Escape to a Winter Wonderland at These 3 State Parks

December 2, 2021  |  Permalink

A wood-paneled cabin covered in snow at Pickett State Park. Text reads escape to a winter wonderland at these three state parks.

Wake up to a fresh blanket of snow, explore frosty forests, and find cozy bakeries along the way. Here are three Tennessee state parks to visit this winter if you're in search of a cabin getaway in wonderland.

Roan Mountain State Park

Images of cabins covered in snow at Roan Mountain State Park©Sean Fisher

A winter trip to Roan Mountain State Park is the quintessential mountain retreat. The park offers cozy cabins surrounded by rolling meadows, evergreen foliage, and often a thick blanket of fresh snow.

Perfect for: Travelers looking for wood-burning stoves, snowy adventures, and sweeping mountain views.
Location: Roan Mountain, TN – East Tennessee


Images of the Roan Mountain Highlands covered in snow and frost©Sean Fisher

The top of the mountain is one of Tennessee's tallest points, where you’ll see sweeping views and can access the Appalachian Trail.* Grab a cabin, warm up by the wood-burning stove, and enjoy a vacation removed from the world!

*Check the forecast before planning as access is sometimes limited at the top of the mountain if the snow or ice is too heavy. The top of the mountain is National Forest property.

Images of the exterior of the Smokey Mountian Bakers store with images of pastries.©Sean Fisher

Stop by family-owned and operated Smokey Mountain Bakers to grab some wood-fired pizza, freshly baked bread, or a sweet pastry. The bakery is located 4 minutes away from the park and makes a great stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Standing Stone State Park

Images of the cabins at Standing Stone State Park covered in snow.©Tennessee Photographs and ©Aerial Innovations Southeast

Are you looking for a cabin that gives you that remote feeling without being out in the middle of nowhere? Located 40 minutes from Cookeville, the historic cabins at Standing Stone allow you to hunker down next to the crackling fire while you enjoy central heat, modern appliances, and wifi. Let the snow fall!

Perfect for: Travelers looking for waterfall excursions, cabins with modern amenities and historic charm, and lake access.
Location: Hillham, TN – Middle Tennessee


Images of a swinging bridge, overlook, and lake at Standing Stone State Park covered in snow.©Tennessee Photographs

The park is centered around Kelly Lake which is stocked with hungry fish just waiting for you to cast a line. You can explore the swinging bridge in front of the dam, the lookout behind the Tea Room, and more than eight miles of hiking trails.

Images of Cummins Falls State Park in the winter. Bottom two photos show the falls covered in snow and ice.©Anthony Ladd

Head 25 miles southwest of Standing Stone to Cummins Falls State Park and explore the 75-foot waterfall. Take the Falls Overlook Trail that begins at the trailhead behind the visitors center down to the overlook. This trail is .45 miles and ends with an incredible view of the falls. After soaking in the sites and sounds at the overlook, head back to the visitors center to warm up and explore the gift shop.

Pickett State Park

Images of a cabin at Pickett State Park covered in snow.©Aerial Innovations

The cabins at Pickett State Park are surrounded by thousands of acres of incredible rock formations and thickets of rhododendron. It’s an International Dark-Sky Zone, meaning it’s one of the best places in the southeast to view the stars. 

Perfect for: Travelers looking for lots of hiking in one area, sweeping views, and lake access.
Location: Pall Mall, TN – Middle Tennessee


Looking out of Bunkum Cave at a snow covered forest, the interior and exterior of Cordell Hull's cabin.©Tennessee Photographs

Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park is about an hour from Pickett and well worth your time while you're in the area. The museum is home to memorabilia from Cordell Hull’s service as Secretary of State to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 – 1944.

Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park, located just 30 minutes from Pickett, pays tribute to one of the most decorated soldiers of World War I. Explore the life-size trenches, participate in a guided tour of the York home, or hike to the burial site of Sgt. York and his wife.

An overlook at Pogue Creek Canyon in winter, a rock formation, and a rock bridge

Your trip wouldn’t be complete without a trip to nearby Pogue Creek Canyon. This 3,000-acre natural area is full of multicolored sandstone bluffs, mesas, arches, waterfalls, and caves. 

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