Tennessee State Parks are key locations to appreciate wildlife, with turkey, coyote, fox, deer, eagles, bluebirds, doves, hawks, owls, butterflies, bats, bald eagles, black bears and more. Binoculars are a must-have!
Viewing Tennessee wildlife in open areas--such as Cataloochee and Cades Cove--offers some of the best opportunities to see white-tailed deer, black bear, raccoon, turkeys, woodchucks and other animals. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail's narrow, winding road encourages motorists to travel at a leisurely pace, sometimes yielding sightings of bear and other wildlife. Winter wildlife is more visible when deciduous trees have lost their leaves.
You may find it advantageous to look for wildlife during morning and evening. Some people like to sit quietly beside a trail, watching for wildlife. Look up and scan the trees. Many animals spend their days among the branches.
Try an eco-cruise through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga. Enjoy the colorful, breathtaking beauty of the 27,000-acre canyon carved out by 26 miles of the Tennessee River over thousands of years. Cruising the fourth largest river canyon east of the Mississippi will show you the diverse landscape of the gorge which provides habitats for more than a thousand varieties of plants, ferns, trees, grasses and flowers as well as a rich wildlife population. Nearly 200 different species of birds inhabit "Tennessee's Grand Canyon."
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. ...more
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. ...more
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. ...more
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, exit 116, this area is composed of a State Park, State Forest and a Wildlife Management Area, with a total of 48,000 acres. ...more
Piney Falls State Natural Area
Especially significant for its old growth forest, Piney Falls covers a 440-acre natural area located in Rhea County. This pristine forestland features creeks, deep gorges and waterfalls, and is recognized by the United States Department of Interior as a National Natural Landmark. ...more
Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park provides scenic, biological, geological and recreational opportunities not found in other metropolitan areas of Nashville's size. L&N Railroad Company impounded Radnor Lake in 1914 to provide water for its steam engines, and intended to use the area as a hunting preserve for company executives. ...more
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. ...more
When you look across Reelfoot Lake, imagine that this entire countryside was once a dense cypress woodland, pierced only by Native American trails and crudely constructed roads. The history of Reelfoot Lake is a dramatic one. ...more
Reelfoot Lake State Park
The earth cracked, the river flowed backward and a dramatic, new landscaped took shape. The New Madrid Earthquakes of December 1811 through February 1812 caused soil liquification, warping, landslides, fissuring and ejections that forever changed the northwest corner of Tennessee. ...more
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. ...more
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. ...more
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Experience the amazing aquatic world up-close at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies! Marvel at 12 foot sharks, the giant sea tutrtle, thousands of exotic sea creatures and playful penguins swimming as you enjoy the State-of-the -Art clear underwater tunnels throughout. An ultimate underwater experience without being wet! Explore the lush world of the Tropical Rainforest, the unique world of Ocean Realm, Nature's Kaleidoscope in Coral Reef, the best shark exhibit in the most spectacular underwater tunnel in Shark Lagoon. ...more
River Gorge Explorer
Welcome aboard the Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge Explorer! This 70 passenger high-speed catamaran is the first of its kind in the Southeast. Aquarium visitors can extend their "mountains to the sea" learning adventure by cruising into the Tennessee River Gorge aboard this sleek vessel. ...more