7 Adventures for March #TSP80

March 10, 2017  |  Permalink

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Tennessee State Parks. In honor of this milestone, we put together a list of 80 adventures that we think you’ll enjoy. Each month, we’re highlighting a few of those adventures that are especially fun during this time of year. 

Here are 8 adventures we think you’ll enjoy in March:

Lenoir Museum - Education Adventure

Norris Dam State Park


Norris Dam is known for misty mornings and the powerful dam producing energy for the local community. Norris Dam State Park sits on either side of the dam, and is home to the Lenoir Museum. The museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts depicting life in souther Appalachia over the past 12,000 years. The Lenoir family, the museum’s namesake, collected these pieces of early Americana over a 60-year period. Today, visitors can enjoy the exhibits and tour an 18th century grist mill (pictured above) and a threshing barn on the grounds. 

Norris Dam is a short drive from Knoxville. The park has places for tent and RV camping, as well as cabins for those visitors who want to stay overnight. Visitors can rent boats to go out on the lake or enjoy lakeside views from one of the parks hiking trails. 


David Crockett Monument and Replica Cabin - Historic Adventure

David Crockett Birthplace State Historic Park


A lot is happening outside of Johnson City at David Crockett Birthplace State Historic Park. The park has always recognized the birthplace of our most famous Tennessean, but recent plans for improvement make it a must visit destination for any historian.

On March 24, the park is hosting an 18th century cabin raising to replace the current replica cabin (pictured above). Re-enactors dressed in 18th century clothing will assemble a brand new replica cabin using tools that John Crockett and family would have used to build their original home. The park is inviting the public to watch this special event. Once complete, the replica cabin will be available for the public to tour and will play an important role in the park experience.

In addition to the cabin, the park is home to a monument to David Crockett’s life that was assembled using native stones from all 50 states. There are campsites for overnight guests, but it’s also a great park to visit as part of an East Tennessee outdoor adventure. While you’re in the area, consider checking out Roan Mountain, Rocky Fork, Sycamore Shoals, or Cherokee National Forest. 


Sinkholes at Henry Horton - Natural Wonder Adventure

Henry Horton State Park


Near the campground at Henry Horton State Park are a series of moss-covered, limestone sinkholes. Some of the sinkholes have short paths leading to them, and down into them, for closer observation. Stepping into the sinkholes feels like wandering into a moss-covered maze in an Old World garden. 

Access to the sinkholes is found on the 1.5-mile Hickory Ridge Loop Trail. Visitors should exercise caution when standing near the lip of the sinkholes, as a fall could lead to injury. 

Henry Horton State Park is located in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, just a short drive from Franklin and Columbia. It’s a great place to getaway and explore. The park has inn rooms, cabins, and campsites for overnight guests. It also boasts a restaurant, golf course, skeet range, frisbee golf course, and access to the scenic Duck River. 


Backcountry Trail Overlook at Mousetail Landing - Overlook Adventure

Mousetail Landing State Park


It always surprises people when they find out West Tennessee parks have overlooks. While the western portion of the state is relatively flat, the bluffs that rise along the river’s edge provide some worthwhile views. This is definitely true at Mousetail Landing State Park, located about an hour southwest of Nashville. 

If you’re looking for a less-frequented overlook in Tennessee State Parks, look no further than the backcountry hiking trail. A clearing on top of the limestone bluff at the overnight shelter #2 reveals a little known view of the Tennessee River. 

Visitors who wish to see this overlook must check in at the park office to gain access to the trail and/or permission to spend the night on the trail. If your idea of camping involves pulling up right to a campsite, Mousetail Landing also has a variety of tent and RV camping options.


Fall Creek Falls - Waterfall Adventure

Fall Creek Falls State Park


Fall Creek Falls is the crown jewel of Tennessee’s waterfalls. At 256’ tall, it is the tallest waterfall in the Eastern United States. It is the premier feature of Tennessee’s most visited and well-known state park, Fall Creek Falls State Park. 

One great thing about Fall Creek Falls is that visitors can pull up and park right at the overlook.  For the more adventurous types, there is a difficult .7-mile trail descending into the gorge that will allow you to stand at the base of the enormous fall. Hikers should prepare for a steep, rocky descent. 

Fall Creek Falls State Park was designed as a place for overnight visitors. The park has more things to explore than you could possibly do in one day. The park offers camping, cabins and inn rooms. It also has a golf course, zip-line, restaurant, and enough hiking and waterfalls to satisfy any explorer. (Photo Credit: Cara Alexander)


Mountain Biking - Recreation Adventure

Montgomery Bell State Park


While there are many parks that offer walking and hiking trails around Nashville, Montgomery Bell State Park rises to the top of the list when it comes to mountain biking. The park has over 20 miles of dirt mountain bike trails ranging from easy to difficult. The trails are located to the north of the main park area. Visitors can stop into the park office for directions to the trailhead and route information. 

If you want to spend the night, the park offers cabins, inns and campsites. It is also home to a golf course, restaurant, three fishing lakes and several miles of hiking trails. 


Greeter Falls at South Cumberland - Waterfall Adventure

South Cumberland State Park


Greeter Falls at South Cumberland State Park drops over a 15’ upper ledge before plummeting over a 50’ lower ledge into a cold, clear pool. It is one of several breathtaking falls at South Cumberland and a very popular destination in the warmer months. Visitors in March can enjoy a more intimate experience, and this time of year the falls are usually at their peak flow. 

The quickest way to see the falls is to park and walk to the falls using the .8-mile Greeter Falls Loop Trail. The Greeter Trail also connects to the Alum Gap backcountry campground.

South Cumberland State Park covers more than 25,000 acres across nine separate areas. The closest camping for Greeter Falls in at the Stone Door Ranger Station. However, the largest campground for tents and RVs is at Foster Falls, southwest of Tracy City, Tennessee. 


Laurel Falls on the Cumberland Trail - Waterfall Adventure

Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Park


Deep inside a narrow canyon, Laurel Falls takes an 80-foot spill across a wide vertical wall and into a chaotic swarm of massive boulders. The flow during March is usually strong. The trail leading to Laurel Falls is one of the most scenic in all of Tennessee’s state park or natural areas. 

Laurel Falls is located in the Laurel Falls State Natural Area and is one of the connecting land pieces that make up the Cumberland Trail. One day the Cumberland Trail will form a 300-mile footpath between Chattanooga to Kentucky. The trail is about 60% complete right now, but areas like Laurel Falls are accessible to the public. 



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.

About the author

Josh Gibson