COVID-19 and Travel Planning
Safe traveling is top of mind right now. The destination you choose, the activities you enjoy, and your general health all play a role in trip planning. Our goal is to help you plan a fun, safe and affordable trip to a Tennessee State Park. Here is some information and answers to questions we think might help:
Important Resources from Tennessee State Parks:
Keeping Visitors Healthy - Page dedicated to information about how COVID-19 has impacted particular facilities, tips for day-users, general safety tips for parks, etc.
COVID-19 Closures - Map outlining any Tennessee State Parks closures and alerts during COVID-19.
Safety Tips for Travelers to Tennessee State Parks - This blog discusses some specific safety tips for pre-trip planning and during your visit to a Tennessee State Park.
TN Tourism Travel Safety Information - The TN Department of Tourism has some great resources on safely planning a trip to Tennessee during COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions from Overnight Guests:
Q: What are Tennessee State Parks doing to keep visitors safe?
As a park system, we have made great strides to encourage social distancing, mask wearing, etc. You can learn more about our full efforts on the Keeping Visitors Healthy page.
Q: How is the State of Tennessee handling COVID-19 outbreaks right now?
One of the bigger variables in travel planning is the way in which each state is responding to COVID-19. Each state has a slightly different approach. While this is an evolving situation, here are a couple resources you can use to track COVID-19 in Tennessee:
- State level: Tennessee’s Health Department has lots of great data, including current stats on disease spread. Governor Bill Lee also maintains a list of COVID-19 resources and his executive orders pertaining to the issue.
- County-level: In Tennessee, several counties operate their own health departments and are providing specific guidance for residents and visitors. The major cities included in those counties:
Q: How are Tennessee State Parks staff cleaning cabins and Lodge (hotel) rooms?
Park staff are taking the Tennessee Pledge and working to ensure that cabin and Lodge guests have a safe and pleasant experience. We are using the CDC’s recommended chemicals and best practices when cleaning. You can read more about how our Lodges are responding to COVID-19 on the Keeping Visitors Healthy page.
Q: How does COVID-19 affect camping and campgrounds in Tennessee State Parks?
Tennessee State Park campsites have been very popular during COVID-19. We believe people are drawn to the freedom of getting away from their homes while still sleeping in their own tents, campers, RVs, etc. The real question surrounding campsites comes down to bath houses. Our staff are using the same cleaning recommendations on our campground restrooms and showers that other staff are using to clean cabins and hotel rooms. We have ramped up the frequency with which we clean most of these facilities. We have noted through signage if a facility is unable to be cleaned in the CDC’s recommended time intervals. That way guests know exactly what to expect and can plan accordingly.
Q: Do I have to live in Tennessee to visit/stay overnight at a Tennessee State Park?
You do not have to be a Tennessee resident to visit our parks or stay overnight. However, we do recommend visiting the park(s) closest to your home to reduce travel. We ask that you practice the safety tips listed on our Safe Traveling blog and on our Keeping Visitors Healthy page.
Q: What parks offer overnight accommodations that are close to major Tennessee cities?
The map at the top of our reservations page will help you identify which campgrounds are closest to major cities in Tennessee. Select your reservation type–camping, cabins, or lodges–from the filters menu and the map will show which parks meet those requirements. You can filter further by selecting specific regions.
Q: I’m traveling with my pet, will they be allowed to stay overnight?
All state park campgrounds allow cats and dogs. Pets must be on a leash and must not be left unattended. We offer a limited number of lodge rooms and at least one cabin at each park for guests who travel with their pets. Cabins and lodges charge a pet fee. Find out more.
Q: What facilities are closed?
If facilities are closed at our parks, they will be added to a list on the COVID-19 Closures page. Please be aware that indoor spaces are operating at limited capacity.
Q: What policies apply to camping?
- There is a 14-night maximum stay policy for campsites.
- Most campsites (other than group sites) can accommodate up to six people at the majority of our parks. Group campsites are available for reservations under 10 people.
- Camping is only allowed in designated areas with a permit or reservation.
- Find out more about our camping policies.
Q: What discounts do you offer?
Ready to Start Planning Your Trip?
Check out our “Can I stay overnight?” blog for FAQs and information about the types of accommodations you'll find in Tennessee State Parks. If you're ready to start building your perfect adventure, jump over to the Find a Park page to start filtering by accommodations, activities, and more. Or, head over to reserve.tnstateparks.com to book your campsite, cabin, or hotel room today.