Get Outside and Enjoy the Fall

September 1, 2017  |  Permalink

While summer is winding down and school has started back, the best time to enjoy the outdoors is just beginning. The fall season is the ideal season to head for the woods. The cooler temperatures and decreased mosquito population makes for a more temperate outdoor experience. The fall is usually a little drier than the springtime, which bodes well for tent campers and backpackers. It’s also one of the prettiest seasons in Tennessee as the forest tapestry is splattered with the vibrant colors of changing leaves.  

With that in mind, we have a few ideas to kick start your fall trip planning:


Follow that Foliage!

Grab your camera, jump in the car, and head for the woods to take in some spectacular leaf changing. For the best colors, you should head toward the mountains on the North Carolina border. Places like Warriors Path, Panther Creek and Roan Mountain are hard to beat. If you’re looking to visit parks closer to Middle Tennessee, the Cumberland Plateau offers gorgeous overlooks and towering waterfalls framed with the colors of fall. Check out our blog below for details on some of the best parks across the state.


Hit the crag

Have you ever tried your hand at rock climbing? Tennessee State Parks are home to some fantastic rock climbing hotspots, and the fall is one of the best seasons for trying the sport. The coolness of the rock, coupled with the warmth of the sun makes for a very pleasant experience.  Avid climbers will enjoy places like Foster Falls and Denny Cove at South Cumberland State Park.


Women who have never climbed before, don’t have climbing gear, or are a little afraid to try it out can join us on a female-only climbing weekend at Cumberland Mountain State Park. Our rangers will provide all of the gear and training you need to have a safe and enjoyable climb. It’s a no-judgment, fun-filled weekend meant to connect women to the great outdoors.  


Explore a waterfall

Ask just about anyone for their favorite outdoor adventure and they’ll tell you that waterfall hunting is on the top of their list. If waterfalls are what you are looking for, then you have come to the right place. We have more than 80 waterfalls in our parks, mostly on the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Knoxville. Come stay at Fall Creek Falls, Rock Island, or Cumberland Mountain and see how many waterfalls you can check off the list. Need some inspiration? Click the button below to read about 10 waterfalls within an hour of Cookeville.



Grab a backpack

If you’ve never spent a night on the trail, you’re really missing out on something special. “Backcountry camping” - sleeping at a campsite situated along a trail - is something everyone should try. Waking up to the canopy above, the smell of a smoldering fire wafting in the air, the taste of coffee and breakfast cooked over the open flame. These experiences awaken a deep, natural longing inside all of us.

If you own all the gear, you can do this any time at parks like Frozen Head, South Cumberland or Fall Creek Falls. But what if you don’t have the gear? What if you have no idea how to start a fire? What if your son or daughter really wants to go camping and you have no clue where to start? We can help! Several of our parks are offering guided, overnight backpacking trips this fall.

Henry Horton offers a guided trip each month. The park is located about an hour south of Nashville and provides a low-key introduction to backpacking. Click here to see their upcoming event schedule:


Pickett CCC Memorial State Park is offering a cool opportunity October 7-8. Visitors will enjoy an overnight trip through some of the most unique landscape in Tennessee. Hikers will pass multi-colored rock walls, mesas, and breathtaking overlooks. Not only will guests learn about modern camping, but our living historians will actually hike along and camp with the group using gear from the early 1900’s. Hikers will see first-hand how the gear has changed over time, while learning the basics of backpacking. Click the button below for more information and to register for this first-ever historical backpacking adventure:


Whatever you do…do something! 

Take some time this fall to unplug, escape the ordinary, and recharge in the outdoors. Science says even a short trip to the woods can do wonders for the mind and body. Whether you join us for one of our trips, or plan your own adventure, we hope you consider Tennessee State Parks your top destination to explore this season. Our parks are free to enter and enjoy. Just make sure you share the pictures with us! #tnstateparks


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Tennessee State Parks