Tennessee is full of beautiful state parks, with over fifty to choose from, including parks with cascades and gorges, to large lakes and fun hiking and water-based activities. The choice can be overwhelming but luckily, we’ve narrowed down the best Tennessee State Parks for you:
1. Roan Mountain State Park
The Roan Mountain State Park is a stunning destination that lies near the Tennessee-North Carolina state line. The park is spread over 2,000 acres and has the beautiful Doe River peacefully flowing through it. There are miles of hiking and mountain bike trails running through the park, alongside activities such as fishing and swimming in the refreshing waters of the Doe River.
2. Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to one of the biggest waterfalls in the United States at a mighty 245 feet high. The best place to see the falls is from a walkway along Cane Creek, which will lead you to the base of the waterfall. It’s a spectacular sight, but be warned, there’s a lot of splash-back from the falling water. The park is also home to several other beautiful cascades and gorges and is known for its beautiful hiking trails through peaceful woodland, as well as water-based activities. You can also find activities that aren’t so commonly found in other state parks, such as horseback riding and zip line adventures.
3. Big Ridge State Park
Big Ridge State Park is a magical woodland spread out across almost four thousand acres in the Appalachian Ridge. The centerpiece of the park is its large lake, where you can do tons of fun activities such as kayaking, boating, and swimming. There are miles of hiking trails and plenty of camping options too.
4. Montgomery Bell State Park
Montgomery Bell State Park, located in Dickson County, has an interesting history tying it to the booming iron industry in middle Tennessee. Today, the park is spread out over almost 4,000 acres and features a beautiful woodland. You’ll find plenty of hiking and biking trails and it’s a popular weekend vacation destination.
5. Pinson Mounds State Park
Pinson Mounds State Park is a historical delight. The park surrounds fifteen prehistoric Native American mounds that are said to have been used for burials and ceremonies. You can hike to the mounds and also visit the onsite library to find out more about the history of its peoples. After brushing up on times passed, the park spans over 1,200 acres and has beautiful hiking trails to explore.
6. Rocky Fork State Park
The Rocky Fork State Park lies in the heart of the Appalachian mountains and is one of the best Tennessee state parks. The park offers spectacular mountain views and you can find tons of activities such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. The park is best-known for its amazing ecosystem, so you’re guaranteed to spot plenty of wildlife along the way — just be sure to bring binoculars. Along with hiking trails, you’ll also come across cascades and streams perfect for budding photographers.
7. Frozen Head State Park
Frozen Head State Park gets its name for its chilly climate and the large amount of snowfall that the park receives in winter months. When it’s not snowing, it’s a stunning park with miles of hiking trails to explore. Along the way, you’ll pass cascades and waterfalls. It’s a great place to go camping and spend your time exploring the trails. If you’re a serious hiker, why not check out some of our other favorite state parks and hiking trails in Washington, Oregon or Indiana.
Don’t forget to download a map before you start your adventure around any Tennessee state park!