Safe Overnight Traveling Tips

July 9, 2020  |  Permalink

Roasting Marshmallows Over Fire

We believe the outdoors are good for the mind and body, and a trip to a Tennessee State Park can offer a great opportunity to relax and unwind. We also know that safety is a top priority for our visitors and COVID-19 has changed how people travel. In order to help you plan and prepare for a safe and enjoyable overnight trip at a Tennessee State Park, there are a few important safety tips we encourage you to review:


If You're Feeling Sick, Stay Home

  • Wellness check. Make sure to do a wellness check before heading out. If you or anyone you’re traveling with is feeling sick or has recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, it’s best to play it safe and stay home. If you need to cancel your reservation, please call the park office.

Bring All the Supplies You'll Need

  • Pack all the essentials. To reduce trips to the store in the communities where our parks are located, please pack all of the items you’ll need for a successful and safe camping trip. 
    • Use our camping checklist to make sure you’ve got what you need before you leave. 
  • Be over-prepared. Bring items like soap, surface cleaner, and paper towels to ensure you’ll have the items you need to maintain personal hygiene.
  • Firewood. Certified, heat-treated firewood is required in all campgrounds. At some of our parks, certified heat-treated firewood can be purchased over the phone to reduce contact. To find out if this is an option at the park you’re staying at, make a quick phone call to the park office.

Limit Road Stops and Store Trips

  • Minimize stops. Get gas and visit the grocery store in your hometown to reduce trips to the store in park communities.

Stay Informed

  • Download the Tennessee State Parks app for easy access to park maps and contact information.
  • You can find updated general information on what Tennessee State Parks is doing to keep visitors safe during COVID-19 on our Keeping Visitors Healthy page. 
  • For information on overnight trip safety as well as important travel resources and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our COVID-19 and Travel Planning page.
  • As we continue to monitor this evolving situation, certain parks or facilities may close. You can find updates on park and facility closures at our COVID-19 Closures page.
  • If you have a question related to a specific park, please call that park’s office at the number listed on our website. A park staff member will be able to answer specific questions you may have about your stay.


During Your Visit

Keep Important Contact Information On Hand

  • If you need to reach our staff or need assistance from our Rangers, we encourage you to call the park office.
  • Find phone numbers on the particular park’s page of our website, in our mobile app, or posted on Visitors Center doors.
  • In the event of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

Practice Social Distancing

  • Maintain at least six feet of separation between you and other visitors in all areas of the park. This includes spaces such as hiking trails, bathhouses, visitor centers, and more.
  • For campground guests, set up your campsite to be socially distanced from other sites. Keep picnic tables, chairs, and other gathering spaces away from other sites. Stick to your campsite and refrain from gathering at other campsites or around campfires with people outside of your family or traveling group.
  • For lodge (hotel) guests, please social distance when occupying common areas, hallways, and other indoor spaces. If there is a line to check-in or access areas of the lodge, please maintain distance from others while waiting.
  • For those with kids, discuss social distancing expectations before heading out into the park.
  • Follow CDC guidelines for visiting parks.

Practice Personal Hygiene 

  • Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If handwashing is not available, use hand sanitizer (we encourage you to bring hand sanitizer). When possible, avoid touching surfaces that are heavily used.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, please cover it with a tissue or the crook of your arm. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after.
  • Follow CDC guidelines for protecting yourself and others.

Follow All Park Rules and Regulations

  • You can find our rules and regulations here.
  • We especially ask that you stay on trails and not enter areas that are closed or restricted.

Ready to Start Planning Your Trip?

Check out our "Can I stay overnight?" blog for FAQs and information about the types of accommodations you'll find in Tennessee State Parks. If you're ready to start building your perfect adventure, jump over to the Find a Park page to start filtering by accommodations, activities, and more. Or, head over to to book your campsite, cabin, or hotel room today. 

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