The 10 Best Spring Adventures in Tennessee

April showers bring May flowers, and Tennessee sure knows how to put on a show during spring! Here's a few of my favorite spring activities I love to do in my home state!

By: Katie Y + Save to a List

That winter fluff isn't going to magically disappear by itself. It's time to get off the couch, stop binge watching those Netflix shows, and stretch out those legs! Yes, allergy season is in full swing, but there's no reason to be stuck inside with a snotty nose. Load up on those allergy meds, and get outside! You need some quality, all-natural, and gluten free Vitamin D from the glorious sun! Get ready for some waterfall chasing, blooming flowers, and active critters!

1. Chase some waterfalls

One thing Tennessee has plenty of, besides rednecks, is waterfalls (just check here and here)! You could attempt to go to at least 9 waterfalls a week for one year and still not see all the waterfalls Tennessee has to offer. From Chattanooga's Rainbow Falls shown above to the beautiful Grotto Falls in the Smoky Mountains, there are an abundance of different kinds of waterfalls to adventure to this spring, so start chasing them!

2. Hike a part of the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is one impressive and incredible trail that includes some fantastic overlooks and scenic spots that are right here in Tennessee! We have roughly 287.9 miles worth of the AT in our state, which 200 ish miles run along the border of North Carolina. Take some time to get to know this famous and historical trail by trekking some of the highlights! One of my favorite parts is Roan Mountain shown above starting at Carver's Gap.

3. Climb those mountain tops

Needing to feel like you accomplished a workout or feat? Take the time to hike some of the more elevated hikes that Tennessee has by trekking to Charlies Bunion shown above or Mt. Leconte. They'll be sure to get your blood flowing and sweat on your brow. 

4. Spot some wildlife 

With blooming flowers and bees in the air, you'll be sure to find those hibernating bears and cubs out and about in eastern Tennessee. Bird watching, elk and calves grazing, and many other animals are very active right now and can be seen all over! Be careful and stay enough distance away from the wildlife. These mamas are sure to be protective of their babies!

5. Watch a sunrise

You don't have to go anywhere fancy for this. Be in the moment. Wake up, start that morning cup of Joe, maybe add a little Baileys, sit back, and watch the show. Listen to those happy birds chirping. Feel the crisp morning air and the wet dew on the grass. I'm starting to sound like Mister Rogers from the neighborhood, so I'll stop there. You get the idea. It's a beautiful day to wake up to. Start it early!

6. Shoot the Milky Way

Spring months bring Milky Way shooting season! This time of the year is perfect to try out new light painting fun for your photography. It may be hard to find some spots away from the city light pollution, but head over to east Tennessee in the thick forests of the Smokies or Cherokee National Forest where I shot my photo seen above. You'll be able to get a little better view of that Milky Way without as much orange glow. 

7. Take a rock climbing workshop

Wanting to learn a new trade? Rock climbing is quite popular in Tennessee, via indoors and outdoors. Don't know where to go or even how to start learning? No problem. Fall Creek Falls State Park offers a 3 day workshop for the low cost of $40 (as of 2017 that was the price) that allows both adults and children to learn all the tricks of the trade! They provide ALL the equipment, including climbing shoes! I photographed and climbed last year at their spring workshop. Hands down it is one of the best activities you can do to learn EVERYTHING about rock climbing. If you already know how to rock climb, there are a number of places to head to including here, here, and here.

8. Hang up that hammock

Wanting to just soak in some rays and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature? Grab that hammock and head to a few of the places I love to read a book, watch the sunset, or listen to a waterfall. Check out these places herehere, and lastly here which is seen above.

9. Go on a picnic date

Simple enough right? Pack some treats, a blanket, and a bottle of wine and enjoy a beautiful overlook at sunset! If you wanted to win me over on the perfect date, it would be this way right here. Put some effort into a date, besides calling up a number and making a reservation. No one ever complained, when someone made them a picnic and put some work into making it special. Take them to Max Patch, shown above. Love is in the air. Spring is in the air. It's bound to be a mushy moment for you two lovebirds.

10. Dust off that kayak

Those waters may be a tad too chilly still for swimming, but they are perfect for kayaking or canoeing! Take a stroll down Harpeth River like the guy shown above doing. Bring your own or rent one here. It's a good time to enjoy your day with having a fraction as the normal number of river trolls. You can also head over to Duck River or Wolf River too.


I hope you find one or many things on this list to do this spring. It is ridiculous how many activities there are to do in Tennessee without spending too much money or even for free! Get out there and explore our beautiful state!

All photos and cover photo by: Katie Yarborough

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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