Tennessee’s state parks, natural areas, refuges and abundant waterways offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences. Commune with nature in our forests.

Tennessee parks are key locations to appreciate wildlife, with turkey, coyote, fox, deer, eagles, bluebirds, doves, hawks, owls, butterflies, bats, bald eagles, black bears and more. Binoculars are a must!

Viewing Tennessee wildlife in open areas—such as Cataloochee and Cades Cove—offers some of the best opportunities to see white-tailed deer, black bear, raccoon, turkeys, woodchucks and other animals. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trails narrow, winding road encourages motorists to travel at a leisurely pace, sometimes yielding at sightings of bear and other wildlife. Winter wildlife is more visible when deciduous trees have lost their leaves.


You may find it advantageous to look for wildlife during morning and evening. Some people like to sit quietly beside a trail, watching for wildlife. Look up and scan the trees. Many animals spend their days among the branches.

Try an eco-cruise through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga. Enjoy the colorful, breathtaking beauty of the 27,000-acre canyon carved out by 26 miles of the Tennessee River over thousands of years. Cruising the fourth largest river canyon east of the Mississippi will show you the diverse landscape of the gorge which provides habitats for more than a thousand varieties of plants, ferns, trees, grasses and flowers as well as a rich wildlife population. Nearly 200 different species of birds inhabit “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon.”


Pick From Our Must-See Spots

Big Hill Pond State Park Big Hill Pond State ParkPocahontas Ijams Nature Center Ijams Nature CenterKnoxville Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium Bays Mountain Park & PlanetariumKingsport Long Hunter State Park Long Hunter State ParkHermitage Great Smoky Mountains National Park Great Smoky Mountains National ParkGatlinburg Henry Horton State Park Henry Horton State ParkChapel Hill Standing Stone State Park Standing Stone State ParkHilham Woods, Wonders and Wildlife Trail Woods, Wonders and Wildlife TrailAdams Natchez Trace State Park Natchez Trace State ParkWildersville Reelfoot Lake State Park Reelfoot Lake State ParkTiptonville Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge Chickasaw National Wildlife RefugeRipley Tennessee Aquarium Tennessee AquariumChattanooga
View the Entire List