Tennessee May 02, 2020
Here’s The Ultimate Bucket List For Tennesseans Who Are Obsessed With Nature
If you live in Tennessee, then you’re well aware of the beauty the state presents on a daily basis. Tennessee is simply…gorgeous. The Volunteer State is rife with natural beauty. It’s where you’ll find the mountains to the east and the waterfalls atop the plateau and the grand Mississippi River to the west. There’s so much to see that it can be a bit overwhelming, so we put together a bucket list for Tennesseans who are as obsessed with the state’s natural beauty as we are. If we missed your favorite spot, make sure to include it in the comments below! There’s always something new to explore, friends.
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We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Cades Cove
Cades Cove is a beautiful, isolated valley that's tucked within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It features a driving loop, opportunities for hiking, and a horse riding stable. The valley also has a series of historic homes that have been preserved for educational purposes.
2. The Ocoee River
The Ocoee River is perhaps best known for its wild whitewater rafting opportunities. It's a 93-mile river that ambles its way through the Appalachian Mountains and is known as a Class IV river.
3. Fall Creek Falls State Park
This stunning state park is a top hiking, camping, and birding location for locals, and has been featured in a series of Hollywood releases. Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the largest state parks in Tennessee at 29,800 and remains one of the most visited.
4. Rock Island State Park
Rock Island State Park is a mere 883 acres, but it's located where the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers meet. It's a top spot for folks looking to swim in natural springs or go hiking amidst the craggy hills, and at only 85 miles from Nashville, it's a popular place for city folk to get out of town.
5. Watauga Lake
Watauga Lake is a true gem of a natural space, located right at the meeting of North Carolina and Tennessee on the northeastern edge of the state. A majority of the area is made up of preserved forest, and the community is largely made up of vacation homes that fill come the summer season.
6. Obed Wild and Scenic River
Is there any better place to go kayaking or fishing or hiking than the Obed Wild and Scenic River? We think not. There's a whole heap of rock climbing opportunities and stunning overlooks that keep folks coming back, and the pet-friendly area makes it easy to bring Fido along.
7. Frozen Head State Park
Frozen Head State Park has some of the most difficult, rambling terrain in the state within its 24,000 acres of wilderness. It's a prime spot for cheap camping, and with more than 50 miles of backpacking and hiking trails crisscrossing the area, you'll never run out of things to do.
8. Sewanee Perimeter Trail
The Sewanee Perimeter Trail comes in at roughly 20-miles long and is a popular destination for folks in the southern United States. The land is maintained by the University of the South, and the moderately trafficked loop is rife with natural beauty.
9. Natchez Trace State Park
Natchez Trace State Park is located in western Tennessee and follows the historic Natchez Trace woodland path that was configured during the late 18th century. It features a stunning series of hiking trails and a beautiful driving bridge.
10. The Tail of the Dragon
The Tail of the Dragon is located at Deals Gap, and it's known for its 318 curves in 11 miles. It's a famed road, one that folks from all over the world travel to and drive on motorcycles and in sports cars. It's quite the trip!
11. Burgess Falls State Park
You can find Burgess Falls State Park in Putnam County, and most folks know of the stunning natural oasis due to its four waterfalls. There are hiking trails throughout the park that range from moderate to strenuous in difficulty, and there's even a butterfly garden for folks looking to meander in a quieter manner.
12. Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains are Tennessee's grandest natural achievement. They draw the most visitors of any national park in the United States and boast a series of tourist towns and hiking trails for the adventurous among us.
13. Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake was formed by a series of small earthquakes — the New Madrid Earthquakes — in the early 19th century. It's the only naturally-made lake in the state of Tennessee, and the submerged cypress trees make for an unforgettable sight.
14. The Lost Sea
The Lost Sea has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the globe's second-largest non-subglacial underground lake. Sounds like a mouthful, doesn't it? It's located in Craighead Caverns, where the extensive cave system lends itself to neat subterranean tours.
15. Cummins Falls State Park
Cummins Falls is famed for its gushing waterfall namesake and the swimming hole at its base. At 282 acres, it's big enough to host leagues of tourists that come gather during the warmer seasons. It's only a few hours from Nashville and remains a popular getaway for city folk.
16. Center Hill Lake
If you're a fan of water sports and experiences, then the fishing, boating, skiing, and swimming opportunities on Center Hill Lake are sure to enthrall you. It's a reservoir in Middle Tennessee that's known for its clear water and family-friendly atmosphere, and it comes highly recommended by locals and tourists alike.
You can learn more about the beautiful state of Tennessee by way of
our site archives, which can be found right here. Address: Cades Cove, Tennessee 37882, USA Address: Ocoee River, Tennessee, USA Address: Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee 37367, USA Address: Rock Island, TN 38581, USA Address: Watauga Lake, Tennessee, USA Address: Obed Wild and Scenic River, Tennessee 37887, USA Address: 3208, 964 Flat Fork Rd, Wartburg, TN 37887, USA Address: Perimeter Trail, Sewanee, TN, USA Address: Natchez Trace State Forest, Tennessee 38387, USA Address: Vonore, TN 37885, USA Address: Burgess Falls, Tennessee 38544, USA Address: Great Smoky Mountains, United States Address: Reelfoot Lake Watershed, Tennessee 38260, USA Address: Cummins Falls State Park, 390 Cummins Falls Ln, Cookeville, TN 38501, USA Address: Center Hill Lake, Tennessee, USA