There’s no time like the present to take a walk through one — or ten — of Tennessee’s state parks.
Here are ten of the best trails to explore throughout Tennessee, whether you’re up for a quick stroll or a multi-mile journey.
Cotton Field & Boundary Trail, Stones River National Battlefield
A family friendly pathway of a little over three miles, rich in battle history with marked signs and cannons on display.
Fall Creek Falls Trail, Fall Creek Falls State Park
Where: Spencer, Tenn.
Multiple scenic views of the 256-foot freestanding waterfall are the highlight of this 3-mile round-trip hike. Expect some steep inclines!
Burgess Falls Trail, Burgess Falls State Park
Where: Sparta, Tenn.
This 1.5 mile loop might sound simple by its length but this climb is a challenge! Prepare for steep pathways, high cliffs and jumping over rocks. Do it for the cascades views, the 136-foot waterfall, and, of course, the workout.
The Honey Creek Loop, Big South Fork National Area and Recreation
Level: Very Difficult
Ready for something more serious? Experience is recommended for this 5.6-mile trail of rugged terrain. Thick forest and minimal signage mean that you’ll need to come into this hike prepared.
Bays Mountain Tower Loop, Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium
Here, you’ll find a family friendly walk made up of 2.3 miles of beautiful lakeside scenery. Include a stop at the planetarium to see the stars!
Mossy Ridge Trail, Percy Warner Park
This 4.5-mile loop makes the perfect place for an outdoor workout close to home. Popular with trail runners and hikers alike, the trail is full of beautiful forest views and challenging inclines. Watch your step over tree roots and some uneven ground.
Virgin Falls Trail, Virgin Falls State Natural Area
Where: Sparta, Tenn.
Especially amazing in the winter months, this 8.3 mile hike’s highlight is its namesake, Virgin Falls, Emerging from an underground steam which falls 100 feet over a cliff and disappears underground again, the sight is well worth the distance.
Ganier Ridge Loop Trail, Radnor Lake State Natural Area
For those days you don’t want to take the time to head out of the city, hop over to Radnor Lake for this peaceful and beautiful 2.4 mile loop. Lots of nature sightings, including deer and turtles, here.
Waterfall Overlook Area, Cummins Falls State Park
Best in the summer when you can take a swim, this trail is 3.2 miles roundtrip to the falls and back. Wear hiking boots or water shoes! There will be mud.
Caney Fork Gorge/Downstream Trail, Rock Island State Park
Where: Rock Island
Lollipop hike is a 1.7 mile long journey with views of multiple cascades that fall into the Caney Fork, 80-foot high twin falls and a 30-foot great falls dam, which is a great fishing spot.
These are just a few of what Tennessee has to over for hikers of any level. How many hikes will you complete this year?
Entrepreneur and self-development writer/speaker Kimberly Novosel owns indoor cycling studio Verticity as well as Elsewhere Entertainment where she develops entertainment brands and manages artists. When not in the office or on a bike, you’ll find her at music festivals or pretty much anywhere outdoors.
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