Tennessee is a great place for the outdoor person. Outdoor activities are spread across our wide state. Tennessee is home to breathtaking wildernesses: panoramic vistas, cliffs, canyons, lush canopies and clear plunge pools, many in national parks and award-winning state parks.
In the Nashville area, you can rent a canoe or kayak at Kingston Springs and take a trip down the Harpeth River. The trips range from beginner to moderate difficulty Visitors can camp overnight along the Harpeth. During certain times of the year the river becomes more difficult to navigate and will only be suitable for experienced adults.
Fall Creek Falls State Park is 40 miles east of Nashville. It’s a paradise of more than 20,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. It is one of the most scenic and spectacular outdoor recreation areas in America. The park is laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber. While Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Other waterfalls in the park are Piney and Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the U.S. and home to many outdoor activities. These include hiking, fishing, horseback riding, camping, cycling and sights like waterfalls, wildlife and historic buildings. Always be cautious while there since approximately 1,500 black bears live in the park.
The Tennessee section of the Appalachian Trail is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tennessee has the highest sections of the Appalachian Trail. Because of the elevation of the trail in Tennessee, hikers have to be prepared for sudden cold, rain or snow during certain times of the year, and a permit is needed if you wish to camp overnight on the trail.
In the Memphis area, visitors can go biking, canoeing, kayaking, or rent a paddleboat at Mud Island River Park on the Mississippi River. Visitors can also go to summer outdoor concerts at the amphitheatre or visit the Mississippi River Museum. Mud Island River Park is accessible by foot, monorail, by car or by ferry.
In Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain has several attractions. They include the walking trails and panoramic views at Rock City Gardens; the underground waterfall at Ruby Falls; ancient rock formations, and the steep passenger trolley cars and mountain views on the Incline Railway. There are many outdoor activities and events throughout the year in Chattanooga Valley.