The Best Outdoor Activities in Tennessee
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Hike to Abrams Falls
Tennessee / Abrams Falls Trail
Abrams Falls is arguably the most scenic waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the biggest perks of hiking Abrams Falls is the drive to get there.
Hike the Chimney Tops
Tennessee / Chimney Tops Trailhead
The Chimney Top's Trail is one of the most visited trails in the Smokies, which is why I recommend going up just before sunset to beat the crowd! During the summer and fall months, it's easy to s.
Hike to Fall Creek Falls
Tennessee / Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Park is sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau.
Hike to Foster Falls
Tennessee / Foster Falls State Park, TN
Foster Falls State Park is part of the South Cumberland State Park system.
Hike to Twin Falls, TN
Tennessee / Rock Island State Park
Upon entering Rock Island State Park from the east, the parking area for this trail is located right after the old cotton mill (my friend and I actually ended up getting lost because it is tucked awa.
Hike to Greeter Falls
Tennessee / Greeter Falls
An easy, yet extremely beautiful and well marked drive leads to a pretty sizable parking lot at the trailhead.
Hike to Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Bluff
Tennessee / Alum Cave Trailhead
The Alum Cave trailhead is on Newfound Gap Road, 8 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Mt.
Hike to Burgess Falls
Tennessee / Burgess Falls Trailhead
If you like waterfalls, this hike it for you.
Exploring Bald River Falls
Tennessee / Tellico River
If you're looking to check out a secnic waterfall in East Tennessee, Bald River Falls is sure to be on your list. At 90 feet, you can't miss this roaring beauty during any season.
Climb Lake Nickajack
Tennessee / Hales Bar Marina
Lake Nickajack has an incredible stretch of 50' limestone that is only accessible by water.
Hike to Cummins Falls
Tennessee / Cummins Falls Trailhead
Catch the trailhead down to the falls at the parking lot. The trail quickly approaches the rim of the river gorge to provide hikers with a great bird's eye view of the falls.
Hike to Rainbow Falls
Tennessee / Rainbow Lake Trail
Most Rainbow Lake Trail hikers have seen or heard the majestic Rainbow Falls, but fewer have ventured down the treacherous path to the falls themselves.
Hike to Rainbow Falls, Cherokee National Forest
Tennessee / Clemmer Trail
Starting at the parking lot, head up the trail (Clemmer #302/Scenic Spur #78) and it should say "1.7 miles to waterfalls". At the top of the hill in approximately 0.
Hike through Virgin Falls State Natural Area
Tennessee / Virgin Falls Trailhead
Beginning at the Virgin Falls SNA parking area, the Virgin Falls trail is approximately a 9 mile round trip (excluding any side trails) which will allow you to experience three waterfalls: Big Branch.
Bike Cade's Cove Loop
Tennessee / Cade's Cove Loop
Cade's Cove is a valley located smack in the middle of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
Hike to Northrup Falls
Tennessee / Northrup Falls Parking Area
Truly a hidden gem, this trail seems to get little to no attention, yet is absolutely amazing. To get to the trail from I-40 near Crossville, Tennessee, take Highway 127 north toward Jamestown.
Picnic On Max Patch Mountain
Tennessee / Max Patch Mountain Trailhead
Max Patch Mountain was once cleared for pasture land, leaving an expansive flat summit that now serves as the ideal location for a picnic hike, flying a kite, or laying in the sun surrounded by the G.
Explore Ozone Falls
Tennessee / Ozone Falls
This beautiful, 110-foot waterfall is an easy 15 minute walk from the parking area, and has a fairly deep pool below that is great for swimming.
Hike around Radnor Lake
Tennessee / Radnor Lake East Parking Lot
If you want a break from the city, take an early morning hike around Radnor Lake. Start this quiet trek by arriving at sunrise to snag a parking spot at the East Parking Lot.
Spelunking in Forbidden Caverns
Tennessee / Forbidden Caverns
When exploring all that Tennessee has to offer, it’s hard to ignore the fact it is home to more caves than any other state in America.
Hike to Laurel Falls
Tennessee / Laurel Falls Trailhead
This straightforward but scenic hike follows a paved trail to the falls, which is among the most popular in the park.
Hike Grotto Falls Trail
Tennessee / Trillium Gap Trailhead
This is an intermediate hike along Trillium Gap Trail. There are four stream crossings on your way to the falls, as you hike through an idyll, often wildflower-sprinkled landscape.
Hike to Edwards Point
Tennessee / Signal Point Park
The Signal Point to Edwards Points trail serves as the southernmost leg of the Cumberland Trail, winding through part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Hike to the Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower
Tennessee / Low Gap Trailhead
Most visitors have a vision of how they'd like to see Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it typically involves climbing to the top of a mountain like 4,928-foot Mount Cammerer.
Hike and Camp on the Volunteer Trail
Tennessee / Volunteer Trail, Long Hunter State Park
Starting at the Bakers Grove Area parking lot, start hiking on the lovely wood chipped trail. The Volunteer Trail and Day Loop share this first section of the trail. In about .
Hike the Hidden Springs Trail
Tennessee / Hidden Springs Trailhead
This trail is a prime spot for anyone who wants to get a simple, but enjoyable walk in the woods. It's very well marked, flat, and can be enjoyed in any weather.
Hike to Conasauga Falls
Tennessee / Conasauga Falls
Getting to the trailhead can be a challenge if there has been any heavy precipitation or icy conditions due to the fact the last two miles are one mile of broken pavement and the last mile a dirt roa.
Hike to Mount LeConte-Cliff Tops via Rainbow Falls Trail
Tennessee / Rainbow Falls Trailhead Parking Area
Begin at the Rainbow Falls trail parking lot. This is very popular area especially in the summer.
Relax at Sunset Rock
Tennessee / Sunset Rock
Sunset Rock provides spectacular access to the Bluff and Gum Spring Trails for hiking, is home to some of the top trad climbing routes in the area, and is perfect for residents and visitors alike who.
Climb Gravity Boots and After Burner
Tennessee / Foster Falls State Park, TN
Foster Falls State Park is a sport climber's paradise, with most climbs tailored to advanced and expert climbers.
Stroll Chattanooga's Walnut Street Bridge
Tennessee / Walnut Street Bridge
Chattanooga's Walnut Street Bridge was once almost demolished, but instead it was revitalized to be one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world.
Hike the Little River Trail to Backcountry Campsite #30
Tennessee / Little River Trailhead
The trailhead parking area is large but if no spaces are available additional parking can be had at the Jake's Creek trailhead at the top of the hill and to the right of the Little River trail parkin.
Hike to Sycamore Falls
Tennessee / Grundy Forest Trailhead
Sycamore Falls is located in the Fiery Gizzard region of South Cumberland State Park. The trailhead is located just past Tracy City Elementary School on Fiery Gizzard Road.
Camp at Rock Island State Park
Tennessee / Rock Island State Park
This little campground is nestled in Rock Island State Park. There are two campgrounds, this one is specifically tents only.
Hike to Baskins Creek Falls
Tennessee / Baskins Creek Falls Trailhead
The trail begins with a short climb, and after around a quarter of a mile, flattens out and you can get decent views to your west when the leaves are of the trees.
Hike to the Ramsey Cascades
Tennessee / Ramsey Cascades Trailhead
This multi-tiered waterfall is known as the tallest in the park – a worthwhile reward for the steep and sometimes tricky terrain you'll face on the way up.
Hike to Spruce Flats Falls
Tennessee / Spruce Flats Falls Parking Area
To get to Spruce Flats Falls, you will want to drive down 2.2 miles down the scenic Tremont Road to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute and park in the visitor center parking area.
Scenic Drive on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Tennessee / Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
This 6 mile drive is a great way to spend a scenic day in the Smokies. The road is open to cars only (no trucks or RVs) and runs one-way.
Hike the Mossy Ridge Trail
Tennessee / Mossy Ridge Trail
trail run. You can add extra milage to this hike by creating a loop with the Cane Connector Trail. The trailhead is located behind the kiosk in the parking area.
Hike to Falls Branch Falls
Tennessee / Falls Branch Falls
To get to the trailhead, drive 22.5 miles on the Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains, Tennessee. If you are coming from the North Carolina side, drive 20.5 miles to the trailhead.
Hike to Cataract Falls, Smoky Mountains
Tennessee / Cataract Falls Trailhead
You will find the trailhead to this gravel path just to the left of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The easy walk along Fighting Creek is scenic and tends not to be crowded, either.
Sunrise Hike to Myrtle Point, Mt. Leconte
Tennessee / Mount Leconte Shelter
Coming from the backcountry shelter at the top of Mt. Leconte (add .2 miles if coming from the Lodge), head east on the Boulevard Trail and follow signs to Myrtle Point, 1 mile away.
Explore North River Road
Tennessee / North River Road
If you're looking to get off the beaten path and take the road less traveled, North River Road is your ticket to solitude.
Hike to the Jump-Off
Tennessee / Newfound Gap Parking Lot
This trail starts at the Newfound Gap parking lot. Newfound Gap is situated on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Hike the Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area
Tennessee / Machine Falls Parking Area
The Machine Falls loop at Short Springs Natural Area is a 1.6 mile round trip hike easily followed by white blazes.
Hike the Bluff Overlook Trail
Tennessee / Harpeth River State Park
From the parking lot, walk up the same road the direction you entered. Just a little up the hill to the left, you will see the trailhead for the Bluff Overlook. It's only about a 0.
Photograph Snoopers Rock
Tennessee / Snoopers Rock
To hit one of the best panoramic views of the Tennessee River Gorge, head into Prentice Cooper State Forest and head straight for Snoopers Rock.
Climb The Lilly Bluff Wall
Tennessee / Lilly Bluff Trailhead
The Obed Wild and Scenic River is typically not found in the same conversations as Zion or Yosemite, but be assured this hidden gem of Tennessee is one of the East Coast's must climb destinations.
Hike to Stinging Fork Falls
Tennessee / Stinging Fork Falls Trailhead
The trail begins on the right side of the parking lot. The first part is flat with no elevation change and easy walking. About half a mile in you will reach a trail split.
Hike to Rockhouse and Cane Creek Falls
Tennessee / Paw Paw Trailhead
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to multiple waterfalls.
Hike through the Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness
Tennessee / The Laurel-Snow Trailhead
The Laurel-Snow Trail was the first National Recreation Trail designated in Tennessee and at just under 35 miles from downtown Chattanooga, it is perfect for a day hike, for a day of climbing, or for.
Camp at OBED Wild and Scenic River Area via the Point Trail
Tennessee / Lilily Bluff Parking Area
You will want to park at the Lilly Bluff parking lot. Your GPS won't know where this is, so here are the GPS coordinates N36° 06.162', W84° 43.280'.
Bouldering Stone Fort, TN
Tennessee / Stone Fort, TN
Stone Fort sits atop the Cumberland Plateau just half an hour from downtown Chattanooga, and is one of the premiere bouldering locations in the Southeast.
Hike the Rocky Branch and Limestone Cove Trail
Tennessee / Rocky Branch Trailhead
The trail starts from just beyond the old Limestone Cove campground and runs 3.9 miles to Stamping Ground Ridge high atop Unaka Mountain.
Summit Gregory Bald
Tennessee / Gregory Ridge Trail Parking Lot
The Gregory Bald summit is indisputably picturesque – the 10-acre meadow at the top hosts magnificent azalea blooms in June, wild blueberries in August, and views of Cades Cove, Rich Mountain, Fontan.
Catch a Sunrise at Newfound Gap
Tennessee / Newfound Gap Parking Lot
Newfound Gap is a mountain pass in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Newfound Gap is accessible via U.S. Route 441 from Gatlinburg, TN or Cherokee, NC.
Hike the Sugarland Mountain Trail
Tennessee / Sugarland Mountain Trailhead
Starting on the AT at just under 6,000 feet and ending at Fighting Creek Gap, just under 2,300 feet in elevation, the Sugarland Mountain Trail is a grand descent from the high divide of the Smokies.
Hike to Margarette Falls
Tennessee / Margarette Falls
To reach the trail head, take exit number 39 to Erwin/Jonesborough and turn onto State Route 81/107 west and stay on this for 6.5 miles.
Hike the Day Loop at Long Hunter State Park
Tennessee / Day Loop Trailhead
Park at the Bakers Grove Area and take the newly wood chipped wood chip trail into the forest.
Hike the Beech Bottom Trail to Jacks River Falls
Tennessee / Beech Bottom Trailhead
Jacks River Falls is one of Georgia's most impressive waterfalls.
Hike to Upper Meigs Falls
Tennessee / Meigs Creek Trailhead
Parking available off of Little River Gorge Road (State Hwy. 73) at The Sinks/Meigs Creek Trailhead.
Park Day at Renaissance Park
Tennessee / Renaissance Park
Renaissance Park is a 23-acre urban wetlands park, snuggled between the Market Street Bridge and Cherokee Blvd. on Chattanooga's North Shore.
Canoe down the Duck River
Tennessee / Milltown Dam
Start this canoe adventure from Milltown Dam for an easy five-mile paddle down a wide, scenic river. During the warmer months, you will undoubtebly encounter a variety of wildlife, from water to land.
Hike the Hogskin Upper and Lower Loop
Tennessee / Hogskin Loop Trailhead
After an easy 25 minute drive from Chattanooga you will reach North Chickamauga Gorge on Montlake Road in Soddy Daisy. Park any where in the gravel loop just make sure other cars can get through.
Hike the Trails at Fontanel
Tennessee / The Trails at Fontanel
The trailhead is located across from the Woods at Fontanel Music Venue, with the trail leading up and over the ridge behind the Fontanel Mansion and back down by the Woods at Fontanel VIP seating are.
Hike to Savage Falls
Tennessee / Savage Gulf Ranger Station
Savage Gulf Natural Area has more than 50 miles of trails, so be sure to start this adventure from the Savage Gulf Ranger Station entrance.
Mountain Bike Raccoon Mountain
Tennessee / Raccoon Mountain MTB Trail
Raccoon Mountain is an extensive, yet newer system of singletrack that circle the TVA Raccoon Mountain pumped storage facility, just 15 minutes east of downtown.
Hike to Fern Branch Falls
Tennessee / Porters Creek Trailhead
Take Porters Creek Trail, a gravel road alongside Porters Creek. You will pass by an old farmstead and cemetery, as well as lots of wildflowers, if you're out during the spring.
Hike to Middle Creek Falls
Tennessee / Middle Creek Pull-Off
Middle Creek Falls, despite its proximity to the Cumberland Trail hikes, has no official designated trail.
Hike to Hen Wallow Falls in Great Smoky Mountains NP
Tennessee / Gabes Mountain Trail
Start your adventure by parking in the Cosby Picnic Area Parking Lot near the entrance of the Cosby Campground. (127 Cosby Picnic Area Rd, Cosby, TN 37722.
Hike to Debord and Emory Gap Falls in Frozen Head SP
Tennessee / Panther Branch Trailhead
The trail head begins just over the bridge and is labeled as the Panther Branch trail head. To began you will continue straight and within .
Bike or Run the Tennessee Riverwalk
Tennessee / Tennessee Riverwalk
The Tennessee Riverwalk is a part of the Tennessee Riverpark System that features the Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park, Ross's Landing, and the Walnut Street Bridge, all jewels of downtown Chattanooga.
Run the Springfield Greenway
Tennessee / Springfield Greenway
The scenic Springfield Greenway meanders along a lush tree-lined creek in northern Springfield, just a half hour north of Nashville.
Hike the North Plateau-North Rim Loop at Savage Gulf
Tennessee / Savage Gulf Ranger Station
From the Savage Ranger Station, take the Savage Day Loop for roughly 2.2 miles until you reach the junction. From there take the North Plateau trail and return on the North Rim trail.
Hike the Hogskin Loop to Stripmine Falls
Tennessee / Stripmine Falls
Stripmine Falls is not the biggest waterfall in the area, but it is both beautiful and accessible with just a short and easy out-and-back (or loop) hike.
Hike Rich Mountain Loop
Tennessee / Rich Mountain Loop Trailhead
Park at the Cades Cover Information Kiosk. The trailhead is just down the road from here. At 4.2 miles you'll arrive at the Rich Mountain Trail junction.
Hike the Scenic Spur Trail
Tennessee / Scenic Spur Trail
Very little elevation gain leads to an easy hike along a river right outside of the Ocoee river region. First .7 miles is very flat, then leads to some slight elevation gain but nothing too serious.
Hike to Jones Falls
Tennessee / US 19E Trailhead
Starting at the Appalachian Trail (AT) trailhead at US 19E, follow the AT north for 3.1 miles until you reach the intersection of the trail with Buck Mountain Rd.
Hike to Carmac Falls
Tennessee / Evins Mill, TN
Complete a short hike to the 90-foot Carmac Falls! Firstly, it is important to note that Carmac Falls is located on the grounds of Evins Mill resort and is therefore private property.
Hike the Albright Grove Loop
Tennessee / Maddron Bald Trail
Hidden in the eastern reaches of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cosby region receives a fraction of the visitation of Gatlinburg or Cherokee.
Hike the Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop
Tennessee / Elkmont
This loop offers a scenic 2.5 mile hike next to the river before looping back around via the Cucumber Gap Trail. At the tail end, you'll connect with the Jakes Creek Trail for about 0.