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With the warm weather comes ample opportunities to embark on a Made in Tennessee adventure. Soak in the sunshine. Drink in the views from bluffs, hills and mountains. Exploration is calling to all its Tennessee travelers. Will you answer?
Hikes in East Tennessee
It’s hard to pick just one trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but if we listed all of them, we’d be here a while. This 2.4-mile out-and-back moderately easy trail is semi-paved with a gorgeous waterfall at the end, which makes the up-hill walk worth it. This is one of the most popular trails in the Smokies, so expect to see lots of hikers unless you come during off-hours. Don’t forget to purchase your parking tag, as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has recently begun paid parking throughout the park.
The 3.5-mile trail is a moderate hike with steep inclines and sharp turns. The longest unbroken section of the Cumberland Trail is accessible from Cove Lake State Park, about 30 miles north of Knoxville. The panoramic views at the peak of the ridge are simply breathtaking. Stop for a breather to enjoy the three-level waterfall that can be seen cascading down the mountain. It's located on the Cumberland Trail alongside I-75.
Hike from Pickett Park Highway in Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area to these double sandstone arches. Follow the trail to Charit Creek Lodge, that's located on the six-mile loop, and cool off in the rocky stream.
Hikes near Nashville
An oasis in the otherwise fast-paced and urban landscape of Nashville, Radnor Lake State Park offers several trails even though it’s a modestly sized park. You can’t go wrong with the Radnor Lake Trail, an easy 2.7-mile loop. Add on the Radnor Full Lake and Ganier Ridge Trail for more of a challenge at 5.1 miles or combine trails for even more adventure – all while encircling the crown jewel that is Radnor Lake.
Natural beauty and family hikes are celebrated at Montgomery Bell State Park. Various hiking options are open to every guest. The longest hiking trail is 10.4 miles and is destined as an overnight trail. Choose a short day hike ranging from 0.2-mile hikes to 1.7-mile hikes that bring you up close to Made in Tennessee natural beauty.
The 2,000-acre Johnsonville State Historic Park is a wealth of history as it commemorates the Johnsonville Depot, the Battle of Johnsonville and the historic town of the area that was established 1864-1944. Explore these historic treasures on the 8-mile Historic Johnsonville Trail as you embark on natural surfaces. Travel along the 2-mile Civil War Forts Trail or the 0.5-mile African-American Cemetery Loop Trail.
Hikes in and near Memphis
More than 40 miles of trails encompass this wildlife haven, Shelby Farms Park in East Memphis, including paved and unpaved. For more adventure, hit up the Wolf River Trails, which wind through the Lucius Burch Jr. State Natural Area. If you had more of a stroll in mind, mosey around the Hyde Lake Loop, which is especially breathtaking at sunset.
The longest trail in Fort Pillow State Park is the moderate 9-mile hike along the Red Trail. Learn the history of the area thanks to the well-preserved breastworks and reconstructed inner fort. Transport through history as the park offers Civil War artifact viewings along with a cannon and interpretive displays related to the Fort.
Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park is more than 1,200 acres and home to at least 15 Native American mounds that were used as both burial and ceremonial locations. Hiking trails give guests access to the mounds. Choose from the 2-mile Mounds Great Outer Loop Trail along a paved surface, or any of the natural surface hikes: Nature Trail, Earthworks Trail and Hudson Branch Trail.
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