Tennessee Nature April 13, 2022
Take This Unforgettable Road Trip To 6 Of Tennessee’s Least-Visited State Parks
The state park system in Tennessee is one of the most impressive and expansive in the United States, with 56 parks in total. The diverse natural landscapes and opportunity for outdoor recreational activities are truly phenomenal, and you will find hundreds of events and programs hosted throughout the year, most commonly for free. Tennessee may be small, but its number of protected natural spaces is truly exceptional. We found six of the least-visited state parks in Tennessee, so if you’re seeking a vacation all to yourself you may want to spin your compass towards one of these. How many have you been to?
If you want to change up the route or add or remove stops,
you can find the interactive map here.
Here's our plan, folks! You can either follow our exact road trip or you can edit your route in GoogleMaps. Either way, the views are bound to be beautiful.
1. Indian Mountain State Park
Indian Mountain State Park can be found in Campbell County, Tennessee, and has been a protected state park since 1971. 213 acres of land sits at the foot of Indian Mountain, and the area once served as a strip mine. Elk Creek adds an element of waterfront brilliance, and the Tennessee-Kentucky state line serves as the park’s boundary to the north. There is a visitor center on-site, as well as 49 campsites, three walking trails, and three picnic pavilions. There are also a few ponds that are kept stocked for fishing.
2. Warriors' Path State Park
With 950 acres of land to explore it’s almost shocking how few folks make their way to Warriors’ Path State Park. Located in Kingsport, Tennessee, the park itself is named for the “Great Indian Warpath” used by Native Americans for historic war raids against neighboring tribes. There are 94 campsites within the park, and the Cedar Ridge Hammock Campground is the first campground in the Tennessee state park system that was built with recycled materials from the park itself. How wild!
3. Cove Lake State Park
You will find Cove Lake State Park on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau, and it boasts over 600 acres of scenic natural space situated around and beyond Cove Lake. The lake itself was created after the 1936 completion of the Caryville Dam, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the park by hiking or camping at one of its 106 campsites. Each site is outfitted with a picnic table and a grill, and there are even picnic pavilions for larger events.
4. Red Clay State Historic Park
Head to Red Clay State Historic Park if you want to experience the last known capital of the Cherokee Nation on the eastern edge of the nation. It is a place that should be respected, however, as the historic relevance of the site was heightened by the atrocity of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The area was eventually used as cotton and pastureland and was protected officially by the Tennessee state government in the late summer of 1972.
5. Big Cypress Tree State Park
Big Cypress Tree State Park is fairly isolated in Weakley County, Tennessee, so it’s not hard to imagine why most folks don’t visit. It is named after an old cypress tree that once stood on the grounds of the park, but it was unfortunately killed during a lightning storm in 1976. Nowadays you can visit Big Cypress Tree State Park for a quaint hike through the forest, a picnic, or bird watching. There are 216 protected acres for you to explore!
6. T.O. Fuller State Park
Just outside of Memphis, Tennessee you’ll find over 1,000 acres of protected land known as T.O. Fuller State Park. It is the only state park within the city of Memphis, and it is historically significant as it was the first state park open to African American visitors east of the Mississippi River. You can reserve a camping spot, or you can take part in one of the park’s annually hosted activities. The majority are free, and there are options for both children and adults.
Will you be adventuring to
these little-known state parks in Tennessee? How many have you visited? Address: Indian Mountain State Park, 143 Indian Mt State Park Cir, Jellico, TN 37762, USA Address: Warriors' Path State Park, 490 Hemlock Rd, Kingsport, TN 37663, USA Address: Cove Lake State Park, 110 Cove Lake Ln, Caryville, TN 37714, USA Address: Red Clay State Historic Park, 1140 Red Clay Park Rd SW, Cleveland, TN 37311, USA Address: Big Cypress Tree State Park, 295 Big Cypress Rd, Greenfield, TN 38230, USA Address: T.O. Fuller State Park, 1500 W Mitchell Rd, Memphis, TN 38109, USA