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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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Affair at Travisville
"September 29th., 1861 marks the date of what has become known as the Affair at Travisville. Until the events of this day transpired, people locally had assured themselves that they were too far off the beaten paths to see any fighting. The event of that particular Sunday, one hundred and forty one years ago, represents the first military action in ...more

City:  Byrdstown, TN
Phone:  888-406-4704

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Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
"The site marks the home of the 17th president, who succeeded Lincoln and oversaw Reconstruction. Born in 1808, Andrew Johnson ran away from home with his brother to Greeneville, Tennessee, at age 16, where he became a tailor. Johnson and his wife, Eliza McCardle, had five children. Eliza tutored her husband in arithmetic, algebra, basic literacy and writing skills. Johnson organized ...more

City:  Greeneville, TN
Phone:  423-638-3551

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Appalachian GhostWalks
"Appalachian GhostWalks' Smoky Mountain Tennessee Ghost and History Tours are lantern-led by real, professionally Certified Ghost Hunters who recount "spine-tingling" stories of real history and real ghosts - bring the whole family, or tour group on a Tennessee "Haunted Vacation" with Appalachian GhostWalks' Tennessee Ghost Tours and Tennessee History Tours. "Appalachian GhostWalks" has designed tour packages to help save you money ...more

City:  Jonesborough, TN
Phone:  (423) 743-9255

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Appalachian National Scenic Trail
"Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers access to the Tennessee portion of the Appalachian Trail, or "AT," a favorite of hikers the world over. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with more than 70 miles of crestline Trail, features the highest elevations of the entire footpath, well above six thousand feet. Clingman's Dome is the highest point on the entire ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  (865) 436-1200

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Assault on Cotton Gin Park
"This one-acre historic park is a monument to the assault on the Cotton Gin during the Battle of Franklin. This park was the site of important events during the Battle of Franklin on November 30, ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  (615) 794-2103

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Audubon Acres
"A 120-acre sanctuary bisected by Chickamauga Creek. Trail of Tears cabin, golden eagle, seasonal wildflowers and Cherokee heirloom ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-892-1499

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Battle of Fort Sanders

City:  Corryton, TN
Phone:  865-687-2978

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Battle of Hartsville Civil War Driving Tour & Memorial Park
"Across courthouse, signs direct you to trail that overlooks battlefield. Graves of Civil War soldiers and monument with all names ...more

City:  Hartsville, TN
Phone:  615-374-9243

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Battle of Hartsville Memorial Park
"17-stop self guided driving tour and Battle of Hartsville Memorial ...more

City:  Hartsville, TN
Phone:  615-374-9243

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Battle of Parkers Crossroads Self-Guided Driving Tour
"The Battle of Parkers Crossroads was fought Dec. 31, 1862. The Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Park offers a self-guided driving tour, two miles of paved walking trails with interpretative signs and battlefield ...more

City:  Parker's Crossroads, TN
Phone:  (731) 968-1220

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Beech Grove Confederate Cemetery & Park
"Home of Hoover's Gap Civil War Battlefield. Site brochures and interpretive signs of one of the South's earliest Confederate ...more

City:  Beech Grove, TN
Phone:  931-571-7311

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Belle Meade Plantation
"Once one of the largest private estates in Nashville encompassing 5,400 acres and home to five generations of the Harding-Jackson family, Belle Meade Plantation today is a 30-acre historic site 6 miles west of Nashville. Before the Civil War, Belle Meade flourished; today bullets from the Battle of Nashville scar the house, used as Confederate Gen. Chalmers' headquarters. Known as "Queen ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-356-0501

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Bemis Mill Village Museum
"Opening 2008, the Bemis Mill Village Museum, located in the historic and rehabilitated Bemis Theater/Auditorium, contains exhibits and memorabilia portraying the story of Bemis, a mill town forged out of the cotton fields in 1900 by Judson Moss ...more

City:  Jackson, TN
Phone:  731-424-0739

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Bethesda Church and Cemetery
"Bethesda Church, built in 1835, was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers on both sides during the Civil War, as well as serving patients with smallpox. The cemetery behind the church contains the graves of 80 Confederate soldiers. An informational display on the church grounds provides more information on the history of the building and grounds. The site is a stop on ...more

City:  Morristown, TN
Phone:  (423) 586-6382

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Bethlehem Cemetery
"Bethlehem Cemetery is the Haley family burial plot where Chicken George is ...more

City:  Henning, TN
Phone:  901-738-2240

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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

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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

A Walk in the Woods
"Treat yourself to the full Smoky Mountain experience with a Walk in the Woods. Experienced and knowledgeable, the guides at a Walk in the Woods will guide you to the incredible vistas, gentle cascades, waterfalls, majestic ancient forests, clear mountain streams, old home sites, graveyards and hidden trails for which the Smokies are known. When planning for a trip with ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  865-436-8283

Green Travel Vendor

Adventure Bound Camping Resort Gatlinburg
"Welcome to Adventure Bound Gatlinburg, our family-owned Gatlinburg, Tennessee campground. Camping in the Smokies has never been more enjoyable than this; a secluded mountain hideaway that is only a short trip from the hustle-bustle of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge attractions, shopping, and restaurants. Here, we like to stretch the traditional idea of a Gatlinburg campground to put our guests in ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  8654365653

Green Travel Vendor

Agency Creek Campground
"Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, Agency Creek campground offers everything you could want during your visit to Decatur. Enjoy covered boat slips, camping, swimming, fishing, playground, and bathrooms with shower. The environment is family oriented and the surroundings are beautiful. Treat yourself to hours of fishing, swimming and river recreation. This is truly the place to stay ...more

City:  Decatur, TN
Phone:  423-334-0927

Green Travel Vendor

Appalachian Caverns
"Offering an hour guided tour through beautiful formations and bridges. Historical site used during the Civil War as a hospital. Campsites available. Come visit with us and take a timeless stroll through the ever-changing caverns. Enjoy a picnic at our picnic area or camp in the campground. For the more adventurous, sign up for an Explorer Tour or Wild Tour ...more

City:  Blountville, TN
Phone:  423-323-2337

Green Travel Vendor

Appalachian Caverns and Campground
"Offering an hour guided tour through beautiful formations and bridges. Historical site used during the Civil War as a hospital. Campsites and picnic areas are ...more

City:  Blountville, TN
Phone:  (423) 323-2337

Green Travel Vendor

Appalachian National Scenic Trail
"Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers access to the Tennessee portion of the Appalachian Trail, or "AT," a favorite of hikers the world over. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with more than 70 miles of crestline Trail, features the highest elevations of the entire footpath, well above six thousand feet. Clingman's Dome is the highest point on the entire ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  (865) 436-1200

Green Travel Vendor

Audubon Acres
"A 120-acre sanctuary bisected by Chickamauga Creek. Trail of Tears cabin, golden eagle, seasonal wildflowers and Cherokee heirloom ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-892-1499

Green Travel Vendor

Bald River Falls
"Cascading over 100 feet onto the rocks below, you can view these falls from your car or hike above the falls through the Bald River ...more

City:  Tellico Plains, TN
Phone:  423-253-8400

Green Travel Vendor

Bartram Trail
"The Bartram Trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail by the National Trails System Act of 1968. The trail is blazed in a yellow, vertically oriented rectangle in North Carolina and a yellow diamond in Georgia. It crosses over some of the most scenic mountains of North Carolina and Georgia, with many side trails, blazed in a blue vertically ...more

City:  Highlands, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium
"Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, located in beautiful Kingsport, Tennessee, is a 3500-acre nature preserve and the largest city-owned park in the state of Tennessee. The park features a picturesque 44-acre lake, a nature center with a state-of-the-art planetarium theater, adventure ropes course including a 300-foot zip line, and animal habitats featuring wolves, bobcats, raptors and reptiles. Bays Mountain Park & ...more

City:  Kingsport, TN
Phone:  (423) 229-9447

Green Travel Vendor

Beaman Park and Nature Center
"Beaman Park preserves and protects the natural, historical, cultural and recreational features of the area in and around Beaman Park. The park hosts monthly interpretive hikes, which meet at the Creekside Trailhead, and has many wildflower plantings. This wild and rugged land is a unique treasure in Nashville's park system. The area was once known as Paradise Ridge, and while the ...more

City:  Ashland City, TN
Phone:  615-862-8580

Green Travel Vendor

Beech Bend Campground
"Beech Bend Campground is a quiet place to get away from it all. We are located five miles east of Parsons on the beautiful Tennessee River. 76 campsites, 2 playgrounds, boat rental, clean restrooms, full hookups and a dump ...more

City:  Decaturville, TN
Phone:  731-847-4252

Green Travel Vendor

Benton MacKaye Trail
"With thousands of miles of hiking trails throughout Tennessee, there are plenty of options to choose from if you want to take a hike. These choices include 90 miles of the Benton MacKaye Trail, the trail named after the father of the Appalachian Trail. Until 2005, the northern terminus of the Benton MacKaye Trail was in the Cherokee National Forest ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  888-891-8332

Green Travel Vendor

Big Frog Expeditions
"Whitewater rafting specialists on the Ocoee River in East Tennessee. Located in the Cherokee National Forest and just 40 minutes away from Chattanooga, the Ocoee River offers some of America's most renowned stretches of class III and IV whitewater! With three different trips to chose from, rafting on the Ocoee is a perfect adventure for the first time ...more

City:  Benton, TN
Phone:  (877) 776-2633

Green Travel Vendor

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 containing a wide range of natural and historic features while offering a wide variety of recreational ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  423-286-7275

Upcoming events

Date: Aug 27, 2014 - Sep 6, 2014
76th Annual TN Walking Horse Nat'l Celebration
Location: Shelbyville, TN

Date: Sep 6, 2014 - Sep 7, 2014
23rd Annual
Location: Vonore, TN

See more September events »

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