COVID-19 UPDATES: Keeping Visitors Healthy

Celebrating Tennessee State Park Visitor Experiences

June 30, 2021  |  Permalink

There are so many memories created at Tennessee State Parks across the state each day! To highlight these experiences, we invited park visitors to share their favorite memory or thoughts on what Tennessee State Parks mean to them. We're sharing these stories in celebration of Park and Recreation Month this July. The month highlights the vital role local park and recreation professionals, such as the staff at Tennessee State Parks, play in building strong communities.

Young boy standing at the base of two waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls State Park

My son and I make it a mission to do as many trails in the state as we can and are on a mission to visit all the state parks! It’s hard to narrow it down to a favorite memory. However, the first time we did the cable trail to the base of the falls at fall creek falls, it was a moment of triumph to climb down and amazement as we sat in what we named “the blue lagoon” It is the most soul-soothing, peaceful, joyful feeling. Brought tears to my eyes. —Denise

 

A man and woman standing under a large tree at Montgomery Bell State Park

Twenty-three years ago, my now husband and I met at Montgomery Bell State Park while working at a Cub Scout day camp. Every afternoon, at the end of the camp day, all the staff and kids would meet up under the huge tulip poplar tree in the middle of Group Camp One. We worked together every summer for six years before he finally asked me out, one night after the kids went home. We got married the next summer, under that giant tulip poplar, on June 16, 2005. Sixteen years later, we still visit MBSP at least once a year to camp, hike, and wade the creeks, with our four kids in tow; but we never miss the chance to head to Group Camp One. To us, it’s like going home. —Susan

 

A man and woman sitting near a cliff over a canyon at Fall Creek Falls State Park

During 2020, the Tennessee State Parks became an escape for me. After feeling constantly available due to remote school and work, the parks allowed me to be disconnected and feel refreshed. I was attending graduate school during the pandemic, and the parks were my favorite getaway with my friends. I’ll never forget when my friend & I climbed out to Buzzard’s Roost at Fall Creek Falls. I was in awe of the beauty and the expansive landscape. It was a reminder that the climb is a part of life and the view can be pretty great. —Hayley

 

Sunlisht streaming through the trees on a trail at Meeman Shelby Forest State Park

Meeman-Shelby State Park (MSSP) has been a vital part of my rehabilitation from quality of life changing injuries. Three years ago refereeing soccer I ruptured my right leg hamstring in two places and separated it from my pelvis. A most painful/crippling injury. A year ago, I had surgery for a torn meniscus in my right knee. Both injuries took months and months and months of rehab. As part of my rehabilitation plan, I have spent two to four days a week on the trails at MSSP strengthening my legs and losing 38 pounds of weight. I am back in health, taking backpacking trips and refereeing competitive soccer. I am so glad that I live near MSSP. I have enjoyed the wildlife and meeting new friends as I hiked my "rehab" trails. —James


Want to Share Your TN State Parks Story?

Tell us your favorite Tennessee State Parks memory. Click the link below to submit your TN State Park story for a chance to be featured on our website and social media pages throughout July.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY

About the author