8 Adventures for April #TSP80
March 28, 2017 | Permalink
Spring is here in Tennessee! Trees are blooming, birds are singing and wildflowers are bursting forth all over the state. If you’re not afraid of a little spring shower, April is a great month to enjoy the outdoors before the summer temperatures and humidity set in.
To celebrate our 80th Anniversary, we’ve put together a list of 80 adventures across the state for you to enjoy in 2017. Here are a few of those adventures that we think are perfect for the month of April:
Look out over the valley at Black Mountain
Just ¼ mile from the trailhead parking area, the Black Mountain Overlook sits on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau. It provides a sweeping view across the Tennessee Valley and along the flank of the Crab Orchard mountain chain. It’s hard to put into words the dramatic scope of this overlook. It's one of the most famous, breathtaking points along the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Park. After taking in the view, visitors should traverse past fantastic rock pillars, overhangs and hanging gardens on the trail below the overlook. (Photo Credit: Peter Koczera)
Nearby Cumberland Mountain State Park is a wonderful staging ground for a visit to Black Mountain. Stay at one of the park’s cabins or campsites and make a weekend out of visiting Black Mountain and other area attractions like Virgin Falls State Natural Area or Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.
Ride your bike through the glades at Long Hunter State Park
(Natural Wonder Adventure)
Come enjoy wildflowers while exercising on the mountain bike trail at Long Hunter State Park. Long Hunter is home to several open spaces known as “glades.” These areas are perfect wildflower viewing destinations throughout the year. Visitors will not be disappointed with the extensive glades along the Jones Mill Mountain Bike Trail. Located in Mt. Juliet, the park is very close to Nashville and is a great place for a quick escape from the city life.
Learn about the Civilian Conservation Corp at Pickett CCC Memorial State Park
As the name suggests, Pickett CCC Memorial State Park honors the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corp. In an effort to provide jobs and help bring America out of the Great Depression, workers from the CCC program developed many important, public sites across the country. In 1933, nearly 12,000 acres of land in northern Tennessee was set aside for development into a forest recreational area. That land is home to Pickett CCC Memorial State Park, which memorializes and preserves much of the architecture and design elements that are characteristic of the CCC. The museum tells the story of the CCC and the park’s development, helping the visitor understand the park layout, architecture and importance. The museum even has an interactive display that allows visitors to hear directly from former CCC workers.
Of course, a history lesson is not the only reason to visit Pickett. The park is home to some of the most unique geological features in Tennessee State Parks. It is also internationally recognized for the darkness of the park’s night sky. The park has campsites and cabins that make it an ideal weekend vacation spot for visitors from Knoxville (2-hour drive), Nashville (2.5-hour drive), or Lexington, KY (2.5-hour drive).
Golf on the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park is surrounded by water, soaring pines, and hardwoods. The course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, fits elegantly into the natural landscape of northern Chattanooga. Harrison Bay joins courses like Pebble Beach and Kiawah Island as recipients of Golf Digest’s Green State Award and should be on every Chattanooga visitor’s “must play” list. (Photo Credit: Jeb DeKalb)
Smell the Flowers at Frozen Head State Park
(Natural Wonder Adventure)
Frozen Head is like the Iceland of Tennessee State Parks. Don’t let the name deceive you. What sounds like a frozen tundra is actually one of the most spectacular wildflower destinations in the state. Frozen Head State Park includes 100 different species of native wildflowers, and provides a checklist to help visitors find them all.
The park is a fantastic backcountry camping destination. The trails provide more than 50 miles of backpacking and hiking options for visitors. Beginning April 1, visitors can reserve the backcountry campsites at Frozen Head online. This great new option will allow hikers to plan and secure their camping sites before setting out on their adventure.
Enjoy the Flowers at Standing Stone State Park
(Natural Wonder Adventure)
Have you noticed a theme? Flowers are a big deal in April! Standing Stone State Park is yet another ideal destination to see life bursting forth in the springtime. Rumor has it that the Lake Trail at Standing Stone has a fantastic early assortment of wildflowers. The park has such a prominent display that they host a wildflower pilgrimage just for the occasion.
Fish at Paris Landing State Park
“Fishing is much more than fish…it is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” – Herbert Hoover
If you’re looking for simplicity and relaxation, look no further than Paris Landing State Park. Nothing beats a day on the water. The warmth of the sun and the cool spring breeze makes spring one of the best times for fishing. Paris Landing has a full-service marina with covered and uncovered slips, four lane ramp and overnight parking lot with charging outlets. Local guides and tournaments are plentiful. Fishing is productive from the bank and fishing piers, but the best way to experience this large reservoir is by boat. The creek mouths and embayments are popular for spring crappie fishing. Bass fishing at the park is also big in the spring.
Bring your boat, or rent one at the marina, and plan to spend a relaxing weekend at the park. There are campsites, cabins and inn rooms available, as well as dining options for those who would rather let someone else do the cooking.
Take in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Roan Mountain State Park
While many Roan Mountain State Park visitors will head up to Carver’s Gap and the Appalachian Trail, the overlooks inside the park will not disappoint and are well worth a visit. The Chestnut Ridge Trail, in particular, has an overlook that rewards hikers with a stunning view of the Roan Highlands. (Photo Credit: Michael Meister)
Roan Mountain was the 2016 Tennessee State Park of the Year, and for good reason. This iconic and enchanting park on Tennessee’s eastern border offers experiences like no other. The park’s cabins and campgrounds are some of the best in Tennessee, and serve as a “basecamp for adventure” for the easy access to mountain overlooks, trout fishing and superb hiking.
Looking for Places to Explore?
Click the button below to see the interactive map and list of all 80th anniversary adventures:
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.