Nature & Outdoors
Famous for the beauty of our landscape and the variety of our outdoor adventures, Tennessee welcomes nature lovers from all over the world. Come to hike in our mountains, swim in our lakes, fish in our streams and paddle in our rivers. Capture our wildlife on film, stroll through our gardens and meadows, or picnic beside our waterfalls. Golf on a fairway with mountain views, climb to high peaks or bike along riverfront paths.
Sample the scenic beauty of Tennessee, from the misty eastern mountains to the dramatic gorges of the Highland Rim to the mysterious waters of the west.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a place of ancient vistas and green havens, winding trails and sparkling waterfalls, blooming laurel and springtime birdsong. Enjoy an easy walk in the woods, take a tough hike to Clingman's Dome or picnic beside one of a dozen waterfalls. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area on the Cumberland River passes through 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys with a wide range of stunning natural and historic features.
All of Tennessee's 54 state parks, celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2012, have something beautiful to offer, from rich forests, hollows, ridges and breathtaking wildflowers of Roan Mountain State Park to the magical combination of scenic, botanical and geological wonders of Pickett State Park in the upper Cumberland Mountains. Chickasaw State Park sits on some of the highest terrain in West Tennessee, with more than 50 miles of trails and recreational opportunities. Along with vast scenic woodlands and 250 miles of horseback riding trails, Natchez Trail State Park includes four lakes and a swimming beach.
Tennessee's Trails and Byways are a new way to see the variety of Tennessee's hidden gems. Wineries, historic towns squares and scenic spots dot the byways and back roads of the beautiful Volunteer State. Follow the Great River Road's 185- mile stretch through Tennessee to see some of the most beautiful scenery along the Mississippi River corridor, from the cypress stands and eagle nests of Reelfoot Lake to the Chickasaw Bluffs above the Mississippi to the sights and sounds of Memphis. Take in the river overlooks, hills and farms of the Ring of Fire Trail, where the Cordell Hull Dam forms a breathtaking view of popular Dale Hollow Lake, visit lovely old towns like Red Boiling Springs, and follow the footsteps of pioneers along Avery's Trace. In East Tennessee, take the Tanasi Trail over mountains by car or steam engine, rent a boat at a state park or wet a line at Chattanooga's Chickamauga Lake.