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10 of the Best Destinations for Fall Break in Tennessee

September 2, 2021  |  Permalink

It’s been a long summer and, we don’t know about you, but we’re excited about cooler weather. Soon, golden canopies will sway above campsites, crunching leaves will become the soundtrack of our trails, and cozy memories will unfold around the fire. Tennessee State Parks will set the stage for your vacation this fall break, and all that you have to do is decide which park to enjoy!

We've pulled together ten parks that are perfect for fall and available for the standard fall break dates in TN: October 8 – 17. Let’s hop in:

Lake with reflection of fall colorsPhoto: @lissagallagher on Instagram

Montgomery Bell

Location: Burns, TN - 45 minutes west of Nashville
Highlights: Multiple lakes, paddling rentals, tons of hiking trails, and on-site dining.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly lodge rooms are available.

About the Park: This park is a hidden gem located right outside the hustle and bustle of Music City. The fully renovated Lodge and restaurant make this a go-to park for anyone looking to limit the need for gear or meal prepping. Nestled between three lakes, the park offers incredible hiking with impressive elevation for middle TN. Visitors can also paddle, fish, cycle, and visit the spillway on Lake Woodhaven. The park is even close enough to Nashville for a visit to the city.

Camping: The layout of the Montgomery Bell campground is ideal for families, and it even offers wifi. Some sites back up to the creek, and wildlife is often enjoying the surrounding woods. Campsites up to 91 feet are available for RV and tent campers. Make sure to check that your site offers electric and water hookups if you need them, as some of the campsites are primitive (no electricity or water). During Oct. 8 – 17, you’ll find stays up to six days long. Book Campsites.

Cabins: While there are cabins at the park, they’re all sold out for Oct. 8 – 17. Book Cabins.

Lodge: The Lodge was renovated in October 2020. It offers comfortable guest rooms with private balconies overlooking the lake. Downstairs, The Lodge offers a beautiful lobby, restaurant, lounge, and outdoor patio. Complimentary continental breakfast is offered to all lodge guests Monday – Friday. Book Lodge Rooms.

PLAN YOUR TRIP


Camping in a campground under fall foliage

Henry Horton

Location: Chapel Hill, TN - 1 hour south of Nashville
Highlights: Duck River access, accessible playground, golf course, and great hiking.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins and lodge rooms are available.

About the Park: Henry Horton makes an ideal close-to-home getaway for anyone in the area of Nashville, Murfreesboro, or Columbia. A quick drive through the colorful rolling hills of middle Tennessee, and you'll arrive at one of the most ecologically diverse rivers in the country, the Duck. Situated on the river, you'll have easy access to fishing, paddling, and peaceful hiking. Those with young kids will find plenty to do with educational playgrounds and stroller-friendly trails like the Storybook Greenway. An impressive feature you'll find along the park's 10 miles of trails is sinkholes! They're safe to explore and provide fun detours along your hike. The park also has an on-site golf course.

Camping: The campground at Henry Horton offers wifi. Book one of the park's RV sites if you're looking for campsites with water and electric hookups. There are sites up to 76 feet available, and each site comes with a grill, picnic table, and fire ring. RV sites can also be booked by tent campers. Book Campsites.

Cabins: During Oct. 8 – 17, there are cabins that sleep six available for two to three-night stays. Each cabin has a picnic table and a charcoal grill and is stocked with cooking utensils, linens, and towels. Book Cabins.

Lodge: The Lodge offers hotel-style rooms with private balconies. All rooms include a coffee maker, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, and complimentary bath products. Book Lodge Rooms.

PLAN YOUR TRIP


Cabin surrounded by fall foliage in the woods

Norris Dam

Location: Rocky Top, TN - 30 minutes north of Knoxville
Highlights: Newly restored cabins, access to Norris Lake, on-site museum, close to Cove Lake, Big Ridge, and Frozen Head State Park.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins are available.

About the Park: Norris Dam offers almost every outdoor activity in the book, plus lots of opportunities to dive into the park and the area’s history. The park is situated on Norris Lake, providing opportunities for fishing and boating. Pontoon boats can be rented from the Norris Dam Marina and guided pontoon tours are offered throughout the season by the park. This is a great way to take in fall colors! Check out the Grist Mill, the Threshing Barn, and the Lenoir Museum to learn about Appalachian life and the area’s development. The park has 15 different trails that traverse ridge tops, valleys, hollows, and lakeshores. The park even allows mountain biking and horseback riding on certain trails.

Cabins: Most of the charming historic cabins are charming, and most received renovations in 2020. During Oct. 8 – 17, there are cabins that can sleep two or four people available for up to five-day stays. The historic cabins come with a screened-in porch, wood-burning fireplace, and most of the essentials you’ll need, like bath towels and kitchen supplies. Book Cabins.

Camping: There are RV campsites available up to 56 feet. Each site offers water and electric hookups. Tent campers can reserve RV sites to take advantage of water and electricity. There are primitive tent sites without water or electricity available as well. During Oct. 8 – 17, there are weeklong stays available. Book Campsites.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Camper on a wooden platform overlooking a forest of fall colorsPhoto: @-david_cir- on Instagram


Edgar Evins

Location: Silver Point, TN - 1 hour east of Nashville
Highlights: Access to Center Hill Lake, close to Burgess and Cummins Falls, unique campsites, and affordable cabins.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins are available.

About the Park: Edgar Evins sits on Center Hill Lake, nestled in the hills of middle Tennessee. It’s a great location for anyone looking to enjoy the lake while fitting in trips to other nearby parks. At Edgar Evins, you’ll find plenty of hiking, fishing, and even fall color boat tours guided by Rangers. Close by you’ll find two of the state’s most popular waterfalls, Cummins Falls and Burgess Falls. Visitors can hike to the base of Cummins Falls with a permit and experience the power and beauty of Tennessee’s eighth tallest waterfall. Later, you can hike to the top of Burgess Falls and gaze out at the gorge, decorated with vibrant fall foliage.

Camping: The park offers unique wooden platforms up to 28 feet long for RVs and tents. All RV sites come with water and electric hookups. During Oct. 8 – 17, weeklong stays are still available and some sites overlook Center Hill Lake. Note that sites listed as “#P” are primitive tent sites and do not offer hookups. Book Campsites.

Cabins: The cabins at Edgar Evins are affordable and great for families. They sleep up to six with one pull-out couch upstairs and two beds downstairs. During Oct. 8 – 17, weeklong stays are available. Book Cabins.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Overlook on tree tops and Kelly Lake during autumnPhoto: ©Aerial Innovations Southeast


Standing Stone

Location: Hilham, TN - 40 minutes north of Cookeville
Highlights: Newly restored cabins, access to Kelly Lake, overlook with a colorblind viewer, close to Cummins Falls and Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins are available.

About the Park: Standing Stone is a serene park on the Cumberland Plateau with a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The fall provides lots of activities, from fishing on Kelly Lake to viewing fall colors along the hiking trails. It’s close to Cummins Falls State Park, where you’ll find one of the most popular waterfalls in Tennessee. Visitors can hike to the base of Cummins Falls with a permit or observe fall colors from the overlook. Also nearby is Cordell Hull Birthplace State Historic Park where you can explore Hull’s cabin, the museum, and the mouth of Bunkum Cave.

Camping: RV campsites up to 68 ft. are available with water and electric hookups. Tent campers can reserve RV sites to take advantage of water and electric hookups. During Oct. 8 – 17, weeklong stays are available. Book Campsites.

Cabins: The historic WPA cabins at the park were restored in 2020 with new furniture, windows, and finishings. The cabins are charming and cozy with a wood-burning fireplace. During Oct. 8 – 17, Cabins that sleep ten or eleven are available for two-night stays, and cabins that sleep four or six are available for up to three-night stays. Book Cabins.

PLAN YOUR TRIP


A lake with a bridge surrounded by forests of fall colors

Chickasaw

Location: Henderson, TN - 30 minutes south of Jackson
Highlights: Horseback riding (rentals and BYO), access to Lake Placid, great hiking for all ages, close to Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins are available.

About the Park: Chickasaw State Park is surrounded by thousands of acres of state forest in west Tennessee. It’s a serene park filled with towering pines. A gorgeous lake sits in the middle and a bridge stretches across the width connecting both sides of the park. This layout makes the park feel very accessible and it’s great for families with kids who like to ride bikes or explore on their own without being too far away. Horseback riding stables offer day rentals and guided rides. There’s lots of great hiking around the lake as well as opportunities for fishing and paddling. 

Cabins: During Oct. 8 – 17, there are cabins that sleep up to six available for up to five nights. These cabins are nestled among tall pines and located within easy access to Lake Placid. Book Cabins.

Camping: RV sites up to 120 feet offering electric and water hookups are available. Wrangler sites with water and electric hookups are available for RV travelers with horses. There are also tent sites with views of the lake that offer water only. During Oct. 8 – 17, all campsite types are available for weeklong stays. Book Campsites.

PLAN YOUR TRIP


A lake with cypress trees and a cabin in the background

Reelfoot Lake State Park

Location: Tiptonville, TN - 1.5 hours southwest of Paducah, KY, 1.5 hours west of Paris, TN
Highlights: Wildlife viewing (Fall Pelican Migration), pontoon tours, unique hiking, lakeside camping, and cabins.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins are available.

About the Park: Reelfoot Lake is located in the northwest corner of Tennessee and is noted for its fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing. The 15,000-acre lake is unlike any other place in Tennessee because it is essentially a flooded forest. Fishing is one of the most popular attractions on the lake. Reelfoot Lake is Tennessee’s only naturally occurring lake and is well-known for crappie and bluegill fishing. During October the park hosts an annual White Pelican festival that celebrates the migration of these beautiful birds. While the festival will take place Oct. 22-24 this year, visitors will still catch a glimpse of the annual migration during fall break.

Camping: RV sites up to 66 feet offering water and electric hookups are available for weeklong stays during Oct. 8 – 17. Book Campsites.

Cabins: There are four cabins available during Oct. 8 – 7 (as of 9/1/21). These cabins sleep six to ten depending on the layout. The back porch overlooks the lake and each cabin comes with a picnic table, grill, and fire pit perfect for fall night cookouts. Book Cabins.

PLAN YOUR TRIP


A lake with fall foliage in the backgroundPhoto: @coachscarth on Instagram

Warriors Path

Location: Kingsport, TN - 30 minutes north of Kingsport, TN
Highlights: Access to Fort Patrick Henry Lake, golf course, hiking, and mountain biking.
Pets: Allowed at campsites

About the Park: Warriors’ Path is located in the upper right corner of the state, on the shores of the Patrick Henry Reservoir. The park is home to premier boating and fishing activity, hiking trails, an internationally-renowned mountain bike trail system, and a nationally recognized golf course. Kids will love the Boundless Playground, the Lions Narnia Braille Trail with eight sensory stations, and the Anderson Treehouse.

Camping: RV campsites up to 40 feet offering water and electric hookups are available. During October, 8 – 17, weeklong stays are available. Book Campsites.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Pickwick Landing Lodge with lake and fall colorsPhoto: ©Aerial Innovations Southeast


Pickwick Landing

Location: Counce, TN - 1 hour southeast of Jackson, TN & 1 hour northwest of Florence, AL.
Highlights: Access to Pickwick Lake, pontoon and paddling rentals, incredible fishing, golf course, on-site dining.
Pets: Allowed at campsites, a number of pet-friendly cabins and lodge rooms are available.

About the Park: Pickwick Lake may be known for summer fun, but the fall holds untapped potential. The hiking, fishing, and boating make this park a great destination for those in west Tennessee looking to enjoy the season. The newly renovated Lodge offers a restaurant and lounge overlooking Pickwick Lake and spacious guest rooms with private balconies. The marina offers pontoon boat rentals so you can cruise the lake and observe the fall colors.

Camping: RV sites up to 58 feet are available and offer water and electric hookups. Tent campers can take advantage of the RV sites or opt for primitive camping on the shores of Pickwick Lake. Weeklong stays are available for all campsite types. Book Campsites.

Cabins: There are two types of cabins at Pickwick Lake Villas that offer views of the lake and Standard cabins that are tucked away in the woods. Both are great options for families. During Oct. 8 – 17, up to five-day stays are available. Book Cabins.

Lodge: The Lodge offers hotel-style guest rooms with views of Pickwick Lake. Downstairs you’ll find a beautiful lobby with a fireplace and space to relax, a lounge, a restaurant, and an outdoor patio. Book Lodge Rooms.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

The interior of a deluxe cabin at Paris Landing


Paris Landing State Park

Location: Paris, TN - 50 minutes west of Clarksville
Highlights: Access to Kentucky Lake, golf course, on-site lakeside dining, hiking.
Pets: Allowed at campsites and camping cabins, a number of pet-friendly cabins are available.

About the Park: Located near Land Between the Lakes on Kentucky Lake, Paris Landing offers unique camping cabins, water activities, and on-site dining. The park is known for great fishing and boating. There is a golf course that’s also a Certified Audubon Sanctuary where golfers can anticipate seeing some wildlife. The Marker 66 Marina and Grille serves up favorites like fish tacos right on the lake.

Camping: RV sites up to 95 feet offering water and electric hookups are available. Tent campers are welcome to take advantage of the RV sites or there are primitive tent sites without hookups available. During Oct. 8 – 17, weeklong stays are available for RV and tent sites. Book Campsites.

Camping Cabins: The camping cabins are located in the park’s RV campground can sleep up to 4 people comfortably. They offer two full-sized beds, A/C, a fridge, and a microwave. They also have an outdoor picnic table and fire ring. They’re a great option for anyone looking for the feel of camping without all the gear. All camping cabins are pet-friendly. Book Cabins.

Deluxe Cabins: There are two deluxe cabins available during Oct. 8 – 17 (as of 9/1/21). These cabins can sleep up to 10 people and come with a full kitchen, living room, three bedrooms, and a gas log fireplace. Book Cabins.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

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