Tennessee State Outdoors

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Tennessee State Parks

Booker T. Washington State Park
Situated on the shores of scenic Chickamauga Lake not far from the city of Chattanooga is 353-acre Booker T. Washington State Park. The parks is named in honor of the famous leader, Booker Taliaferro Washington. Washington was born into slavery at Hale's Ford, Virginia, but with great determination he secured an education and went on to become one our great Americans. He is perhaps best known as a former president of the Tuskegee Institute, a black organization for higher education. For information call: (423)895-4955


Warrior's Path State Park
Warriors' Path State Park was named for the park's proximity to the ancient war and trading path used by the Cherokee. Since that time, the park land has known a long history of travelers, and is still the pathway for modern-day outdoor enthusiasts. The 980-acre park was acquired from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1952, to serve the people who live in or visit this section of Northeast Tennessee. It is situated on the shores of TVA's Patrick Henry Reservoir on the Holston River. For information call: (423)239-8531


Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is located east of Nashville in Wilson County near Lebanon, Tennessee. The park is named for the dense cedar forest that existed in the Biblical lands of Lebanon. Of the park's 8,887 acres, 831 acres are used for intensive recreation. The remainder of the area is operated by the Division of Forestry as a natural area and as a State Forest. This is the largest red cedar forest remaining in the United States. (The Forest is not a true cedar, but its close cousin, the juniper.) Its open limestone glades, peculiar to the cedar forest area, host a broad array of rare wildflowers and other native plants and animals. Built by the W.P.A. in the mid 1930's, some park buildings exhibit the workmanship of that era using only readily available natural stone. For information call: (615)443-2769


Standing Stone State Park
Standing Stone State Park covers nearly 11,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau of north-central Tennessee. The quaint and rustic park is noted for its outstanding scenery, spring wildflowers, fossils and other natural diversity. The park takes its name from the "Standing Stone," an eight-foot tall rock standing upright on a sandstone ledge, which was supposedly used as a boundary line between two separate Indian nations. When the rock fell, the Indians placed a portion of it upon an improvised monument to preserve it. The stone is still preserved in Monterey, Tennessee. For information call: (931)823-6347


Chickasaw State Rustic Park
Chickasaw State Rustic Park is situated on some of the highest terrain in west Tennessee. Of the area's 14,384 acres of timberland, 1,280 acres are used for recreation. The remainder is state forest managed jointly by the State Forestry Division and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. For information call: (901)989-5141


Camping and Hiking in Tennessee

Natchez Trace State Park
Natchez Trace State Park was named for the famous "Natchez to Nashville" highway, an important wilderness road during the early 18th and early 19th centuries. A western spur of The Trace ran through a portion of what is now the park. The park is not connected with the Natchez Trace Parkway, administered by the National Park Service. With the many acres of scenic woodlands, the park also includes four lakes, a swimming beach, a 20-unit resort inn and restaurant complex, cabins, group lodge, facilities for fishing and boating, camping areas, picnicking sites, playgrounds, a ballfield, a regulation pistol firing range, picturesque hiking trails, a wrangler camp, 250 miles of horse riding trails, a park store, and archery range. The park's three campgrounds feature a total of 146 sites (30 tent camping sites and 116 with electrical hook-ups). Sites are equipped with a table and a grill. Bathhouses containing hot showers are conveniently located in all camping areas. Two dump stations are provided for self contained rigs. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Many miles of hiking trails meander through the forest and fields and along the lake shores and streams of Natchez Park. There is even a long-distance, overnight hiking trail for the backpacking enthusiast. Many miles of fine roads and back country trails are also open to motorcycles and other off-road vehicles. Trails are closed during managed gun hunts by TWRA. This schedule changes yearly. Contact the park for more information. For information call: (901)968-8176


Paris Landing State Park
Paris Landing State Park is named for a steamboat and freight landing on the Tennessee River, dating back to the mid 1800's. From here and other landings on the Tennessee and Big Sandy Rivers supplies were transported to surrounding towns and communities by ox cart. The 841-acre Paris Landing State Park is situated on the western shore of what is now Kentucky Lake, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Forty-four campsites, each with water, electricity, picnic table and grill, are located near the lake. Two bathhouses provide restrooms and hot and cold showers. A dump station is available for self-contained recreation vehicles. There is a 2-mile trail winding through the hills surrounding Kentucky Lake. No overnight camping is allowed on the trail. For information call: (901)642-4311


Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park
Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular recreation areas in America. Its waterfalls, cascades, sparkling streams, gorges, timberland, and an unmatched variety of recreation facilities and activities have made it one of the most popular parks in the Southeast. Fall Creek Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, plunging 256 feet into a shaded pool at the base of its gorge. The park's other falls, (Piney, Cane Creek, and Cane Creek Cascades), though smaller, are just as impressive. The oak and hickory forest that covers most of the park gives way to tulip poplar and hemlock forest in the gorges. The plants and animals of the moist, protected gorges are not unlike the species found in southern Canada. Mountain laurel and rhododendron are abundant throughout the park, as are other plants and animals. Fall Creek offers 228 campsites in three campgrounds. All sites have tables, grills, and water and electrical hook-ups. Central bathhouses with showers serve the campgrounds; a dump station is provided for self contained camping rigs. Backcountry camping is allowed. There are three backcountry campsites and a permit is required. Pack animals are not allowed in the park. Fall Creek Falls State Park offers a variety of day-use trails. Providing access to some of the park's loveliest areas, the trails pass into virgin woods, over fast flowing streams, and around awesome gorges and waterfalls. The day-use trails are designed to accommodate recreational and educational activities including fitness walking, leisure walking and easy hiking or exploring the Parks' geological features and forest life typical of the Cumberland Pleateau. For information call: (423)881-5241


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. The treasure was iron ore, and it lured men by the hundreds to this area of Middle Tennessee. The iron industry in Dickson County has been long silent, but the 3,782 acres that make up Montgomery Bell State Resort Park still show the signs of its presence. Near the remains of the Old Laurel Furnace, ore pits, where men once scratched iron ore from the earth, lie quiet and abandoned, the hardwood forest, once heavily cut to clear farmland, and to produce charcoal for the iron furnaces, has slowly healed its wounds. Fox, squirrel, raccoon, opossum, deer and a wide variety of birds and wildflowers have returned with the forest, making Montgomery Bell a place of quiet natural beauty. Camp grounds provide both 30 and 50 amp. electric service and can accommodate 32 ft. campers on most electrical sites. There are 2 pull-through handicap accessible sites. There is a creek that runs through the campground, some sites located along the creek bank. There are three bathhouses located in the campground, two are handicap accessible. Picnic tables and grills are available at campsites. Backcountry camping is allowed and there are three backcountry campsites available. Pack animals are NOT allowed. Approximately 19 miles of hiking trails. Trail length ranges from .75 mile nature trail to 11.7 miles overnight/backpacking trails. Backcountry trail has three overnight shelters dispersed along its length, open year-round. For information call: (615)797-9052


Frozen Head State Natural Area
Frozen Head State Natural Area is located 5 miles northeast of Wartburg in Morgan County. This 11,562-acre wild and scenic area is named for the second highest peak (elevation 3,324') in the Cumberland Mountains, the top of which is often shrouded with winter ice and snow. The park features waterfalls, giant rock outcroppings and 14 mountain peaks over 3,000 feet in elevation. Wildlife is abundant. Frozen Head is rated as one of the best spring wildflower areas in Tennessee, second only to the Smokies. There are 20 campsites at the park designed primarily for tent campers, however, pop-ups, pickups and small trailers can be accommodated. A bathhouse with hot showers and restroom facilities is located in the campground. Water is available throughout the campground, but electrical hookups are not provided. Reservations are available by calling the park office. A primitive group tent camping area, available to scout and other youth groups, is located along Flat Fork Creek. The area will accommodate up to 200 persons. This area is also used as an overflow tent camping area. For group reservations call the park office for the special required permit. By far the most popular activity at Frozen Head is hiking. Frozen Head is one of the best areas in Tennessee for hiking and backpacking. The park features over 50 miles of highly scenic and challenging foot trails, many originally established by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. A topographical trail map and brochure are available at park headquarters, as are permits, which are required for overnight hiking and camping. The park features 10 backcountry campsites. The twenty major trails within Frozen Head are well defined by color blazes keyed to the map and brochure.: (423)346-3318


Hunting and Fishing in Tennessee

Big Ridge State Park
Big Ridge State Park was one of five demonstration parks developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps as an example of public recreation development along TVA lakeshores. The heavily forested, 3,687-acre park lies on the southern shore of TVA's Norris Lake in Union County, Tennessee. Enjoy lake fishing at Big Ridge State Park. Expect to catch a variety of fish such as bluegill, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and crappie. For information call: (423)992-5523


Cove Lake State Park
The park's 673 acres are situated in a beautiful mountain valley setting on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Mountains. The park was established in the 1930's as a recreation demonstration area by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the National Parks Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. Cove Lake is on the shores of Cove Lake, an arm of Norris Lake. It is the winter home of several hundred Canada Geese which are attracted by the quiet inlets, marshes and fields of this area. Nearby is the Devil's Race Track whose steep pinnacle rock affords a panoramic view. Year-round fishing is permitted on 210-acre Cove Lake. Bass and bluegill are the best sporting fish in the lake, but good catches of crappie always tempt the angler. Rowboats are available for rent, but no personally owned boats and only electric motors are permitted. The park is adjacent to Norris Lake and launch ramps are nearby to serve this lake. For information call: (423)566-9701


David Crockett State Park
David Crockett State Park has 987 acres near Lawrenceburg, Tennessee in Lawrence County. The park was named to honor one of Tennessee's most famous sons, David Crockett, pioneer, soldier, politician, and industrialist. Along the bank of Shoal Creek, in what is now his namesake park, he established a diversified industry consisting of a powder mill, a gristmill, and a distillery. All three operations were washed away in a flood in 1821. Financial difficulties from this loss caused Crockett to move to West Tennessee where he was elected to Congress. While in Washington, he fought for his people's right to keep land they had settled on the new frontier of West Tennessee. Crockett died at the Alamo Mission in 1836 while aiding Texans in the fight for independence from Mexico. Forty-acre Lake Lindsey provides year-round fishing enjoyment, and large stringers of bass are not uncommon. Rowboats and paddle boats are available for rent at the boat dock. No personally owned boats or motors are permitted on the lake. Fishermen using boats must provide their own floatation devices and paddles, and may use electric motors. . For information call: (931)762-9408


Tims Ford State Park
Tims Ford State Park, located on the Tims Ford Reservoir in the rolling hills of southern middle Tennessee, is an outstanding recreational area and fishing paradise. Long before the construction of Tims Ford Dam on the headwaters of the Elk River, the area was used extensively by the Indians as a hunting and fishing territory. Archaeological excavations uncovered numerous artifacts and occupational sites, indicating that man had occupied the area as much as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. After many severe floods within the Elk River Basin, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed Tims Ford Dam in 1970. The dam and reservoir not only provided flood control but also provided unlimited recreational opportunities. Tims Ford State Park was officially opened in September, 1978. The 10,700-acre Tims Ford Lake is one of the most picturesque in Tennessee, and is regarded as one of the top bass fishing and recreational lakes in the Southeast. Year-round fishing provides a substantial yield of bluegill, catfish, and crappie. There is a Marina at the park that provides equipment and supplies for boating and fishing, a boat launching ramp and dock, and rental boats with motors. The marina also includes a snack bar, bait shop, and fish cleaning area. For information call: (931)962-1184


Big Hill Pond State Park
Big Hill Pond State Park lies in the southwestern part of McNairy County and encompasses approximately 5,000 acres of magnificent timberland and hardwood bottom land. Cypress Creek and Tuscumbia River border the property. Several oxbow lakes and sloughs add to the waterway. The flood plain adjacent to both the Tuscumbia River and Cypress Creek contains small oxbow lakes and swamp areas which are desirable habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and fishing. The old Big Hill Pond is accessible by four-wheel drive, the fishing and the view are great. This lake was created in 1853. Travis McNatt Lake is 165 acres and is spring fed year-round, fishing is good for bass, bream, and catfish. A valid State of TN fishing license is required. TWRA rules and regulations apply to hunting and fishing at the park. For information call: (901)645-7967


Other Tennessee Outdoor activities

Tennessee also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Rafting