Five Ways To Welcome Spring at Tennessee State Parks

March 1, 2022  |  Permalink

Spring is right around the corner. Soon the sweet earthy smell of new blooms and melodic sounds of songbirds will ease us into warmer weather. From hiking and camping to paddling and wildflower chasing there is plenty to explore at Tennessee State Parks this spring. Here are five ways you can welcome the season at our parks.

Photo by ©Tennessee Photographs

Chase Wildflowers

With each spring, new blooms pop up to ensure us that warmer weather is near. As you enjoy our parks this spring, we invite you to look closer and get to know these blooms. Take our spring wildflower challenge and search for all 15 wildflowers and flowering shrubs on the list while you explore. Even better, take a guided hike with one of our rangers or naturalists that can tell you all about the beautiful blooms at our parks.

Here are a few guided wildflower hikes coming up this spring:

  • Statewide Spring Hikes | March 19th: All 56 Tennessee State Parks are offering free, ranger-led Spring Hikes on Saturday, March 19th. Many of these will showcase the blooming flowers along the trail, and all are great opportunities to take in some fresh air and learn more about the world around you. EVENT DETAILS
  • Annual Wildflower Hikes at Norris Dam | March and early April: Join Park Rangers and special guests on a hike at Norris Dam State Park as they speak about the beautiful display of spring wildflowers along the trails. EVENT DETAILS
  • Wildflower Weekend at Fall Creek Falls State Park | April 8th & 9th: Explore the wildflower-rich areas of the park to see many early spring wildflowers and breathtaking views. A variety of hikes, workshops, driving tours, and slideshows will be offered. EVENT DETAILS
  • Spring Wildflowers by Bicycle | April 10th ($10): Come enjoy a showy spring wildflower display while pedaling along the Roaring State Scenic River to Washmorgan Hollow State Natural Area. EVENT DETAILS
  • 43rd Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Festival | April 30th: A full day of informative walks highlighting birds, butterflies, geology, native plant gardening, edible plants, and more around Cedars of Lebanon State Park. EVENT DETAILS


Photo posted on Instagram by @shanadurdin

Wander Amongst Waterfalls

Tennessee State Parks are home to over 80 of the most incredible waterfalls in the country, and spring is the best time of year to view them in full force. Book a cabin at Edgar Evins State Park and visit nearby Cummins Falls State Park or camp at Rock Island State Park and explore the waterfalls at the park.



Photo posted on Instagram by @alaskatogeorgia

Pitch a Tent Under the Stars

While camping is offered year-round at Tennessee State Parks, spring brings the ideal temperatures for tent camping. This season, pitch your tent near the Tennessee River at Mousetail Landing State Park or enjoy full hookups at Natchez Trace State Park. If you're looking for an extra unique experience, book a camping cabin at Paris Landing State Park or set up camp on a unique raised platform by the lake at Edgar Evins State Park. Our campgrounds fill up quickly for spring and summer, so make sure to secure your reservations early.

Did You Know? You can reserve campsites at Tennessee State Parks up to a year in advance.


Grow Your Outdoor Skills

With spring comes a chance to start fresh and take stock of your goals. If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors or try a new outdoor activity, the guided programs that Tennessee State Parks offers are a great way to start. Our parks across the state are hosting events from rejuvenating guided hikes to adventurous backpacking outings. Check the upcoming events calendar for programs happening this spring at a park near you.

Here are a few of our favorite upcoming programs: 

  • Spring Rock Climbing Workshop at Cumberland Mountain State Park | April 29th – May 1st ($60, not including lodging): Join climbing experts at Cumberland Mountain State Park for a weekend of learning how to rock climb. This program is open to adults 18 years and older. EVENT DETAILS
  • Women in the Wilderness at South Cumberland State Park | May 7th – 8th ($75): Have you been wanting to get into backpacking but don't know where to begin? Ranger Jessie DeRight and her fellow guides will help you answer all these questions and teach you all the skills needed to enjoy a backpacking trip in a safe and controlled environment. EVENT DETAILS
  • Forged at the Ford Outdoor Survival School | May 13th – 15th ($100 15 - 18 years old, $200 18+): This 3-day survival school will teach you all the necessary skills to survive a planned or unplanned outdoor experience. This program is open to those 15 years and older. EVENT DETAILS
  • Women's Waterfalls and Wildflowers Backpacking Trip | April 16th – 17th ($60): Join your guides at Frozen Head State Park for a female-only spring backpacking trip! Learn the essentials of backpacking and experience Frozen Head’s backcountry beauty at night. EVENT DETAILS


Photo posted on Instagram by @jsonovrb, Rock Island State Park

Go For a Refreshing Paddle

Take advantage of the increased water levels that spring showers deliver by paddling one of the many lakes or rivers at Tennessee State Parks. Camp at Henry Horton State Park and paddle the Duck River, stay overnight at the Lodge at Montgomery Bell State Park and paddle at nearby Harpeth River State Park, or take a day trip out to Long Hunter State Park and rent a canoe.

Did You Know? Many of our parks offer paddling rentals. 


*Please exercise water safety during your visit. If the water seems too high or too fast, please do not enter it. Flooding often occurs during periods of heavy rains. We encourage the use of personal floatation devices (PFDs) and adherence to all relevant boating laws in Tennessee. 

Plan Your Overnight Trip

Tennessee State Parks offer campgrounds, cabins, and lodges across the state. Start exploring and make this spring an adventurous one! 


Did you know? Tennessee Residents receive a 10% discount on most overnight stays at Tennessee State Parks. Learn more

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