Fall Festivals and Events at Tennessee State Parks

August 27, 2021  |  Permalink

Many of our state parks are hosting festivals in honor of the culture, traditions and history of our state. Here are a few of our favorites:

Bicentennial By Night

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park — Nashville, TN

September 25th, October 2nd, & October 30th | 8:00pm to 10pm

Registration: Required

Price: $10.50 / Adult & $5.50 / Children 10 & under

Meet at: Visitor Center

There have been many tales throughout Tennessee’s history of spirits, creatures, and madmen that have lurked in the shadows of the state and the homes of its citizens. From witches that have terrorized local farmers, to the specters of the state capitol, Tennessee has sinister stories that need to be told.

For your enjoyment this Fall season and Halloween, we are bringing back Nashville's favorite lantern tour for the 2021 season! You and our resident storyteller Ranger Jed will explore the grounds of the capitol and the park in search of the spirits that call them home. You will hear tales of terror, hear the voices that haunt the capitol, and we may even see one of the spirits that call Nashville home. These one-of-a-kind experiences are the perfect night of fun for you and your family this fall season. Starting on September 4, these tours will be offered throughout the season with a final trip to the dark side occurring on October 30! Be sure to dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable time!

See you there, if you dare!


National Public Lands Day

Statewide - Multiple Parks

September 25th & October 2nd

Registration: Required

Price: Free, donations accepted

Saturday, September 25th, and Saturday, October 2nd National Public Lands Day events will be held at Tennessee State Parks across the state. Help us clean trails, build campsites, clean shorelines, and improve the overall health of our parks.


Tennessee Serves Events

Statewide - Multiple Parks

September 25th  – October 23rd

Registration: Required

Price: Free, donations accepted

September 25th through October 23rd. Join us as we help First Lady Lee transform our state through service. Find a #TennesseeServes volunteer event at a park you love.


Annual Storytelling Festival

Standing Stone State Park

September 25 | 10:00am - 03:00pm

Registration: Not required for attendees

Price: Free

Meet at: Shelters 3 and 4

Come hear storytellers weave their magic of the spoken word through their storytelling technique. Hear one or all stories, bring a picnic or eat lunch by purchasing food at our food booths. This event is sponsored by the Alpha Upsilon Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Int. If you have any questions please contact Barbra Seeley (931) 265-0196 or Sarah Hogue (931) 823-1849.


Woman rock climbing

Women's Rock Climbing Workshop

Cumberland Mountain State Park

October 1st – 3rd | 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Registration: Required. Must be 18 years or older.

Price: $60

Join climbing experts at Cumberland Mountain State Park for a weekend of rock climbing! This workshop is perfect for beginners or advanced climbers. You’ll learn the basics of outdoor climbing and spend days repelling and climbing with a group of like-minded women. This program is open to women 18 years and older. Camping and cabins are available for overnight stays at Cumberland Mountain State Park.


Lake island at sundown

Forged at the Ford: Outdoor Survival School

Tims Ford State Park

October 1st - 3rd | 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Registration: Required. Must be 14 years or older.

Price: $200

Using minimal equipment and resources, participants will survive a 3 day/2-night camping trip on an island in Tims Ford Lake. Participants will learn a variety of topics including survival basics, friction fire, land navigation, shelter building, knots, and more. Learn to live off the land by learning wild edible plants, trapping, fishing, skinning/butchering, and outdoor cooking. This program is designed for all skill levels and can help those new to outdoorsmanship gain confidence through experience. 

Participants must be at least 14 years old, and participants 14-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult. 


Community Harvest Festival

Harpeth River State Park

October 9th | 2:00 pm to 6:00pm

Registration: Required

Price: $8/Adults, $4/Kids, Children 2 and under are FREE

Come down to Harpeth River State Park and enjoy food, music, crafts, a maze in the meadow, games, and other Autumn fun all while supporting the Friends of Harpeth River State Park! We will also be selling park-grown pumpkins and Indian corn just in time for Halloween. Follow the link below to register and please bring proof of purchase on the day of the event. This event is weather permitting.


Heritage Days and Fall Festival

Tims Ford State Park

October 9th & 10th | 9:00am – 5:00pm

Registration: Not required for attendees

Price: Free

Meet at: Recreation Area

Join us at Tims Ford State Park for our annual Heritage Day and Fall Festival. This will now be a weekend-long event with live music, dancing, re-enactments, demonstrations, crafts, competitions, food, games, and more! Admission is free, but many vendors are selling food, crafts, and game admission, so cash on hand is encouraged.

For more information about becoming a vendor, please contact ranger Adcox at destiny.adcox@tn.gov or visit the park office.


Tennessee Timeline

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

October 16 & 17th | 10:00am to 3:00pm

Registration: Not required for attendees

Price: Free

Come out to the heart of downtown Nashville and walk along the Pathway of History at this one-of-a-kind living history event!  Beginning Saturday morning, historians, park rangers, and interpreters representing the influential people and events of Tennessee will bring the history of our state to life!  These vignettes will come together in a timeline that creatively illustrates the history of the state, with stories representing Tennesseans from all walks of life. This free 2-day event will also include scheduled educational programs, games, crafts, and much more!  The event is perfect for families and modern-day explorers. 


Pelican Festival

Reelfoot Lake State Park

October 22 - 24

Registration: Required for photography, pontoon, and canoe tours

Price: Based on the event ($10-$50)

Reelfoot Lake State Park is hosting a festival to celebrate the White Pelican migration. Don’t miss your chance to see the White Pelican at Reelfoot Lake. The park is hosting vendors, canoe floats, photography and art contests, pontoon excursions, and much more. Reservations are required for photography, pontoon, and canoe tours. You can reserve your spot online with the link below.


Interested in becoming a vendor? Click here.

Find Even More Fall Events

View our upcoming events calendar for a full view of all the events happening in Tennessee State Parks this fall.


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