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."
Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park
Conceived as a long-distance hiking trail, the 300-mile Cumberland Trail, the only linear park in the state, from the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park on the Tennessee-Virginia-Kentucky border to the Signal Point near Chattanooga. The trail now is a resource for many types of recreational activities. ...more
Knoxville Zoo - where the animals are In Your Face! Experience wildlife up close as you come face to face with more than 800 of the Earth's most fascinating animals. Visit Wee Play Zoo, a pint-sized zoo where your little one can let their imagination run wild. ...more
Kyker Bottoms Refuge
Kyker Bottoms Refuge is a 350-acre area in southern Blount County owned and managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It lies along Nine Mile Creek a few miles west of Tellico Lake and features fields, wetlands, and thickets managed primarily for small game and waterfowl. ...more
Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge was established as an inviolate sanctuary for wintering waterfowl in 1938 by presidential proclamation. Lake Isom is the oldest refuge in Tennessee and encompasses some 1,850 acres of migratory bird habitat surrounding Lake Isom. ...more
Located in the middle of the half-million acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, LeConte Lodge is the only place where a visitor can sleep overnight on a mountaintop in a snug, permanent structure with hot and hearty meals on tap. The Lodge has a capacity of sixty guests per night. ...more
Lichterman Nature Center
Located in the heart of metropolitan Memphis, the Center features exciting new exhibits, lush gardens featuring native wildflowers and trees, a forest boardwalk three stories high and a tradition of excellence in environmental education set in the midst of 65 acres of lake, meadow and forest. Home to a wide variety of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, Lichterman is an urban nature center, easily accessible to the people who need it the most, the people who live in the city. ...more
Long Hunter State Park
Significant for both its natural and historic aspects, Long Hunter State Park is a popular spot on J. Percy Priest Lake for picnicking, swimming, hiking, backpacking, boating, fishing, nature photography and wildlife observation. ...more
Lower Hatchie Wildlife Refuge
Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) sits along the lower 17 miles of the Hatchie River in western Tennessee. Unlike most Mississippi River tributaries that have been straightened and levees constructed for flood control, the Hatchie River remains the longest continuous stretch of naturally meandering river in the lower Mississippi River Valley. ...more
Lucius Burch Natural Area
The natural area is a remnant of historic river meanders, bald cypress-water tupelo swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, and open river channel habitat. Unfortunately, much of this ecosystem has been significantly altered as a result of change in hydrology and the invasion of common privet, an invasive exotic pest plant. ...more
Manchester Parks and Recreation
Manchester Parks and Recreation features a brand new multimillion-dollar recreation complex with two indoor pools and an outdoor water park. It also contains racquetball courts, gymnasium, wellness room and indoor walking/jogging track. ...more
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Bordering on the mighty Mississippi River, two-thirds of this 13,467-acre park are bottomland hardwood forests of large oak, cypress and tupelo. The park also contains two lakes and many miles of hiking trails. ...more
What's black and white and cute all over? Giant pandas Ya Ya and Le Le at the Memphis Zoo! The Memphis Zoo, located in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee, is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. Created in April 1906, the zoo has been a major tenant of Overton Park for more than 100 years. ...more
Mississippi River Corridor
The opportunity for recreation within the Mississippi River Corridor is great for the outdoor enthusiast. Individuals can enjoy hiking, biking, camping, fishing, boating, backpacking, picnicking, hunting, canoeing, kayaking, and sightseeing throughout the Mississippi River Corridor. ...more
Mississippi River Flyway
Audubon's Great River Birding Trail (GRBT) was created as a tool for educating people about the ecological significance of the Mississippi River as a globally important flyway for migratory birds. Aside from teaching people about the birds and wildlife of the river, the trail will help stimulate local tourism. ...more
Montgomery Bell State Park
Montgomery Bell State Park is located seven miles east of Dickson in Dickson County. The rolling hills of Dickson County contain a treasure that was considered more precious than gold to the builders of young America. ...more