Best State Parks to Visit in August

July 30, 2019  |  Permalink

While August in Tennessee is known as a warmer month, there are still plenty of great adventures you can enjoy in the outdoors. With kids going back to school, there are fewer visitors in our parks. That means you’ll have more cabins to choose from, fewer people at the pools, and tranquil opportunities for fishing and paddling.

Here are five of our favorite Tennessee State Parks to visit in August:

Natchez Trace Cabin Byron Jorjorian

Natchez Trace State Park

Wildersville | West TN

Natchez Trace State Park is located just off I-40 between Jackson and Nashville. The park is known for its 250-miles of horseback riding trails and 40-miles of hiking trails. Yet, it’s also a great place to spend a couple days on the water in the heat of summer.

Where to Stay:

The park rents Standard, Deluxe, and Camping Cabins that all provide air-conditioned escapes and plenty of room for your friends or family.

How to Stay Cool:

Natchez Trace offers cabin guests access to the pool at the Pin Oak Lodge. There is also a free public swimming beach at Cub Lake. Fisherman will love the four lakes at the park. You can catch bass, bluegill, catfish, and several other types. You can also rent a canoe, kayak, or jon boat from the park or take your own boat out on Pin Oak Lake.

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Reelfoot Lake Cabin

Reelfoot Lake State Park

Tiptonville | West TN

If you’ve never visited Reelfoot Lake, you’re missing one of the most unique lakeside experiences in the state. The 15,000-acre lake was created by a series of violent earthquakes which caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a short period of time. Today, the lake is home to majestic cypress trees and a variety of aquatic plants, flowers, bald eagles and other birds.

Where to Stay:

The park is home to some of the newest cabins in all of Tennessee State Parks. These premium cabins offer lakeside stays with first-class comfort and modern convenience. They are even pet friendly! 

How to Stay Cool:

Reelfoot Lake is nationally known for crappie and bluegill and is a great place for bass and catfish year-round. A boat is the best way to explore the lake and the park. The lake is a flooded forest and is shallow with lots of submerged stumps and standing trees. Boaters have to navigate slowly and cautiously, which means there are very few large boats on the lake. This makes it a nice place for canoes, kayaks and jon boats. You can rent boats from local businesses or launch your own from one of the park’s five public boat launches. These launches can support fishing boats and small pontoon boats. The park also offers tours for those who want a guided excursion to some of the best, and prettiest, areas.

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Edgar Evins Cabin

Edgar Evins State Park

Silver Point | Middle TN

Center Hill Lake is a popular destination for private vacation properties. Fortunately for those who do not own vacation homes, you can find easy access to public lands at Edgar Evins State Park. The park is located between Nashville and Cookeville on I-40, making it an easy weekend destination for Tennessee residents.

Where to Stay:

Edgar Evins is home to a unique set of cabins  lined up along the hillside overlooking the lake. The cabins are connected to one another by exterior walkways like you might find at a beachside condo. They are full-equipped with kitchens, A/C, and balconies. The best part about the cabins? They offer guests exclusive access to the park’s swimming pool that stays open through Labor Day weekend!

How to Stay Cool:

In addition to the pool mentioned above, you’ll find plenty of water recreation at the park. You can bring your own boat and use the park’s launch ramps to get out and enjoy the lake. You can also rent kayaks from local outfitters and float on the scenic Caney Fork River. The park often hosts sunset pontoon cruises. Of course, Edgar Evins is also a great place to cast a line. Whether you fish from the bank or from a boat, the 18,000-acre reservoir and the Caney Fork River offer fantastic crappie, catfish, Walleye and trout fishing.

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Nathan Bedford Forrest Cabin

Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park

Eva | West TN

This state park, and Johnsonville State Park on the opposite bank, together tell the story of the Battle of Johnsonville during the Civil War. In the summer months, Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park offers visitors the chance to stay on Kentucky Lake while exploring the history and recreation available in the area.

Where to Stay:

The park has seven deluxe cabins situated on a bluff overlooking the river. These two-bedroom, two-bath cabins offer guests a comfortable retreat with a fully-furnished kitchen, A/C, gas fireplace, and expansive views.

How to Stay Cool: 

Visitors can rent kayaks from the park and enjoy free, public swimming at Eva Beach. While fishing is productive from the bank, the best experience comes when you jump in a boat and head out on the lake.  When you’re finished on the water, drive up to Pilot’s Knob to take in the view from this highpoint and visit the Tennessee River Folk Life Museum. Here you will learn about the heritage of the people who settled the area, the Civil War era, and can enjoy the animal exhibits. It’s a great place to cool down and expand your mind while vacationing at the park. Visitors should also consider a trip across the lake to Johnsonville State Historic Park, where the museum tells the story of the Union troops stationed there and does a great job of interpreting and explaining the history of the Civil War.

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Big Ridge Cabin

Big Ridge State Park

Maynardville | East TN

Big Ridge State Park is located north of Knoxville along I-75. This 3,687-acre park is one of our favorite places to explore in the warm summer months. It provides the visitor the perfect balance of Appalachian mountains and lakeside vacations, with plenty of overlooks and water adventures to fill your time.

Where to Stay:

Big Ridge has 20 rustic cabins that transport guests back to the 1930s; to the time of the Civilian Conservation Corps. If you’re unfamiliar with the CCC, they were one of the most influential groups in opening up recreational lands and defining that iconic “outdoor” look and feel when it comes to park architecture. These cabins are maintained in a way that retains the charm and design of that era. They feature modern conveniences like full kitchens, indoor plumbing and A/C alongside the iconic wood flooring and screened-in porches common to CCC builds.

How to Stay Cool:

The park offers non-motorized boat rentals on the 49-acre Big Ridge Lake. Visitors can use trolling motors on rented boats or launch privately-owned boats for a nominal fee. There is also a swim beach on the lake and year-round bass and bream fishing. The park is not far from other access points for Norris Lake, a massive reservoir running for dozens of miles through East Tennessee. Nearby Norris Dam State Park has a fully-equipped commercial marina where visitors can launch and rent boats.

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Tennessee State Parks