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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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Trousdale Place
"This historic home of former Tennessee Governor William Trousdale was built around 1813 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house contains original Trousdale furniture and a small Confederate ...more

City:  Gallatin, TN
Phone:  615-452-5648

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Tullahoma Campaign Civil War Driving Trail
"The Tullahoma Campaign of 1863 is often overshadowed by the simultaneous events of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, even though the results were strategically more significant than Gettysburg and tactically equivalent to Vicksburg. With the loss of manpower, agricultural staples, the industrial base and, most importantly, the Chattanooga rail center, the Tullahoma Campaign was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. Follow ...more

City:  Multi-city, TN

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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 Pickett Counties and contains two impressive geological formations known as the Twin Arches. These arches form the largest natural bridge complex known in Tennessee and represent one of the worlds largest such complexes. The two sandstone arches are situated end-to-end, and are commonly referred ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  865-569-9778

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Unicoi Turnpike Trail
"The Unicoi Turnpike Trail is a trade and war path that predates written history. The places, events, and people associated with the trail are linked to the nation's ...more

City:  Etowah, TN
Phone:  (187) 751-0576

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Union University
"Founded in 1823, this is the oldest institution in the U.S. affiliated with Southern Baptist life. Stretch your legs on the tree-lined campus or catch one of the music and theater events produced by students each ...more

City:  Jackson, TN
Phone:  (731) 668-1818

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Veterans Memorial at Cumberland Square Park
"Featuring five life-sized bronze sculptures paying tribute to U.S. servicemen and women. Open free to the public. Bristol’s early citizens envisioned a park here, and in 1950, this community park became a reality. Today its memorial honors soldiers who lost their lives in times of ...more

City:  Bristol, TN
Phone:  276-645-7275

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W.C. Handy House Museum
"William Christopher Handy known as the “Father of the Blues” was born in 1873 in Florence, Alabama in a log cabin built by his grandfather. Growing up, he received lessons on the cornet in the local barber shop. Handy was teaching school by age nineteen, but left for a high paying job at a factory in Bessemer, Alabama. Wishing to ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-527-3427

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Walking Tours of the Historic Homes of Fayetteville
"Maps and home descriptions are available at the Chamber of ...more

City:  Fayetteville, TN
Phone:  888-433-1238

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Warriors' Path State Park
"The 950-acre area is a popular site for outdoor enthusiasts with its hiking trails, internationally-renowned mountain bike trail system, award-winning nature education program, and a nationally-recognized golf course. Warriors’ Path is the nation’s first state park to open a boundless playground, offering a variety of outdoor recreation experiences for children of all ...more

City:  Kingsport, TN
Phone:  (423) 239-8531

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West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center
"An Authentic Southern Experience! Just off I-40, Exit 56, (behind McDonald's) in Brownsville, Tennessee, is the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Opened in 1999, the center offers visitors a taste of what West Tennessee has to offer — a staging area for your West Tennessee adventure. Learn more about Brownsville's Historic Homes, the famous "Mind Field," Dunbar Carver Museum, the ...more

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

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Wheat Community African Burial Ground
"A 1850s slave cemetery with more than 90 unmarked graves. Believed to be part of Gallaner-Stone Plantation, formerly the Wheat ...more

City:  Oak Ridge, TN
Phone:  800-887-3429

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White Lightning Trail
"The White Lightning Trail is waiting for you: a picturesque drive through the fertile valleys and rustic charm of the Tennessee hills. After leaving the city limits, you’ll pass through the Great Smoky Mountains into historic country music — Maynardville — home to country music greats like Chet Atkins and Roy Acuff. Heading north, you’ll travel along the same route ...more

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World War II Remembrance Museum USS Tennessee (BB43)
"The museum features WWII memorabilia, including a large collection of authentic pieces from the USS Tennessee. Jim Barna Log Systems of Oneida donated the log structure. First National Bank donated $5,000 toward the building’s construction, built by the Trades and Industry class at Scott High School. Paul and Karen Dawson established the WWII Remembrance Museum in East Liberty, Ohio in 2001, ...more

City:  Huntsville, TN
Phone:  423-663-2805

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World's Fair Park & Festival Center
"With all its lovely landscaping, wide, open spaces and wonderful water features, the new World's Fair Park provides endless possibilities for celebrating life in Knoxville, Tennessee. Miles of lawn, acres of flowers, cascading waterfalls, placid streams, and many more gifts of natural beauty create an inviting environment for festivals, performances, meetings, conferences, or a quiet moment for personal ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-251-6860

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Wynnewood
"Wynnewood is likely the largest 19th century log structure ever built in Tennessee. It was erected in 1828, it served as a stagecoach inn and later as a mineral springs ...more

City:  Castalian Springs, TN
Phone:  615-452-5463

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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

Upcoming events

Date: Oct 25, 2014
38th Annual Harvest Days
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Date: Oct 25, 2014
Halloween Event
Location: Rock Island, TN

Date: Oct 25, 2014
Halloween Event
Location: Rock Island, TN

See more October events »

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