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.

Jon King
814 Saves

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 see a .

Mason Boring
758 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
619 Saves

Hike to Foster Falls

Tennessee / Foster Falls Visitor Center

Foster Falls State Park is part of the South Cumberland State Park system.

Rob Giersch
512 Saves

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.

Andrew Conaway
463 Saves

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.

Bradley Burgess
441 Saves

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.

Tiffany Edmiston
433 Saves

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.

Matthew Ady
425 Saves

Hike to Burgess Falls

Tennessee / Burgess Falls Trailhead

If you like waterfalls, this hike is for you.

jeremiah Yoak
399 Saves

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.

Mason Boring
371 Saves

Climb Lake Nickajack

Tennessee / Hales Bar Marina

Lake Nickajack has an incredible stretch of 50' limestone that is only accessible by water.

Rob Giersch
366 Saves

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.

Adam Welch
335 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
317 Saves

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.

Nathan Szwarc
304 Saves

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.

Justin Costner
299 Saves

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.

Ivan Snyder
297 Saves

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.

Mason Boring
290 Saves

Explore Ozone Falls

Tennessee / Ozone Falls

This beautiful, 110-foot waterfall is an easy 15-minute walk from the parking area. Note that the walk down to the falls, although short, is steep and there isn’t a well-marked trail down.

Nathan Szwarc
284 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
258 Saves

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.

Bailey Robbins
251 Saves

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.

Seth Berry
247 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
243 Saves

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.

Spenser Reid
239 Saves

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.

Adam Welch
237 Saves

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.

Allison Herreid
233 Saves

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.

Robin Pfeifer
226 Saves

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.

Jess Fischer
223 Saves

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.

Adam Welch
215 Saves

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 .

Rachel O'Neil
210 Saves

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.

Jon King
203 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
202 Saves

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.

Rachel O'Neil
195 Saves

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.

Nathan Szwarc
194 Saves

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.

Bailey Robbins
192 Saves

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.

chase howell
185 Saves

Climb Gravity Boots and After Burner

Tennessee / Foster Falls Visitor Center

Foster Falls State Park is a sport climber's paradise, with most climbs tailored to advanced and expert climbers.

Rob Giersch
176 Saves

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.

John Sides
175 Saves

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.

Joshua Contois
159 Saves

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.

Nicholas Voyles
157 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
156 Saves

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 Rockhouse and Cane Creek Falls

Tennessee / Paw Paw Trailhead

Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to multiple waterfalls.

Jess Fischer
152 Saves

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 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.

Nathan Szwarc
146 Saves

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.

Nathan Szwarc
146 Saves

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.

Nathan Szwarc
143 Saves

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.

Nathan Szwarc
138 Saves

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.

Mason Boring
136 Saves

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.

Hike the Beech Bottom Trail to Jacks River Falls

Tennessee / Beech Bottom Trailhead

Jacks River Falls is one of Georgia's most impressive waterfalls.

Christian Murillo
128 Saves

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.

Rob Giersch
127 Saves

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'.

Michael Sommers
121 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
120 Saves

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.

Matthew Chang
114 Saves

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.

Rob Giersch
104 Saves

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.

Rachel O'Neil
95 Saves

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.

Phill McDonald
95 Saves

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.

Chaney Swiney
94 Saves

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.

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.

Nathan Szwarc
93 Saves

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.

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.

Kelli Lewis
87 Saves

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.

Lewis Hackett
86 Saves

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.

Bailey Robbins
79 Saves

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.

Bailey Robbins
71 Saves

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.

Sophie Justinak
70 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
62 Saves

Hike to Rocky Top

Tennessee / Cade's Cove Visitor Center

Rocky Top is known to be the spot that inspired the famous fight song of the University of Tennessee, which is also an official song for the state of Tennessee.

Ally Woodall
60 Saves

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.

Laura Clarke
56 Saves

Take in the View at Lilly Bluff Overlook

Tennessee / Lilily Bluff Parking Area

Honestly this is hard to even call a trail, but that doesn't mean it lacks beauty.

Nathan Szwarc
55 Saves

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 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.

Emily Lester
53 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
52 Saves

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.

Clare Healy
48 Saves

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.

Baileigh Studer
45 Saves

Backpack to Spence Field

Tennessee / Anthony Creek Trailhead

Start your hike at Anthony Creek Trailhead (elevation 1,800 ft), in the Cade’s Cove area. The trailhead is located at the far end of the day-use picnic area near Cade’s Cove campground.

John Sides
44 Saves

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 House Mountain, TN

Tennessee / House Mountain Welcome Center

House Mountain is a short, at times strenuous hike that is doable in all weather conditions.

Davis Coulter
37 Saves

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 .

Nathan Szwarc
36 Saves

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 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 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.

Joshua Contois
30 Saves

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.

Dan Barr
30 Saves

Explore Backbone Rock and Falls

Tennessee / Backbone Rock

First, from the parking lot, there is a trail which climbs up to walk on top of the rock. The top of the rock is narrow, but has hand rails to hold on to.

Elyse Clark
29 Saves

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.

David Garner
29 Saves

Climb at Kings Bluff

Tennessee / Kings Bluff

Owned and maintained by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, Kings Bluff hosts a wide variety of established routes ranging from 5.3 to 5.13 in difficulty.

Bailey Robbins
28 Saves

Climb at Foster Falls SP

Tennessee / Foster Falls Visitor Center

Foster Falls will suit any climber. A novice climber can find routes here, and an expert can find new and exciting projects. There are a few camping sites near the climbing area.

Garrett Schmidt
21 Saves

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.

Joshua Contois
18 Saves

Visit The Mindfield

Tennessee / The Mindfield

Driving through Brownsville, TN you might miss "The Mindfield" if you aren't paying attention. It's situated behind a barber shop and a motel.

Adam Hite
15 Saves

Hike at The Outback at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

Tennessee / Shelby Farms Dog Park - The Outback

Parking can be found at Raleigh Lagrange Rd and Trinity Rd. There are several trails to follow as well as trails that can be found into the wooded areas.

Adam Hite
11 Saves

Winter Hike to Clingman’s Dome via Newfound Gap

Tennessee / Newfound Gap Parking Lot

During the winter months, from December 1 through March 31, the 7-mile Clingman’s Dome Road that branches off Highway 441 at Newfound Gap, stays closed.

John Sides
8 Saves

Bike the Tweetsie Trail

Tennessee / Tweetsie Trail

The course gravel trail begins just east of downtown Johnson City. The trail maintains a flat grade throughout the 10 miles towards the city of Elizabethton.

Hike to White Rock

Tennessee / White Rock Trail

The White Rock trailhead is less than a 10 minute drive from downtown Johnson City. When pulling up Highbridge Road, take a left at the fork.

Float The Scenic Ghost Section of the Wolf River

Tennessee / Ghost River Canoe Run (Input)

The Wolf River is a hidden gem for any paddler located in west Tennessee or the greater south.

Trey Brennan
1 Saves