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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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Giles County Historic Site Tour
"Driving tour of historic homes and sites over the entire ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN
Phone:  931-424-4044

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
"Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies. Car camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and auto touring are popular activities. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, ...more

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

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Greenbrier
"At the Greenbrier entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a community where about 1,000 people once lived until the 1930s. When land was designated for the park, residents relocated across the U.S., some staying nearby with family still residing in Pittman Center. Some winning highlights of the area are wildflowers, picnic areas, walking trails, fishing. In spring, the Greenbrier ...more

City:  Sevierville, TN
Phone:  865) 436-2512

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Hale House/Patterson Hotel
"Built in 1898 as a private residence and has served as a railroad hotel and later as a boarding house. Today it is a bed and breakfast. Tours by ...more

City:  Watertown, TN
Phone:  615-237-9999

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Harmon Family Cemetery
"Step back in time. Southern hospitality abounds at this historic home of a Civil War ...more

Phone:  615-532-1550

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Harpeth River State Park
"Fly fishing, spin casting, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and more are part of the natural life at Harpeth River State Park in Middle Tennessee. A unique linear park located along the Harpeth River, this beauty lover's spot is ideal for activities or relaxing. Beginner and advanced paddlers can float this beautiful class II river. And, the river hosts large and ...more

City:  Kingston Springs, TN
Phone:  615-952-2099

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Harrison Bay State Park
"The 1,200-acre Harrison Bay State Park, with approximately 40 miles of Chickamauga Lake shoreline, was originally developed as a Tennessee Valley Authority recreation demonstration area in the 1930's. Its name is derived from a large bay at the main channel of the Tennessee River that covers the old town of Harrison, and the last Cherokee Campground. The parklands are of ...more

City:  Harrison, TN
Phone:  423-344-6214

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Hawkins County Courthouse
"Oldest original courthouse in TN, built in 1836, and the second oldest in continued use. One of the most photographed buildings in the South, it was occupied by both Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War. ...more

City:  Rogersville, TN
Phone:  423-272-2186

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Hazen's Raid at Browns Ferry
"By October 1863 the Union army suffered greatly from food shortages, and the supply route was tenuous at best. This raid, begun by Gen. William Hazen near here, floated down the river and established a beachhead on the south bank at Brown’s Ferry. The raid began an offensive that eventually established a more secure Union supply ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-643-6081

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Henderson Cemetery
"Dr. J.D. Smith, Sr., credited with developing the city of Henderson in 1871, is buried here. It is also the final resting place for several veterans, including N. B. Hardeman of Freed-Hardeman University (point 146) and Hubert T. McGee, the architect of the Pink Palace in Memphis (point ...more

City:  Henderson, TN

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Henry Horton State Park
"Henry Horton State Park is well known for its championship 18-hole golf course, but it also features a park inn with 65 guest rooms and 4 suites as well as 2,000 square feet of meeting space, a separate conference lodge with 3,150 square feet of meeting space, a southern style restaurant, 5 rustic cabins and 3 deluxe cabins, 72 campsites ...more

City:  Chapel Hill, TN
Phone:  800-250-8612

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Hermitage Garden
"Andrew Jackson hired an English gardener, William Frost, in 1819 at the recommendation of a friend to plan and lay out the garden at The Hermitage. The garden covers more than an acre and contains many of the flowers available in the 1800s. It was a place that Rachel Jackson loved so much that President Jackson had a special gazebo-like ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-889-2941, ext. 220

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Hippensteal's Mountain View Inn
"Gatlinburg was once a quaint, quiet little place. At Hippensteal's Mountain View Inn, you are there. The pleasant half-mile drive to the top that winds past meadows and other homesteads doesn't prepare you for the view that awaits after the last turn. At the top of the mountain, the breath-taking panorama that stretches from Greenbriar Pinnacle to Mt. Harrison--with the ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  800-527-8110

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Historic Collinsville
"A log pioneer settlement interprets life in middle Tennessee during the 1800s. The original buildings are furnished and restored ...more

City:  Southside, TN
Phone:  931-216-2911

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Historic Cragfont
"The finest mansion house on the Tennessee Frontier. Cragfont was known as "The Grandeur on the Frontier". It was built by General James Winchester, a Brigadier General in the War of 1812 and one of the founders of Memphis. The house is furnished with authentic American Federal antiques some of which are original pieces of the Winchester ...more

City:  Castalian Springs, TN
Phone:  615-452-7070

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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

Green Travel Vendor

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

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Knoxville Zoo
"Let’s go to the ZOO! Experience wildlife up close at Knoxville’s largest attraction as you come face to face with more than 800 of the Earth’s most fascinating animals. See giraffe, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, lions and more as you travel through Grasslands Africa and the African Forest. See red pandas, rhinos, reptiles, river otters, and so much ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-637-5331

Green Travel Vendor

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. For the birdwatcher, Kyker is one of the best places in the East Tennessee area ...more

City:  Maryville, TN
Phone:  865-856-8691

Green Travel Vendor

Kyles Ford Wildlife Management Area & Kyles Ford Preserve
"This 850-acre hunting area observes the state-wide hunting season. Find deer, turkey, squirrel, dove, rabbit, quail, woodcock, waterfowl, raccoon and opossum here. At Kyles Ford Preserve, this shallow section of the Clinch River contains the most biologically diverse concentration of freshwater mussels in the U.S., with some species globally unique. It was acquired by TWRA in partnership with The Nature Conservancy ...more

City:  Kyles Ford, TN
Phone:  (423) 733-4400

Green Travel Vendor

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. The proximity of Lake Isom to the Mississippi river has always made the area a major stopover and wintering ground for ...more

City:  Union City, TN
Phone:  731-538-2481

Green Travel Vendor

LeConte Lodge
"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. Seven rough-hewn cabins or 3 group sleeping lodges are also ...more

City:  Sevierville, TN
Phone:  865-429-5704

Green Travel Vendor

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 ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-767-7322

Green Travel Vendor

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. Several hiking trails at Long Hunter provide pleasant walking experiences, including the popular two-mile Lake Trail around Couchville Lake. It is also home to the Jason Allen Arboretum ...more

City:  Hermitage, TN
Phone:  615-885-2422

Green Travel Vendor

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. In result, wildlife and fisheries thrive in its ...more

City:  Henning, TN
Phone:  731-738-2296

Green Travel Vendor

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. Lucius Burch Natural Area offers passive recreation activities such as day ...more

City:  Ellendale, TN
Phone:  901-382-0235

Green Travel Vendor

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 ...more

City:  Manchester, TN
Phone:  931-728-0273

Green Travel Vendor

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. The Meeman Museum and Nature Center is named 13,467for Edward J. Meeman, courageous conservation editor of Scripps-Howard newspapers who helped establish this park and the Great Smoky ...more

City:  Millington, TN
Phone:  800-471-5293

Green Travel Vendor

Memphis Zoo
"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. The land currently ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-333-6500

Green Travel Vendor

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. We also have within the Corridor four great state parks: T.O. Fuller, Meeman Shelby Forest, Ft. Pillow and Reelfoot Lake. Combined, these parks offer over ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  (901) 278-8459

Green Travel Vendor

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. The Great River Birding Trail currently follows both sides of the ...more

City:  Memphis, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Mississippi River Trail
"The Mississippi River Trail, a road/bike trail that follows paved highways along the entire length of the river from Minnesota to New Orleans, includes a section through the rolling alluvial countryside of west Tennessee. One Memphis paddler, Joe Royer, an avid bicyclist as well, has popularized a workout that combines a cruise down the river with a bike ride on ...more

City:  Memphis, TN

Upcoming events

Date: Oct 4, 2014
Candlelight Cemetery Tour
Location: Gallatin, TN

Date: Oct 3, 2014 - Oct 4, 2014
9th Annual Days Gone By Tractor Show & Threshing
Location: Portland, TN

Date: Oct 4, 2014
Main Street Festival
Location: Gallatin, TN

See more September events »

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