Tennessee Hotel Reservations
National Parks in Tennessee
The Volunteer State's Many NPS Sites
Thanks to its unique combination of history and stunning landscapes, Tennessee features a distinctive array of national parks. The National Park Service operates just 12 sites, yet they attract nearly nine million visitors each year.
NPS in Tennessee offers a distinct blend of historic sites, trails and rivers, and all the outdoor adventure you can handle in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The most famous national park in the state – and certainly one of the most well known in the country – the Great Smoky Mountains is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
Start at the Sugarlands Visitors' Center, and look forward to 850 miles of hiking trails on paths like Laurel Falls Trail, Clingman's Dome Trail, Alum Cave Trail, and many more. Hikers are rewarded with great views of Appalachian America at the top of Clingmans Dome observation tower, Chimney Tops, and Mount Le Conte.
Other Smoky Mountain activities include fishing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, biking, and more. Even history buffs may explore the Cades Cove Historic District, the Elkmont Historic District, and the Roaring Fork Historic District – plus the Mountain Farm Museum.
Tennessee was also a major setting during the American Civil War. Thanks to the National Park Service, many battlefields and military parks are available for tours – and feature interpretive programs, films, hiking, and exhibits in the visitor center.
Civil war battle sites include Shiloh National Military Park in western Tennessee south of Jackson, Fort Donelson National Battlefield near Camden in central Tennessee. Other Civil War sites include Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro and the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park near Chattanooga.
Some national parks even course through the state of Tennessee, whether they be scenic rivers or legendary trails. The most notable of these is the 2,200-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail – 70 miles of which stretches through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Other famed trails running through the Volunteer State include the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, and Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail.
Even rivers are considered national treasures in Tennessee. The Obed Wild & Scenic River features hiking, river paddling, rock climbing, fishing, and nature viewing. The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area also offers hiking, plus horseback riding, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and rock climbing – not to mention the Big South Fork Scenic Railway.
Best Western Hotels Along the Way:
Area Visitor Favorites
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