8 October Adventures #TSP80

September 29, 2017  |  Permalink

The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing, the mosquitoes are retreating, and there is no better time to get outside in Tennessee than the month of October. Grab your jacket, fill the thermos with your favorite fall beverage, and let’s head out on one of these great adventures!


1. Buzzard’s Roost (Overlook Adventure)

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Buzzard’s Roost is home to one of the most iconic trees in Tennessee State Parks. The tree, a Virginia Pine, grows near the edge of the bluff peak and provides prospective to the magnitude of the gorge. The spot is especially popular in the fall for two reasons. First, the changing foliage provides for great depth and texture for photographers. Second, the morning air often produces a fog that hugs the valley and creates a sense of mystery. It’s a place for your bucket list, and just one of the many amazing destinations at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

From waterfalls and overlooks, to great hiking all throughout, Fall Creek Falls State Park has much more to offer than any day trip could satisfy. That’s why we encourage guests to spend the night at a campsite, inn room or cabin and take full advantage of the park. For a full list of park activities and park amenities, click the button below. (Photo ©Cara Alexander)


2. Twin Falls (Waterfall Adventure)

Rock Island State Park

Twin Falls is an 80' waterfall that pours out of, rather than cascading over, the walls of the gorge at Rock Island State Park. This is one of the most spectacular and photographed waterfalls in Tennessee State Parks, and is an easy day trip from Nashville, Cookeville and Chattanooga. The park has cabins and campgrounds for overnight guests, and is close to other popular waterfall destinations like Burgess Falls, Fall Creek Falls, Virgin Falls and Cummins Falls.


3. Arboretum Trail (Educational Adventure)

Long Hunter State Park

If enjoying the changing leaves is one of the best things to do in the fall, then taking a walk around Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park has to be at the top of your list. The two-mile loop trail features markers identifying 42 different types of trees growing around the lake. These markers form an “arboretum trail,” the first of its kind in Tennessee State Parks. The park is located in Mt. Juliet, just 20 miles from downtown Nashville. It is a convenient place for morning walks or an adventure with little kids. 


4. Replica Fort (Historic Adventure)

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park marks the location of one of the earliest British forts on the Western Frontier. During the French and Indian War, the British Colony of South Carolina sent the Independent Company of South Carolina to construct and garrison what became Fort Loudoun. The park is now home to a replica fort that paints the picture of life on the frontier prior to the American Revolution.

On October 21-22, the park is hosting an 18th Century Trade Faire. This is the largest event of the year at Fort Loudoun. It provides visitors the opportunity to interact with reenactors, shop for fine 18th century goods from numerous vendors, and enjoy lively performances by musicians and magicians. Soldiers will demonstrate artillery and musketry drills throughout the day. Make sure to stick around for the Great Battle between the English and French each day! This event is free for the public to attend, and is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn about the period leading up to the American Revolution. (Photo © David Duplessis)


5. Tennessee History Trail (Historic Adventure)

Bledsoe Creek State Park

The Tennessee History Trail at Bledsoe Creek State Park is an interpretive path highlighting the settlement history of the area. The path takes visitors past a replica trade cabin and a longhunter encampment. The park's visitor center has wall panels that tell the history of these settlers, and these structures on the trail help bring that history to life.

Fall is an exceptional time to visit the park because of the annual Tennessee History Trail Festival. This family-friendly event features skilled interpretive actors positioned along the trail who tell stories about the life and times of the 1500s-1800s in Tennessee. Admission to the event is $4, but children under the age of 10 are free. Click the button below for more information and plan to attend this awesome historic event. (Photo © David Duplessis)


6. Backcountry Camping (Recreational Adventure)

Natchez Trace State Park

If you're looking for adventure, the woods at Natchez Trace State Park are calling your name. The 48,000-acre mass of land between Memphis and Nashville is a mixture of state park, state forest and wildlife management area. The size, seclusion and interstate access make it perfect for your next backpacking adventure. The massive 40.0-mile overnight trail leads hikers through state park and forest, through woods and fields and along lakeshores and streams.


7. Foster Falls (Waterfall Adventure)

South Cumberland State Park

Foster Falls is one of the top climbing destinations in the region, and the fall is one of the best seasons for climbing in Tennessee. The 60' waterfall is well worth a visit, even if sport climbing is not your preferred hobby. During normal water conditions, the park allows swimming at your own risk in the plunge pool at the fall's base.

Foster Falls is also a great place for car-camping. The campground has 26 rustic campsites ideal for tents or small trailers and is the only camping area in South Cumberland State Park where guests may park a car and/or pop-ups next to the campsite. There are no water or electric hook-ups but a restroom and heated showers are available. To plan your next trip, click the button below.


8. History Trail (Historic Adventure)

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is another popular destination for walkers and joggers. Situated at the base of Tennessee’s Capitol, this beautifully designed park gives visitors a taste of Tennessee’s history and natural wonders. The designers of the park ensured that the monuments, markers and landscaping told the story of the state. One of the best ways to experience this park is on the one-mile, ADA-accessible history trail. The park provides maps for this self-guided tour at the visitor center under the railroad tracks. If you don’t want to explore on your own, the park offers free, guided walks Monday through Friday at 2 pm at the Visitor Center.

In addition to the natural beauty that comes with visiting this park during the fall, visitors can also enjoy the Tennessee History Festival on October 20. Come out and experience Tennessee History first-hand through living historians, historic sites, story tellers, and more! Hear stories from Hernando de Soto, tales from John Sevier, and yarns from David Crockett. Learn about Tennessee deciding role in women’s suffrage, and the experiences of Tennessee soldiers in World War I. This event is free to attend and will take place from 10 am to 4 pm.


Looking for Places to Explore?

Click the button below to see the interactive map and list of all 80th anniversary adventures:


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Tennessee State Parks