Ideas for Solo Park Adventures
March 12, 2020 | Permalink
There’s a German word for the almost spiritual feeling you have while being alone in the woods. That word is “Waldeinsamkeit.” While there are times to enjoy the outdoors with friends, finding solitude in nature is one of the main reasons people love exploring state parks. It rejuvenates, re-charges, and re-connects us to the world.
With no entry fees and 56 parks to explore, Tennessee State Parks are the perfect destinations to escape and find your Waldeinsamkeit. If this sounds like something you need, check out our list of favorite solo spots and activities to experience in a park:
**Please note: We want you to have a safe solo adventure. It's always a good idea to tell a friend or family member where you are going. Tell them when you plan to be back, what trails you plan to hike, etc. You might not have cell service during your solo adventures, so it's even a good idea to leave a note on your car, check in with a park ranger, etc. before exploring.
Hit the Trail and Observe Nature
Some people will enjoy a stroll around a lake. Some will ascend to a breathtaking overlook, or trek to the base of a waterfall. Others might even make an overnight adventure out of it on a backpacking trip. Whatever your skill level or preference, hiking is one of the most accessible things you can do alone in the outdoors.
Spring is a great time to enjoy the beauty of wildflowers in parks. Tennessee State Parks even has a wildflower challenge in 2020 to see if you can find them all. It is a great way to train your brain to pay attention to the world around you. Harpeth River, Meeman-Shelby, and Warriors Path State Parks all feature beautiful blooms.
An activity with a big reward and little equipment required, birding is a serene hobby that anyone can start. All you need is some binoculars and a field guide and you're ready to sit back and observe the sights and sounds of some breathtaking birds. There are over 30 parks with birding opportunities. Seven Islands State Birding Park is our top birding destination because of its numerous species. Several parks even have resident bald eagles, including Reelfoot Lake, Harrison Bay, and Edgar Evins.
Find Your Creativity
Compose a song
Great music is often cultivated in the great outdoors. There's something about open spaces, rustling leaves, and campfires that inspire the singer-songwriter in us all. So what do you say? Grab your guitar or banjo and head for the hills! Who knows what great song the mountains will stir inside you.
Write a story
It's time for you to take that kernel of an idea and turn it into the book you've always wanted to write. Escape to a cabin and let the ideas flow. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from the distraction and the noise of life for these creative ideas to take root. The great outdoors is a fantastic place to breathe life into your story.
Read a book
On Walden Pond. The Call of the Wild. Into the Wild. A Walk in the Woods. Braving the Wilderness. So many classic and iconic books are written about the outdoors. What better place to enjoy a good book than swinging in a hammock or relaxing at a campsite?
Parks are one of the most popular destinations for photographers to hone their skills. You will find everything from sweeping landscapes to macro shots. Whatever your preference, the outdoors offer a wonderful assortment of creative inspirations for photographers.
Find stillness from your canoe or kayak on the open waters of a lake or speed things up with a river paddle. There's an untouched peace that comes from finding solitude surrounded by water. You can also explore areas of a park only accessible by boat to find a new perspective.
Did you know that Tennessee State Parks manage dozens of miles of mountain biking trails? With trails ranging from beginner to advanced, you’ll be able to plan your next cycling adventure with confidence. Feel the clean air rush past you as you race through woods and navigate exciting twists and turns. Parks like Panther Creek, Roan Mountain, Montgomery Bell and Cumberland Mountain are great spots to find your flow.
The repetitive and soothing motion of casting a line can be almost meditative. Add in the reward of catching a fish, and you'll be hooked. Settle into a spot along the lake, in a river's current, or the sunny spot of a pier for a couple of hours or a whole day. There are 42 state parks that offer fishing, with Tims Ford State Park amongst the best in the state.
When the gyms are too crowded, but you're looking for some exercise, hit the trails at a state park. Find your rhythm on a paved or natural trail that will add some diversity to your run and encourage you to run even further. If you’re looking for a natural trail with some elevation and amazing lake views, try the Volunteer Trail at Long Hunter State Park.