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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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David Crockett State Park
"David Crockett State Park was the first state park funded entirely by the citizens of the State of Tennessee. It’s thought that Hernando De Soto also spent time here on the ridgeline between the “two creeks” (Crowson and Shoal). The Trail of Tears’ Bells Route crossed through the park and the old roadbeds are still evident. The park’s namesake, David ...more

City:  Lawrenceburg, TN
Phone:  931-762-9408

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David Crockett Statue
"The only statue of the famous frontiersman, statesman, legislator and hero of the Alamo. He helped organize Lawrence County in 1817 after the Chickasaw Indians ceded it to the U.S. The large bronze statue was erected on the public square in ...more

City:  Lawrenceburg, TN
Phone:  (931) 762-4911

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Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park
"Davy Crockett's Birthplace State Park was established in 1973 and has been preserved as a historic site on land acquired from the Davy Crockett Birthplace Association. The park consists of 105 partially wooded acres of land along the Nolichucky River in Greene County. The stone monument to Crockett, erected in late 1960s, features samples of official state stone of ...more

City:  Limestone, TN
Phone:  (423) 257-2167

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Downtown Dickson
"Visit the new city park, eight antique malls and historic buildings. Over 50 retail stores surround the railroad built by Civil War ...more

City:  Dickson, TN
Phone:  877-718-4967

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Dunlap Coke Ovens Park and Historic Site
"A 32-acre park for hiking and 5,000 square-foot museum of coal mining history and coke ovens operation of 100 years ago. Many artifacts. Bluegrass festival the first Friday and Saturday in ...more

City:  Dunlap, TN
Phone:  423-949-3483

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Eastern Flank Battlefield Park
"This open ground is known as the eastern Flank Battlefield Park, formerly the Country Club of Franklin, the 112-acre site was purchased through a public/private partnership and is the largest battlefield reclamation in the ...more

City:  Franklin, TN

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Edwin 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. Over 500,000 people visit the Parks annually to utilize ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615- 352-6299

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Elizabethton Walking Tour
"A self-guided walking tour. Tour the historic structures along this mainly level route. Shop and eat in the historic downtown area. Brochures available at the Chamber of ...more

City:  Elizabethton, TN
Phone:  423-547-3852

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Emerts Cove Covered Bridge
"Nestled in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, is this covered bridge, dedicated to the area’s first family of settlers. Frederick Emert was a Revolutionary War soldier who found this haven in 1784, calling it Emerts Cove. Travel another half-mile to visit the cemetery where he is buried. There are numerous opportunities for the entire ...more

City:  Sevierville, TN
Phone:  (865) 436-5499

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Emmett Lewis Memorial Heritage Center and Museum
"Historical museum presenting Tiptonville, Reelfoot Lake and Lake County ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  731-253-9922

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Exchange Place Living History Farm
" ...more

City:  Kingsport, TN
Phone:  423-288-6071

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Falcon Rest Mansion & Gardens
"Tour shop, eat and laugh at the Victorian mansion where history is fun. The 10,000 square foot mansion, built by Gorilla Pants manufacturer Clay Faulkner in 1896, boasts Biltmore-like systems, a friendly ghost and museum-quality antiques. Guided mansion tours, lunch in the Victorian Tea Room, and shopping for 1890s treasures in the Victorian Gift Shop offered daily for walk-ins. ...more

City:  McMinnville, TN
Phone:  931-668-4444

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Fall Creek Falls Restaurant
"With its many amenities and panoramic natural setting, it is little wonder that Southern Living magazine readers voted Fall Creek Falls the best state park in the southeastern United States. Fall Creek Falls Restaurant seats 220 and serves southern style buffet cuisine daily. Box lunches and catering are available for breaks, banquets or cookouts throughout the park. A paradise of more ...more

City:  Pikeville, TN
Phone:  800-250-8610

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Fall Creek Falls State Park
"A paradise of more than 20,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular outdoor recreation areas in America. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. While Fall ...more

City:  Pikeville, TN
Phone:  (800) 250-8610

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Falls Mill & Country Store
"Nestled in a lush green cove along the banks of beautiful Factory Creek stands historic Falls Mill. Built in 1873 as a cotton and woolen factory, the mill was later converted for use as a cotton gin, then as a woodworking shop. Today the water wheel powers millstones that grind cornmeal, flour, and grits. Falls Mill is open to the public ...more

City:  Belvidere, TN
Phone:  931-469-7161

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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

Duck River Blueway
"The scenic Duck River Blueway has something for everyone, waterwise. It features the only Class II rapid on the lower part of the river, several series of fast running shoals, numerous islands, historic features, and a great abundance of wildlife. Keep your eyes open for great blue herons, belted kingfishers, numerous warblers in summer, minks, muskrats and river otters. In ...more

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Dunlap Coke Ovens Park and Historic Site
"A 32-acre park for hiking and 5,000 square-foot museum of coal mining history and coke ovens operation of 100 years ago. Many artifacts. Bluegrass festival the first Friday and Saturday in ...more

City:  Dunlap, TN
Phone:  423-949-3483

Green Travel Vendor

Eagle Bend Fish Hatchery
"Operated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for rearing cool water fish, the Eagle Bend Fish Hatchery is also a productive place for shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl. Regularly observed shorebirds include Killdeer, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary, Spotted, Semipalmated, Least, White-rumped and Pectoral Sandpipers, and ...more

City:  Clinton, TN
Phone:  865-457-5135

Green Travel Vendor

Ed Jones Boat Ramp
"Enjoy beautiful views of the Mississippi just north of the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge. Great River Road National Scenic Byway takes you to incredible scenic areas along the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain, home to an amazing array of wildlife and a birdwatcher’s paradise. The outstanding vistas and overlooks of the Chickasaw Bluffs are prime spots for eyeing migratory patterns along with ...more

City:  Halls, TN
Phone:  731-635-7621

Green Travel Vendor

Edgar Evins State Park
"There's a lot to do and see at Edgar Evins State Park! Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of our shaded picnic areas, come for a visit during one of our annual events (such as the Annual Fiddlers Jamboree), hike some of the parks approximately 11 miles of trails, fish beautiful Center Hill Lake or go for a swim. Edgar Evins ...more

City:  Silver Point, TN
Phone:  800-250-8619

Green Travel Vendor

Ellington Agricultural Center
"Tennessee was the first state to place its agriculture department on an actual farm, and Ellington Agricultural Center set that historic precedent. Once a private estate, Ellington Agricultural Center is headquarters for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. A state-owned complex in south Nashville, Ellington is a fine urban birding site easily accessible for travelers. Just two miles east of Radnor ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-837-5103

Green Travel Vendor

English Mountain Llama Treks
"Our Llama treks vary from day (picnic) hikes to two day hiking trips or longer. We have Llama treks for the experienced hiker as well as for the entire family. Enjoy guided llama trekking through the Great Smoky Mountains without carrying a backpack! Let our gentle and well trained Llama Trekking Team do all the work as you enjoy a safe, ...more

City:  Newport, TN
Phone:  828-622-9686

Green Travel Vendor

Erwin National Fish Hatchery
"Established in 1897, this is one of over 75 hatcheries in the national system administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The hatchery rears four strains of rainbow fish and supports projects to enhance federal fish and wildlife trust species and their habitats in the Southern Appalachian Ecosystem, in which this hatchery is located. Come by the Visitor Center, then ...more

City:  Erwin, TN
Phone:  423-743-4712

Green Travel Vendor

Euchee Marina & Campground
"Vacation in your backyard! New Ownership and Management, welcome to the Destination for Outdoor fun activities. For all your Spring, Summer and Fall activities check us ...more

City:  Ten Mile, TN
Phone:  423-334-1004

Green Travel Vendor

Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn & Conf. Center
"Travelers from across the country come to Fall Creek Falls each year to experience the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. This paradise of more than 20,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau is one of the most scenic, spectacular outdoor recreation resort areas in America. The 145-room inn offers panoramic views of 345-acre Fall Creek Falls Lake and ...more

City:  Spencer, TN
Phone:  800-250-8610

Green Travel Vendor

Falls Mill & Country Store
"Nestled in a lush green cove along the banks of beautiful Factory Creek stands historic Falls Mill. Built in 1873 as a cotton and woolen factory, the mill was later converted for use as a cotton gin, then as a woodworking shop. Today the water wheel powers millstones that grind cornmeal, flour, and grits. Falls Mill is open to the public ...more

City:  Belvidere, TN
Phone:  931-469-7161

Green Travel Vendor

Farmhouse Gallery & Gardens
"One of Northeast Tennessee's hidden treasures and the home, studio/gallery of Wildlife Artist Johnny Lynch and his family. On their 75-acre pre-Civil War farm, the Lynch's have created a showcase of this area's natural beauty where birds, butterflies, wildlife and peacocks abound! Surrounded by beautiful gardens and enhanced with relics of our Appalachian heritage, the Farmhouse Pavilions provide you with ...more

City:  Unicoi, TN
Phone:  (423) 743-8799

Green Travel Vendor

Forbidden Caverns
"Forbidden Caverns, near Sevieerville, is one of America's most spectacular caves. It provides the visitor with an entertaining and educational 1 hour walking tour past sparkling formations, towering natural chimneys, numerous grottos, and a crystal clear stream. The trails are well lighted with handrails at all necessary points. Visitors will see fabulous formations created by nature thousands of ...more

City:  Sevierville, TN
Phone:  865-453-5972

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Patrick Henry Dam & Lake
"Built by TVA primarily for hydropower, this 10-mile, 872- acre dam also regulates waterflow downstream for local industry. It was completed in 1953 and named for a nearby Revolutionary War fort constructed to defend settlers from Cherokee attacks. Today, the reservoir is a popular site for fishing, known for rainbow trout, bluegill, bass and crappie. Warrior's Path State Park is located on ...more

City:  Gray, TN
Phone:  (800) 882-5263

Green Travel Vendor

Foster Falls Recreation Area
"Experience and enjoy one of the most scenic, wildest areas in Tennessee with a visit to the Foster Falls Recreation Area. Operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority and located near Tracy City, Tennessee, this recreation area provides a safe, and beautiful base for exploring the south end of the Cumberland Plateau. Foster Falls is a spectacular 60-foot waterfall plunging into a ...more

City:  Sequatchie, TN
Phone:  423-942-5759

Upcoming events

Date: Sep 20, 2014 - Sep 21, 2014
Daniel Smith Colonial Days
Location: Hendersonville, TN

Date: Sep 19, 2014 - Sep 21, 2014
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
Location: Bristol, TN

Date: Sep 19, 2014 - Sep 21, 2014
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
Location: Bristol, TN

See more September events »

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