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Celebrate 100 Years of National Park Beauty in Tennessee

Preserved mountains, rivers, streams, valleys and hills stretching thousands of miles in Tennessee are such thanks to the National Park Service, celebrating 100 years in 2016.

Preserved mountains, rivers, streams, valleys and hills that stretch for hundreds of thousands of miles in Tennessee are such because of the National Park Service, celebrating 100 years in 2016.

Marvel at the scenic wonders the state has in its national parks and recreation areas.

Walk the footsteps of soldiers, pioneers and Native Americans on nationally-protected battlefields, historic sites and trails. Hear the birds' songs, find cooling relief among the shade of the forests, marvel at the abundant wildlife and views.

It's the kind of natural beauty that takes your breath away, provided for 100 years.

The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Sevier County

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland

America's most visited park, the park is known around the world for its expansive diversity of flora and fauna. Drive, bike or hike through the forests to experience a Made in Tennessee peace of mind.

Andrew Johnson National Historic Site – Greeneville

Learn of the life and legacy of the 17th president, Andrew Johnson which came to the forefront following President Lincoln's assassination. Tour through his early home, the Homestead filled with original family belongings, and pay respects to his burial grounds at the National Cemetery.

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area – Oneida  

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland

See the most of the 125,000-acre park along Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau by embarking on the Centennial Challenge through Dec. 3 which challenges participants to hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, and/or paddle the park's 500-mile, multi-trail system along with its more than 70 miles of Big South River. Park rangers will recognize the youngest and oldest males and females who completed 100 miles and participants who accomplished the challenge in a variety of ways Dec. 3, 2016.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park – Chattanooga

During the Civil War, Chattanooga was known as the "Gateway to the Deep South," meaning it was important for Union and Confederate soldiers to fight for control. Learn the story of this pivotal "Battle Above the Clouds" through interactive exhibitions and artifacts, all set against the expansive views of Chattanooga's urban area below.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park – Cumberland Gap

(Credit: Clairborne County)

Hear the Soundtrack of America through the singsong birds in Tennessee along the more than 80 miles of hiking trails within the park. Make memories by wildlife watching deer, beaver, fox, bobcat, bear and more than 150 species of birds. Rich in Native American, pioneer and Civil War history, follow the footsteps of Tennessee's first inhabitants.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield – Dover

Nashville and Clarksville's Civil War naval history is preserved and told by immersing visitors into the experience by providing almost the same perspective as the Confederates had on the Cumberland River in 1862.

Manhattan Project National Historical Park – Oak Ridge

(Credit: Explore Oak Ridge) 

The story of the Manhattan Project, the team of people, events and science that led to the atomic bomb's creation, is told through guided tours that take visitors to buildings like the uranium enrichment buildings, the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Process Building, and the Oak Ridge Historic District.  

Natchez Trace Parkway – Nashville

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland

Representing 10,000 years of North American history, accented with gorgeous scenery, it's time to gas up the car and take a drive along the 444-mile drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Tennessee travelers can hop on in Nashville and drive the curved roads through small towns and scenic stop-offs for hikes, horseback riding and camping.

Obed Wild & Scenic River – Wartburg

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland

Ride the same waves and walk the trails that the first pioneers did back in the late 1700s. Outdoor recreational activities abound ranging from bouldering, paddling and hiking.

 Shiloh National Military Park – Shiloh

One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War happened on this battlefield that saw nearly 110,000 American soldiers clash with 23, 746 casualties, the most in all of the nation's previous wars combined. See the National Cemetery which contains 4,000 soldiers and their family members. Ranger-led tours take visitors along the 5,000 acre Shiloh Battlefield to tell this pivotal historic story.

Stones River National Battlefield – Murfreesboro

The stories of the soldiers, culture, and strategies of the Battle of Stones River are shown through exhibitions in the Visitors Center. Guests can then cross the street to see the Stones River National Cemetery where more than 6,100 Union soldiers are buried, 2,562 of them unknown. 

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