Carolina legislator and Baptist minister who came to Memphis as pastor of ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-543-7581

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Tennessee Museum of Early Farm Life
"The museum is housed in two salvaged barns, one made of American chestnut. Many antiques on display including carriages, tractors and ...more

City:  Spring Hill, TN
Phone:  931-215-2359

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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

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Tennessee State Capitol
"Finished in 1859, the historic Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working capitols in the country and designated as a civil engineering landmark for its innovative construction. The distinctive tower is designed after the monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece. The architect, William Strickland, died in 1854 and is entombed above the cornerstone. The exterior and interior walls ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  800-407-4324

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Tennessee State Library & Archives
"A multi-purpose institution that offers historical information on Tennessee, special services to local libraries, archives, and the blind and physically ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-741-2764

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Tennessee Technological University
"TTU offers academic excellence at an exceptional value. Tour our picturesque, historic campus or shop for unique items in our craft ...more

City:  Cookeville, TN
Phone:  800-255-8881

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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

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

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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

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

Green Travel Vendor

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

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Upcoming events

Date: Nov 21, 2014 - Nov 23, 2014
Young Frankenstein
Location: Manchester, TN

Date: Jan 1, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014
AiM Book Club - 3rd Tuesday Jan.-Nov.
Location: Selmer, TN

Date: Dec 6, 2014
Victorian Christmas
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

See more November events »

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