7 Outdoor Adventures in February

February 9, 2017  |  Permalink

February is one of the best times of year to explore our parks. The leaves are off the trees, opening up sight lines and views of waterfalls and gorges. Many parks will see snowfall, which makes for magical photography. It’s also a great time to avoid large crowds of visitors at some of our more famous destinations.

For those who are willing to bundle up and escape the house, here are some awesome Tennessee adventures to consider this February:

1. Bald Eagles at Reelfoot Lake State Park (Natural Wonder Adventure)

Reelfoot Lake is home to some of the most majestic birds in the world: golden and American bald eagles. While some of the birds live at the park year-round, hundreds of eagles call the park home during the winter months. The park offers guided eagle tours in February to help visitors find and spot these birds.

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2. CCC Museum at Cumberland Mountain State Park (Educational Adventure)

When you think of the Great Depression what comes to mind? Many people think of the stock market crash, breadlines, and New Deal programs that put Americans to work. Did you know that many of the New Deal programs laid the groundwork of our state and national park systems? If you did not, then you should definitely visit the CCC Museum at Cumberland Mountain. While you’re at the park, you might also enjoy dining at the restaurant or playing a round of golf.

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3. Devil’s Racetrack on the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Park (Natural Wonder Adventure)

The Devil's Racetrack formation is admired by 13 million travelers each year as a stunning showpiece alongside Interstate 75, just north of Caryville, Tennessee. The Cumberland Trail is an avenue to the top of these massive sandstone slabs, offering a look across the Tennessee Valley to the Smoky Mountains' ridgeline, a view of the Cumberland Mountains' front wall, and a peek between the extraordinary upturned plates of bedrock.

The 3.3-mile hike, from the Cove Lake Cumberland Trail Trailhead to the ridgetop, gains 816 feet in elevation in route to the panoramic view.(Photo credit: Chuck Sutherland)

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4. Champion Trees at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park (Natural Wonder Adventure)

A Champion tree is the tallest tree of a species. Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is home to 10 state Champion trees and two (2) national Champion trees. Come to the park and see if you can find all twelve of them! Stop by the park office to learn how you can see these behemoths.

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A photo posted by tnstateparks.com #tnstateparks (@tennesseestateparks) on

 

5. Big Falls at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park (Waterfall Adventure)

Big Falls is the tallest, and most iconic, waterfall at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park. It is one of three falls in the park. Set out on the Old Stone Fort Loop Trail from the museum to see all three falls, as well as the Indian Enclosure Wall. (Photo Credit: Trey Andre)

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6. Cane Creek Falls at Fall Creek Falls State Park (Waterfall Adventure)

Cane Creek Falls is one of the most beautiful and stunning waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls State Park. This 85' waterfall is fed by Cane Creek and cascades into a large pool of water. There are several ways to get a good look at the falls. There is an overlook at the nature center, as well as on the Gorge Overlook Trail. Explorers that are more adventurous can access the base of the waterfall from the Cable Trail. Come in February to enjoy flowing falls and smaller crowds. This is a great park to visit for multiple days. Whether you rent a cabin, inn room or campsite, the waterfalls and hiking trails are worth exploring. (Photo Credit: Cara Alexander)

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7. Cummins Falls at Cummins Falls State Park (Waterfall Adventure)

This 75' waterfall plunges into a large pool and is Tennessee's eighth largest waterfall in terms of volume of water. This is a very busy park throughout the year, but February is a good time for those who want to beat the crowds. To see the waterfall, there is an overlook just a short distance from the parking lot. To reach the base of the waterfall, visitors descend into the gorge and follow the river upstream.

Please note: Hikers will get wet descending to the base of the falls. The water in February can be very cold.  The trail through the gorge is rugged and includes water crossings, boulders, and other obstacles. Visitors should wear sturdy shoes and use personal floatation devices for children and inexperienced swimmers. Visitors should also keep in mind the weather, as sudden heavy rainfall can result in flash flooding in the gorge.

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Looking for Places to Explore?

Click the button below to see the interactive map and list of all 80th anniversary adventures:

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About the 80 Adventures Blog

This year, we want to help you get outdoors.  Whether you are a history buff or a waterfall chaser, Tennessee State Parks has something for you. To celebrate our 80th anniversary, we’ve put together a list of 80 adventures that stretch across all 56 of our parks. Each month, we’ll give you a few of those activities that represent some of the best adventures we have to offer. While most of the events are available year round, we will include ones that we think are best to experience during a particular month.

About the author

Josh Gibson