The following outline policies and rules for visiting state parks. Park visitors should adhere to all Rules of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. A full list of those rules is available below.Park Rules
All disabled visitors, residents, and non-residents of Tennessee who are disabled may obtain a discount of twenty-five (25%) to fifty (50%) on camping fees charged at all parks within the Tennessee State Park System upon showing satisfactory proof of such disability. Unless obvious to the observer, a Golden Access Passport card, picture I.D. denoting disability, license tag, or other written verification will be required. Discount only applies when the vehicle is registered to the disabled individual and applies only to the site for which the disabled individual is registered. Management may at their discretion assign an alternative campsite and/or apply discounts to accommodate ADA needs unmet by the currently designated ADA site.
Documentation: Residents and non-residents of Tennessee may obtain the disability discount by showing satisfactory proof of such disability. Satisfactory proof of the disability includes:
Letter or certificate from Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration, or
Certification by a physician licensed to practice in Tennessee, or
A distinctive license plate or placard signifying permanent or semi-permanent disability issued by the state to handicapped drivers, or
A Golden Access Card, now known as the “America the Beautiful-Access Pass.”
The proof of discount documentation will be entered on the face of the receipt on which the camper is registered.
This discount only applies when the vehicle is registered to the disabled individual and applies only to the site for which the disabled individual is registered. In the case that the disabled individual is NOT the primary camper (owner of the vehicle) the individual would be entitled to the 50% off the additional charge per person. If the owners of the camper are the primary caretakers of a 100% disabled individual, the available discount will apply to the base rate. Exception: Premium sites excluded. Policy Directive #126.
ADA Transition Plan
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Tennessee State Parks have worked diligently to provide reasonable accommodations to its patrons with disabilities to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in the outdoor programs and activities.
Except in facilities that are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, the public display of any container of alcoholic beverages and the consumption of alcoholic beverages within state park areas that are open to the general public is prohibited.
Alcoholic beverages may be purchased and consumed at select Tennessee State Park restaurants, bars, and golf course snack bars. In some instances where lodge rooms, cabins, or conference rooms have been rented, alcoholic beverages may be allowed for private adult consumption. The State of Tennessee legal age for possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is 21 years of age.
For a special event at any other park venue outside of the facility licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, an Alcohol Use Permit must be obtained and a $250 event fee will be assessed. Service of alcohol is subject to local and state ordinances. Please click here to view the Alcohol Use Permit.
Tennessee State Parks do not have any ATV/OHV trails. Tennessee State Parks are often located next to or adjacent to state forests. ATV/OHV users wanting to ride on any of the State’s forests managed by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry should first contact the state forest for more information regarding use. Visit Tennessee State Forests for more information.
Bicycle Tourist Camping
In an effort to promote the use of Tennessee State Parks by touring bicyclists, park managers of state parks that provide overnight camping and associated support facilities are to designate an area in which ride-in bicyclists can camp when all other established campsites are fully occupied. Unlike other campers using recreational vehicles and vehicles with tents, bicyclists travel long distances, carrying their gear with no vehicular support. While all campers are encouraged to make advance reservations, bicyclists sometimes do not make advance reservations or are unable to do so based on the circumstances of their ride, and the existing campground is fully occupied upon the bicyclist’s arrival.
- Park managers should designate a nonintrusive area for bicyclist camping outside of any established campsite to be used only under the circumstances described in this policy (“Alternative Bicycle Campsite”). In the event that bicyclists arrive without a reservation and all designated and developed campsites in the park are full, the park manager should allow a special accommodation at the Alternative Bicycle Campsite under the following conditions:
- There are no reasonable alternative camping accommodations available, such as a nearby private or public campground that can be reached before dusk or through reasonable efforts by the bicyclist(s).
- The bicyclist(s) is not accompanied by or joined by a motor vehicle that could transport the bicyclist to other accommodations.
- The bicycle camping party is not larger than four individuals.
- If the bicyclist’s camping stay extends beyond the period of full capacity, the bicyclist(s) must then relocate to a standard campsite once one is available.
- The Alternative Bicycle Campsite may provide standard campsite amenities such as a fire ring, lantern post, and picnic table if available; however, it is not required.
- The Alternative Bicycle Campsite must be located within the legally required distance of 500 feet from bath houses and drinking water sources.
- This policy does not supersede or invalidate the Tennessee State Parks special use permits, which should be used for organized bicyclist events or situations where large groups of bicyclists plan to camp overnight within the state park.
- All applicable park fees and regulations associated with camping and campgrounds shall apply to bicyclist campers under this policy.
- Fees associated with bicyclist camping under this policy should be equivalent to those for primitive campsites.
The Ocoee River Recreation Area has whitewater rafting. Check the park office at Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park at 423-263-0050 for outfitter information.
There is no requirement for a license to drive a boat like there is for a license to drive a car but certain regulations do apply. For more information, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website at www.tn.gov/twra/.
For more information on how and where to register your boat, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website at www.tn.gov/twra/.
Camping and the use of trailers or other camper units is permitted only at designated location: provided, however, that the Superintendent may issue written permits to persons desiring to camp in backcountry, or other isolated sections of a park area, or may designate portions of the park area in which such permits will not be required by marking on a map which shall be available for public inspection in the Park Offices.
Within designated locations, the pitching of tents or parking of trailers or other camper units is permitted only at the sites designated.
The Director and/or Superintendent may establish limitations on the length of time persons may camp within a park area, either in a single period or in combined separate periods. Such limitations shall be posted at campgrounds, ranger stations, or other appropriate locations.
- The installation of permanent camping facilities is prohibited.
- The digging or leveling of the ground at any campsite is prohibited.
- Camping equipment must be completely removed and camping sites cleaned by campers before departure.
- Quiet shall be maintained in all campgrounds between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM.
Reservations cancellations and changes must be made by calling the park with which the reservation has been made and will not be accepted via email, social media, voicemail, or other forms of electronic communication. The Park or Hospitality Manager has the discretion to adjust the cancellation procedures as deemed necessary.
LODGE ROOM CANCELLATIONS
Individual Reservations must be canceled no less than 48 hours prior to scheduled day of arrival in order to receive 100% refund of deposit.
Group Reservations with meeting/conference space (10 or more rooms and meeting/conference space)
- 45+ days prior to scheduled day of arrival: 100% refund of deposit
- 30 – 44 days prior to scheduled day of arrival: 50% refund of deposit
- 29 days or less prior to scheduled day of arrival: NO REFUND
Premium/Holiday Dates or Reservations for 50% or more of a Lodge's Rooms:
- 90+ days prior to the arrival date: 100% refund of deposit
- 60 – 89 days prior to arrival date: 50% refund of deposit
- 59 days or less prior to arrival date: NO REFUND
For blocked groups, the cancellation period for an individual confirmed room within the block is the same as a group reservation. Each individual reservation must be cancelled 45 days prior to the arrival dates to receive 100% refund of deposit. Group reservations are handled according to a written contract between the group and the park.
Group Reservations without meeting conference space (10 or more rooms and no meeting/conference space)
- 30+ days prior to scheduled day of arrival: 100% refund of deposit
- 14 – 29 days prior to scheduled day of arrival: 50% refund of deposit
- 13 days or less prior to scheduled day of arrival: NO REFUND
Group reservations are handled according to a written contract between the group and the park.
Cabin reservations are subjuct to the following cancellation policy. Reservations made within 14 days of arrival are subject to no refund. The $5.00 reservation fee is non-refundable for any cancellation.
- 30+ days prior to arrival: $10.00 cancellation fee
- 15 – 29 days prior to arrival: Forfeiture of the first night’s stay
- 14 days or less prior to arrival: NO REFUND
To receive a full refund of the camping deposit, the reservation must be cancelled no less than 2 days prior to date of expected arrival. Reservations made within 2 days of arrival are subject to no refund. The $5.00 reservation fee is non-refundable for any cancellation.
- 2 days or more prior to scheduled day of arrival: 100% refund (except reservation fee)
- 1 day prior to scheduled day of arrival: forfeit first night’s fees, taxes, and reservation fee
- Same day as scheduled arrival: forfeit first two nights’ fees, taxes, and reservation fee (for reservations of two nights or more)
Pavilion reservations cancelled 8 days or more in advance of the arrival date may be refunded their full advance deposit minus a $5.00 cancellation fee. Reservations cancelled 7 days or less in advance of the arrival date will forfeit the entire deposit.
Caves on Tennessee State Lands
Caves located on state lands in Tennessee are closed in an effort to slow the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) among the state’s bat population. However, some caves may be open at the discretion of park management for tours and other ranger-led programs.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is among the state agencies which agreed to close all caves on public property beginning July 1, 2009. The Nature Conservancy agreed to follow the state’s lead to close all caves located on Nature Conservancy property. The voluntary action closes public access to all caves, sinkholes, tunnels and abandoned mines on land owned by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry. The closures follow similar steps taken elsewhere in response to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service advisory asking for a moratorium on cave visitations in WNS-affected states and adjoining states. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, U.S. Forest Service and Tennessee Valley Authority have also closed caves to public access on their lands.
White Nose Syndrome, or WNS, is named for a white fungus that appears on the faces, ears, wings and feet of hibernating bats. Scientists are trying to determine the cause of WNS and its effects. Once a colony is affected, the fungus spreads rapidly and may kill 90 or more percent of the bats at the hibernation site in just two years. Scientists believe WNS is primarily spread bat-to-bat as they cluster in caves and mines, but that it may also be unknowingly transferred from one cave or mine to another on the footwear, clothing and gear of humans visiting caves. Infected caves and mines may not show obvious signs of its presence.
Tennessee’s first WNS positive cave was recorded in February 2010, from Sullivan County. Additional occurrences have been recorded during spring 2010 from caves in Carter, Fentress, Van Buren and Montgomery counties. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has also documented WNS from a Blount County cave within the National Park.
Dogs, cats and other pets
Dogs, cats and other pets are permitted, if they are on a leash, crated or caged, or otherwise under physical restrictive control at all times. Pets are prohibited in park lodges or cabins (except where rooms and/or cabins have been designated for pets, see specific information below), public eating places, food stores, and on designated swimming beaches and pools at all times.
Park management may designate areas where pets are not permitted by the posting of appropriate signs on trails and other portions of the park. This prohibition does not apply to service animals. Please contact the individual park for specific restrictions regarding pets on various trails.
All state park campgrounds allow cats and dogs. Pets must be on a leash and must not be left unattended. Proof of rabies shots and a physical description of the animals may be required upon request. Certain areas such as picnic areas, beaches, swim areas and foodservice areas may be restricted to pets. Please remember that these are natural areas and domestic and wild animals sometimes have confrontations. Park Management reserves the right to prohibit any pet on the premises that may pose a risk or annoyance to our guests or staff.
LODGES AND CABINS
In an effort to make your stay more enjoyable, Tennessee’s State Parks offer a limited number of lodge rooms and one cabin at each park for guests who travel with their pets. We highly recommend you reserve these designated rooms several weeks in advance. Guests making cash payments for their stay will be required to make a minimal deposit. Please call the park in advance for more information.
Here are a few things you should know before arriving at the park.
Guests must sign a Pet Policy Liability form upon check-in that will explain the park’s policy in detail.
There is a $20 per pet charge per night. Additional charges may apply for any damage that may occur to carpet or furnishings.
Park Management reserves the right to prohibit any pet on the premises that may pose a risk to our guests or staff.
Rooms will not be cleaned if a pet is present (guests may obtain linen service).
Pets may not be left unattended in rooms or cabins.
Extra fees may apply for noisy dogs and cats that disturb other guests resulting in complaints or refunds.
Extra fees may apply for cleaning or damage to room or fixtures.
Pets are allowed only in designated areas.
Pets are not permitted inside restaurant, lobby, or other public areas.
Guests must cleanup after their pet (courtesy litter bags are provided).
Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
Pets must be current with all vaccinations.
Drone / UAV
Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Tennessee State Parks are subject to the same rules governing the use of aircraft and require written park manager approval before flight is allowed. Information about the operation of aircraft in Tennessee State Parks, and the process for gaining approval to do so, please click here. Pilots should adhere to all applicable FAA requirements and regulations. Those wishing to film for commercial purposes will need permission from the Film Commission in addition to other applicable requirements. Visit TN Entertainment's website for more information.
Firearms, traps and other weapons
Exceptions to weapons prohibition provided below.
In park, natural, and historical areas the use of traps, seines, handthrown spears, nets (except landing nets), firearms (including air and gas powered pistols and rifles), blow guns, bows and arrows or crossbows, and any other implements designed to discharge missiles in the air or under the water which are capable of destroying animal life is prohibited. The possession of such objects or implements is prohibited unless they are unloaded and adequately cased, or broken down or otherwise packed in such a way as to prevent their use while in the park areas.
- Exception 1: Shooters may use recreational target shooting ranges available for skeet, trap and bow and arrow target shooting within a park area as long as these weapons are properly cased when not on the range.
- Exception 2: Authorized Federal, State, County and City law enforcement officers may carry firearms in the performance of their official duties.
- Exception 3: Persons using park area facilities while participating in authorized open or managed hunts within the park areas or beyond, may use and possess firearms under the specific rules and regulations pertaining to the authorized hunt and only in the authorized hunting zones or compartments.
- Exception 4: Persons who possess a Handgun Carry permit and are in compliance with TCA § 39-17-1351 or § 39-17-1366.
The kindling of any fire is permitted only:
- In designated camping and picnic grounds when the fire is confined in a fireplace provided for the use of visitors, or grills, or in locations marked by the Superintendent; or
- In other locations, including backcountry, wilderness and remote sections of the park areas when a written permit has been secured from the Superintendent; or
- In stoves or lanterns using gasoline, propane, butane gas or similar fuels.
- Fires must be kindled in such manner that no tree, shrub, grass, or other inflammable or combustible matter will be set on fire or caused to be set on fire.
- When no longer needed the fire shall be completely extinguished. Leaving a fire unattended is prohibited.
- Throwing or dropping a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe heel, match or other burning material is prohibited.
- The kindling of fires on park area lands and privately owned lands under the legislative jurisdiction of the State of Tennessee may be prohibited or limited by the Superintendent by posted signs when the fire hazard makes such action necessary.
- The Superintendent, during such periods of time as he may prescribe, may prohibit smoking on any lands, including roads and trails, by the posting of appropriate signs.
Only certified heat treated firewood is allowed to enter the state park. All campfires should be made with heat-treated wood or downed wood collected inside the park, near the campsite.
The gathering of wood for use as fuel in campgrounds or picnic areas shall be limited to dead material on the ground, except where such gathering is prohibited by the Superintendent by the posting of appropriate signs.
Certified heat-treated wood is available to purchase from concessioners in many of the campgrounds as well as from vendors in the communities around the park. Certified heat-treated wood is clearly marked with a state/federal seal.
- Unless further restricted herein or by special regulation, fishing within park areas shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
- Fishing in all park lakes may require a fishing permit for which there may be a nominal charge.
- Digging for bait is prohibited within all park areas.
- The transplanting or introducing of any live fish or fish eggs into the waters of any park area is prohibited.
- Fishing is prohibited from within 200 feet of any public raft or float designed for water sports or within the limits of designated mooring areas or swimming areas. Fishing from within 200 feet of public boat docks with designated harbors may be prohibited by the Superintendent by the posting of appropriate signs.
- Fishing from motor vehicle bridges is prohibited.
- State fishing licenses and park permits must be exhibited upon demand to any person authorized to enforce the provisions of these regulations.
A valid Tennessee fishing license is required for anyone ages 13 - 78 years. For more information on how and where to purchase a Tennessee fishing license, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website at www.tn.gov/twra/.
Handguns in Tennessee State Parks
Beginning July 1, 2021, Tennessee law generally allows people who are at least 21 to lawfully possess a handgun, openly or concealed. However, that law did not change the specific portion of the law (in Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1311(a)) which prohibits carrying guns or other weapons in Tennessee State Parks. Therefore, no one may carry a handgun in a Tennessee State park unless they have a concealed handgun permit or enhanced handgun permit or meet another exception to Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1311(a).
Preservation of Public Property, Natural Features, Etc.
- The intentional or wanton destruction, defacement, or removal of any natural or cultural feature or non-renewable natural resource is prohibited without a permit granted pursuant to rule 0400-2-2-.26 SCIENTIFIC SPECIMENS.
- The intentional or wanton destruction, injury, defacement, removal or disturbance in any manner of any public buildings, signs, equipment, monument, marker or other structure or of any relic, artifact, ruin or historic or pre-historic feature or of any other similar public property is prohibited. The intentional or wanton possession of park equipment is prohibited without the authorization of the Superintendent or his designate.
- Gathering or collecting for personal use reasonable quantities of natural products of a renewable nature including but not limited to fruits, berries, and driftwood is permitted; however, the gathering or collecting of such products for the purpose of commercial sale or other commercial use is prohibited.
- The gathering or collecting of small quantities of pebbles or small rocks by hand for personal use is permitted; however, the collection of such objects for the purpose of commercial sale or other commercial use is prohibited.
- The destroying, digging, cutting, removing, or possession of any tree, shrub, or other plant is prohibited without a permit granted by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
- The use of any mineral or metal detecting device capable of detecting the underground or underwater location of geological, archaeological or historical objects or materials is prohibited. Provided, however, that this section shall not apply to: fathometers, radar equipment and electronic equipment used primarily for the navigation and safe operation of boats and aircraft; to persons possessing a permit from the State Archaeologist to conduct legitimate archaeological research when such permit is signed by the Director of Parks and Recreation; and to an individual engaged in a limited search for a lost item under supervision of the park Superintendent.
The privacy, confidence, and trust of individuals who visit the Tennessee State Parks website are important to us. No personal information is collected at this site unless it is provided voluntarily by an individual while participating in an activity that asks for the information.
Public Internet / Wi-Fi Acceptable Use Policy
The following uses of the public internet / Wi-Fi services, when provided at various locations within Tennessee State Parks, are prohibited.
- Using the services in any way that is illegal, threatening or offensive to others is prohibited.
- Using the services in any way that is harmful to or interferes with our network or systems or any other network or systems is prohibited.
- Using the services in any way that interferes with the use or enjoyment of services provided to others is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, "denial of service" (DoS) attacks or operating a server (web, file, chat) or a file-sharing system (such as BitTorrent or GNUtella) on our services. Any such software on your computer must be disabled before using the Wi-Fi services at a park.
- Using the services in any way that infringes anyone's intellectual property rights (such as copyrights or trademark) is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, using the Wi-Fi services to engage in any activity (e.g., copying, publishing, transmitting, up- or down-loading), that infringes, misappropriated, or otherwise violates any person's privacy, artistic or publicity rights, and/or any rights protected by copyright, patent, trademark, or trade secret laws.
- Using the services in any way that constitutes spam, a security risk or a violation of privacy is prohibited.
We have the right to limit or terminate your access to the Wi-Fi services for violation of any of the above. We will also cooperate fully with law enforcement.
The Tennessee State Parks Rate Schedule is annually reviewed and revised. Rates are subject to change without notice and do not include taxes.
There are thirty-seven (37) campgrounds in Tennessee State Parks. There are also fifteen (15) parks the offer backcountry camping. Camping rates in Tennessee State Parks are standardized according to the facilities available. Learn more on the Tennessee State Parks Camping Page.
Tennessee State Parks have six (6) parks with lodges and cabins and fifteen (15) parks with cabins only. The rates vary by park, type of room or cabin and time of year. Please visit individual parks for rate information. See the list of lodges on the Tennessee State Parks Lodge Page and the list of cabins on the Tennessee State Parks Cabins Page.
There are nine (9) golf courses managed by the Tennessee Golf Trail of which three (3) courses are Jack Nicklaus designed Bear Trace signature courses. The rates may differ from course to course, from winter to summer and from weekday to weekend. More information and rates can be found on the Tennessee State Parks Golf Page. The Tennessee State Parks Rate Schedule is annually reviewed and revised. New rates will go into effect no later than March of each year. Rates are subject to change without notice and do not include taxes.
There are thirty-seven (37) campgrounds in Tennessee State Parks. There are also fifteen (15) parks the offer backcountry camping. Camping rates in Tennessee State Parks are standardized according to the facilities available. Learn more on the Tennessee State Parks Camping Page. Tennessee State Parks have five (5) parks with inns and cabins and seventeen (17) parks with cabins only. The rates vary by park, type of room or cabin and time of year. Please visit individual parks for rate information. See the list of inn on the Tennessee State Parks Inn Page and the list of cabins on the Tennessee State Parks Cabins Page. There are nine (9) golf courses managed by the Tennessee Golf Trail of which three (3) courses are Jack Nicklaus designed Bear Trace signature courses. The rates may differ from course to course, from winter to summer and from weekday to weekend. More informatio and rates can be found on the Tennessee State Parks Golf Page. Most Tennessee State Parks offer conference space and/or meeting rooms that can handle conferences, meetings, weddings family reunion, and other gatherings for groups of 10 people to 1000 people. Learn more about options available and pricing by visiting the Tennessee State Parks Meeting Page. Several park inns offer packages in which meals, lodging, golf, and other amenities are bundled together and offered at discount prices. Learn more on the Tennessee State Parks Promotions Page.
Most Tennessee State Parks offer conference spaces and/or meeting rooms that can handle conferences, meetings, weddings, family reunions, and other gatherings for groups of 10 people to 1000 people. Learn more about options available and pricing by visiting the Tennessee State Parks Meeting Page.
Several park lodges offer packages in which meals, lodging, golf, and other amenities are bundled together and offered at discount prices. Learn more on the Tennessee State Parks Promotions Page.
There are two ways to make reservations at Tennessee State Parks:
- Make your reservations online here!
- Reservations can be made by contacting the park directly. You can find contact information for each of our parks through our Find a Park page.
Individuals requesting to rent overnight accommodations must be eighteen (18) years of age or older. A parent or an adult must accompany children or individuals under the age of eighteen years. Valid identification may be requested and/or required by park personnel for verification of age.
- Check-in time for lodge rooms is 4:00 PM and check-out time is 11:00 AM
- If you use your credit card, then you must pay the required deposit. If you want to send a check, you have 10 working days for your check to arrive; otherwise the reservation will be cancelled.
- Reservations for individual stays may be made up to one year prior to arrival date.
- Reservations for group stays (10 or more rooms) may be made up to five years prior to arrival date. These reservations must be made by calling the park directly.
- A deposit equal to at least 50% of the full payment for the cabin(s) reserved for the length of the stay plus a $5 reservation fee per cabin must be paid at the time of the reservation.
- Check-in time for cabins is 4:00 PM and check-out time is 10:00 AM.
- Reservations for individual cabin stays may be made up to one year prior to arrival date.
- Reservations for group cabin stays (4 or more cabins) may be made up to two years prior to arrival date. These reservations must be made by calling the park directly.
- For camping, the entire cost of the stay plus taxes and reservation fee must be paid at the time of the reservation.
- Reservations for campsites may be made up to one year prior to arrival date.
- Maximum occupancy for each campsite is 6 people.
- The entire cost of the pavilion plus taxes must be paid at the time of the reservation.
- Reservations for pavilions may be made up to one year prior to arrival date.
GROUP CAMPS & LODGES
- A deposit equal to at least 50% of the full payment for the group camp and/or group lodge reserved for the length of the stay plus reservation fee must be paid at the time of the reservation.
- Group reservations may be made up to two years prior to arrival date.
Saddle and Pack Animals
- Horses and other saddle or pack animals are permitted only on those trails or routes established for their use, except in those areas where cross-country travel is permitted by the Superintendent.
- The use of horses or other saddle or pack animals upon the main traveled or maintained portion of roadways is prohibited except where such travel is necessary for ingress to and egress from trails or privately owned property, or is incidental to authorized travel.
- In the interest of the public safety and welfare the Superintendent, by special regulation, may require that saddle horse parties and pack trains shall be in the charge of a guide who has been licensed under State of local laws or who meets qualifications which may be established by the Superintendent, or both, if the Superintendent deems it necessary.
- Riding or hitching horses, or other saddle or pack animals in campgrounds, picnic areas, or within the immediate vicinity of trail shelters, eating or sleeping establishments or other areas of public gatherings, except where trails and facilities are designated or provided for such use, is prohibited.
- Riders shall slow their horses to a walk or slow trot when passing persons on foot or on bicycles.
Tennessee State Parks offers equestrian support facilities or trails at Natchez Trace and Chickasaw in West Tennessee; Cedars of Lebanon and Fall Creek Falls in Middle Tennessee and Pickett and Warriors' Path in East Tennessee. All equestrian facilities in state parks are either guided rental horses or support facilities for guests accessing the trails on lands managed by the Tennessee Division of Forestry. Find more information about horseback riding in state parks by filtering activities on our Find a Park page.
Senior Citizen Discounts
Senior Citizen: Any individual who has reached his/her sixty-second birthday. Verification may be requested.
Tennessee Senior Citizen: Any individual who has reached his/her sixty-second birthday who can also verify that he/she is a resident of the State of Tennessee.
Documentation types of verification accepted: Driver's License, Tenne-Senior Card or other picture I.D. with current address and birthday imprinted.
LODGE ROOMS - All seniors are entitled to a 10% discount on their stay at a state park lodge with proper proof that they have reached their 62nd birthday. Only rooms actually occupied by the senior will receive the discount.
RESTAURANT MEALS - All seniors are entitled to a 10% discount on their restaurant meal with proper proof that they have reached their 62nd birthday. This discount applies to all state park restaurants operated by the division. Discounts are not allowed at snack shops, concession stands, or at leased dining facilities unless approved by Lessee.
GOLF GREEN FEES AND CARTS - Discounts vary from park to park; seniors must check with the golf shop at each park for the current senior discounts applicable to each park. (Bear Trace Golf Courses are excluded.) Specific discounts will be as stated in the Tennessee State Parks Rate Schedule.
CAMPING – Discounts on camping fees will be extended to all senior campers, resident and non-resident, as stated in the Tennessee State Parks Rate Schedule. Discount applies only when senior is the primary occupant of the site and owner of the camper. Pump-outs and access fees will not be discounted.
FISHING AND HUNTING – Tennessee State Parks recognizes TWRA rules and regulations regarding seniors using Wildlife Management Areas within park boundaries. Check with TWRA for details. TWRA exclusions do not extend to boat launching fees or access fees, where applicable State Park fishing permit fees for Tennessee Seniors will be waived.
DOCUMENTATION – When proof of age is obtained, notation of the form of documentation, i.e. Golden Age Passport, Date of Birth from Driver’s license, Tenne-Senior Card, etc, should be entered on the receipt, folio, or registration screen applicable to the operation.
EXCLUSIONS – Senior discounts are not applicable to cabins. Although these discounts will be available year round, discounts on premium overnight facilities as designated or approved by the Park Area Manager, will not apply. Policy Directive #113.
The Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act went into effect October 1, 2007. All state park lodge rooms, cabins, restaurants, visitor centers, meeting rooms, restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other common-use areas are now smoke-free. Thank you for helping us make the transition to a smoke-free environment.
Swimming and Bathing
- Swimming and bathing are prohibited except in designated beach areas, waters and pools.
- The Park Superintendent, with the approval of the Director of Parks and Recreation, may post and enforce appropriate rules and regulations governing swimming areas. Violators of posted rules governing the use of pools and beaches will be subject to removal from the premises if the violation is flagrant or repeated or if in the judgment of the Park Superintendent the continued presence of the violator would create a hazardous condition in the area.
- The Park Superintendent or his designated staff in a pool or beach area are charged with providing a safe condition in these areas and as such may, from time to time, regulate public use of these facilities for the protection of public health and safety. Nothing in these rules shall be construed as limiting the authority of a lifeguard or other personnel in regulating public behavior at beaches and other swimming areas, to only posted rules.
- Scuba diving is prohibited within the limits of designated swimming, boat mooring, and boat docking areas.
- Scuba diving will be permitted in those state park lakes which are within the borders of a park but only upon receiving a permit to do so from the Superintendent or his authorized representative. This permit will be granted upon demonstration by the applicant that he/she has received scuba certification which is granted to those successfully completing courses meeting the Revised Instructional Standards: Minimum Course Content for Entry-Level Scuba Certification , January 16, 1986, including any subsequent revision to these standards. These standards are subscribed to by: National Association of Scuba Diving Schools, National Association of Underwriter Instructors, NAVI, PADI, Scuba Schools International and the YMCA. Provided, however, the Park Superintendent may refuse to grant a permit whenever in his judgment safety conditions or park operation concerns dictate.
Tennessee Resident Discount
Tennessee State Parks is now offering a 10% Tennessee Resident Discount to make spending the night in the outdoors even more affordable. Residents can take advantage of the new 10% discount by phone or online at reserve.tnstateparks.com.
- Tennessee Resident Discount will provide a 10% discount off the normal rate at most Tennessee State Park overnight accommodations.
- All Tennessee residents 18 and older with a valid state-issued photo ID will qualify.
- A Tennessee resident must occupy the campsite, cabin or lodge room in order to qualify.
- Guests must provide a current, valid state-issued photo ID that includes a valid Tennessee residence at time of check in for the discount to apply. Staff will not accept photocopies of the ID as proof of residency.
- Discount is available by phone, in person or online at reserve.tnstateparks.com.
- The discount will not apply to premium campsites. Some cabin exclusions may apply.
- Tennessee Resident Discount cannot be combined with other existing discounts, such as Active Military, 100% Disabled Veteran, Senior, Disabled or Tennessee State Employee discounts.
- This discount only applies to campsites, cabins and lodge rooms. This discount does not apply to group facilities, boat rentals, permits, etc.
- Discounts will not apply to reservations made prior to July 1, 2020.
Tennessee State and Retired Employee Discount Program
Discounts apply to all parks having state-operated lodges, cabins, golf courses, gift shops and/or campground facilities.
Who is Eligible and how do I receive the employee discount*?
- Full-time State Employees – valid state employee ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Personnel
- State University and State Community College Employees – valid ID card issued from their institution
- County and City Public School Teachers – valid state professional license card
- Tennessee National Guard –full-time or part-time members with ID card
- Retired Full-Time State Employees* – valid Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) ID card
- Current Members of the Tennessee General Assembly – ID card
- Active Duty Military – ID card or leave papers
Discounts for TCRS cardholders are available only to retired full-time state employees or other TCRS members that qualified for discounts prior to retirement. Not all TCRS cardholders will qualify. Persons qualifying for these discounts are not eligible for additional discounts for the same services. Discounts are available only for the room, suite, cabin, or campsite occupied by the employee. Discounts are not valid for additional overnight units rented or paid for by the discount recipient. State employees or other eligible persons visiting a state park on official business or attending a state sponsored conference or meeting are not eligible for the lodging discount, but will be extended the official state rate instead. Discounts do not apply to leased operations.
Premium campsites, rooms, or cabins will not be discounted.
LODGE ROOMS AT HENRY HORTON AND NATCHEZ TRACE STATE PARKS
March 1 – November 30 25% discount
To receive discount reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance of arrival.
December 1 - February 29 50% Discount
To receive discount, reservations may be made no more than one year in advance of arrival. Reservations for holiday weeks may be made no more than 30 days in advance of arrival.
LODGE ROOMS AT MONTGOMERY BELL AND PICKWICK LANDING STATE PARKS
Lodge rooms at Montgomery Bell and Pickwick Landing State Parks are considered premium accommodations and therefore state employee discounts for leisure travel are limited to a 25% discount year-round and reservations may not be made more than 30 days in advance of arrival.
March 1 – November 30 25% discount
To receive discount, reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance of arrival.
December 1 - February 29 50% discount
To receive discount, reservations may be made no more than 30 days in advance of arrival.
March 1 through November 30 25% discount
December 1 - February 29 50% discount
Full-time and regular part-time employees receive 15% discount off retail price at gift shops & golf shops.
Exception: Discount does not apply to items that have been marked down, golf clubs, golf balls, golf gloves, or items less than $5.00.
GOLF GREEN FEES & CART RENTALS TRADITIONAL GOLF COURSES & BEAR TRACE GOLF COURSES
State Employees & Retired State Employees: 20% off Green Fees & Cart
*Other restrictions may apply; please contact courses to schedule Tee Times. Find course information by clicking here.
The rate is the same whether riding or walking. State employees and retired state employees must show State ID or TCRS ID card. Anyone riding with a State Park Employee or volunteer golf course host, who is not also a state employee or volunteer host, will be required to pay the standard green fee & cart rate in effect at the course they are playing. Rates subject to change without notice.
Tennessee Veterans Discounts
During the off-season, (December 1 through February 28/29), discounts on camping fees will be extended to all Tennessee resident veterans at the same discounted rate as offered to Tennessee senior campers. Premium sites excluded.
On Veterans Day of each year, Tennessee resident veterans will be granted one night camping free of charge. Premium sites excluded.
A 50% discount off of camping fees will be extended to all Tennessee resident veterans with a 100% total service-connected disability. Premium sites excluded.
GOLF GREENS FEES
On Veteran’s Day of each year, greens fees for 18 holes of golf will be waived for Tennessee resident veterans. All other golf related fees such as carts, driving range, etc. will still apply.
Proof of Tennessee residency, veteran status, and/or percentage of service-connected disability must be secured. When proof of eligibility is verified, notation of the form of documentation should be entered on the receipt, folio, or registration screen applicable to the operation.
Tennessee residency: Tennessee driver license, voter registration, or other valid identification with address.
Veteran status: Certificate of Discharge (DD214), Veterans Benefits Administration benefit card, retired military card, or similar identification.
100% Service-Connected Disability: Certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs indicating the veteran’s percentage of service-connected disability.
Volunteer Campground Hosts - Individuals interested in becoming a Volunteer Campground Host should contact the Park Manager of the specific park of interest. For any given park, notices shall be posted in the camper’s check-in and sent to local camping clubs. For more information about specific parks involved in the program, visit www.tnstateparks.com/get-involved/volunteering.
Campground host applications are available from the parks participating in this program or by contacting the Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-532-5249.
To contact the Park Manager or the park office, visit our Find a Park page.
Volunteer Golf Course Host - Individuals interested in becoming a Volunteer Golf Course Host should contact the Park Manager or the Golf Course Manager at the golf course they are interested in. Notices shall be posted at the golf pro shop and in other prominent park locations. There are six (6) parks that accept Volunteer Golf Course Hosts.
- Henry Horton
- Fall Creek Falls
- Montgomery Bell
- Paris Landing
- Pickwick Landing
- Warrior’s Path
To contact the Park Manager, the Golf Course Manager or the park office, visit their website.
Park Volunteers - You, your family or service organization can participate by donating time, money or supplies to your nearby park. If you are interested in helping out, contact the Park Manager at any state park or call the State Park’s Volunteer Coordinator at 615-532-5249 to find out how you or your organization can help.
Weddings, Meetings and other Events
Four parks have lodges that can provide overnight accommodations along with restaurants, catering operations and conference centers that are equipped to handle weddings, both indoors and outdoors.
Henry Horton: 800-250-8612
Montgomery Bell: 800-250-8613
Natchez Trace: 800-250-8616
Pickwick Landing: 800-250-8615
For details, contact the Group Reservationist at any of those resort parks or contact our Group Sales Manager at 615-532-7707.
Several parks do not have a lodge or a restaurant, but do have meeting rooms. These meeting rooms can handle small indoor weddings. Check date availability at the park office. In parks without meeting room facilities, special events are permitted upon approval of the Park Manager. Please check with the park of your choice for special details and arrangements. To contact the Park Manager or the park office, visit their website through our Find a Park page.
Wildlife and Hunting
The hunting, killing, wounding, frightening or capture at any time of any wildlife is prohibited, except dangerous animals when it is necessary to prevent them from destroying human lives or inflicting personal injury.
Exception: On park areas during those times when hunts are being conducted in accordance with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s laws and regulations.
Except as otherwise provided herein, the feeding, touching, teasing, molesting or intentional disturbance of any wildlife or the activities or phenomena of wildlife is prohibited.
Guns and bow hunting are allowed at some parks in conjunction with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). In cooperation with the TWRA, seasons and quotas are set. Some parks have Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) where regular game hunting is permitted. Check with the individual park for details. To contact the Park Manager or the park office, visit their website by going to our Find a Park page.