East Tennessee State Parks

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With Great Smoky Mountains National Park in our backyard it can be easy to overlook some of the wonderful state parks right on our doorstep. They offer hiking, mountain biking, camping, picnicking, educational programs and more. Knoxville Moms has rounded up a list of state parks within roughly a two-hour drive of Knoxville for you and your family to explore! Be sure to call ahead and see what possible COVID-19 precautions may be in place. From us to you, happy trails!

East Tennessee State ParksBig Ridge State Park
1015 Big Ridge Park Road
Maynardville, TN 37807
(865) 992-5523
More than 15-miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to very rugged. Fifty campsites on or near Norris Lake for RVs, trailers and tent campers. Sandy beach for swimming, playground and more.


Bledsoe Creek State Park
400 Zieglers Fort Road
Gallatin, TN 37066
(615) 452-3706
More than six miles of scenic hiking trails open year-round. The park features 57 campsites. Picnic facilities are also available. Park programs are also held for all ages and change annually.


Booker T. Washington State Park
5801 Champion Road
Chattanooga, TN 37416
(423) 894-4955
Six-mile mountain biking trail. Olympic size swimming pool that includes a diving board and children’s wading pool. Three large picnic pavilions and 30 individual picnic sites.


Burgess Falls State Park
4000 Burgess Falls Drive
Sparta, TN 38583
(931) 432-5312
Day-use park featuring four waterfalls that cascade down from over 250 feet in elevation.


Cedars of Lebanon State Park
328 Cedar Forest Road
Lebanon, TN 37090
(615) 443-2769
Eight miles of hiking trails. Individual picnic tables equipped with grills and 11 picnic shelters. More than 100 campsites with tables, grills and electric and water hookups. There are an additional 30 tent and pop-up camper sites available. A modern group lodge is open year-round for organized groups sleeps 80.


Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
1300 Cordell Hull Memorial Drive
Byrdstown, TN 38549
(931) 864-3247
Park features representation of Hull’s log cabin and period gardens. The Cordell Hull Museum and the Hull Library and Archives are also located at the park. It also features the Bunkum Cave Loop Trail that leads to an impressive cave.  The cave is open to the public May 1 to August 31.


Cumberland Mountain State Park
24 Office Drive
Crossville, TN 38555
(931) 484-6138
The park offers hiking, swimming, picnicking and programs. It also features a popular restaurant and separate recreation hall that can accommodate 250 people. Fully furnished cabins are available and there are more than 140 campsites for tents and RVs. A Jack Nicklaus designed Bear Trace golf course is especially sought after.


Cumberland Trail State Park
220 Park Road
Caryville, TN 37714
(423) 566-2229
This is Tennessee’s first linear park cutting through 11 counties. At the Cumberland Gap Historical Park, the Cumberland Trail joins the National Park Trail System and Kentucky’s Pine Mountain Trail. The trail is still under construction but 185 miles and 40 trailheads are open for public use.


Cummins Falls State Park
390 Cummins Falls Lane
Cookeville, TN 38501
(931) 520-6691
The 282-acre day-use park is rugged and there are safety requirements. Permits are required for gorge access. Additional hiking trails are available. They are considered rugged and difficult.


Cove Lake State Park
110 Cove Lake Lane
Caryville, TN 37714
(423) 566-9701
Hiking is a popular activity at the 606-acre park. It contains an 11-mile section of the Cumberland Trail and connects Cove Lake State Park with Tank Springs in LaFollette. The park has 106 campsites equipped with grills and picnic tables. Six large picnic pavilions are also available for rent.


Edgar Evins State Park
1630 Edgar Evins State Park Road
Silver Point, TN 38582
(931) 646-3080
The 6,000-acre park offers cabins and campsites on a beautiful reservoir. The park also has a large on-site marina with a restaurant and gift shop. Wildlife is abundant and birding is popular.


Fall Creek Falls State Park
2009 Village Camp Road
Spencer, TN 38585
(423) 881-5298
Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park with an abundance of activities. Hiking on the more than 56-miles of trails. The Nature Center offers a variety of programs. The 18-hole golf course is also a popular attraction along with the Canopy Challenge Course. The park features 30-cabins and 222 campsites. It also has four playgrounds, five covered picnic pavilions and an Olympic-sized swimming pool with a wading area that’s open Memorial Day to Labor Day.


Fort Loudon State Park
338 Fort Loudoun Road
Vonore, TN 37885
(423) 420-2331
See one of the earliest British forts on the western frontier. The interpretative center has artifacts and information on the fort along with a 15-minute film about the site. Along with living history and monthly programs, several popular seasonal events are held.


Frozen Head State Park
964 Flat Fork Road
Wartburg, TN 37887
(423) 346-3318
Fifty miles of backpacking and day-hiking trails. There are 20 primitive campsites within the park. The scenic observation tower has just been replaced offering a 360-degree view.


Harrison Bay State Park
8411 Harrison Bay Road
Harrison, TN 37341
(423) 344-6214
The park is popular for campers, golfers, boaters and fisherman as well as picnickers. The park is located on one of the most complete marina facilities on any of the TVA lakes. A 4.5-mile loop bike trail is rated for all abilities. There are 128 RV campsites and 21 primitive tent-only campsites.


Henry Horton State Park
4209 Nashville Highway
Chapel Hill, TN 37034
(931) 364-2222
The park offers several lodging options, including an inn, eight cabins, 56 RV campsites, 10 tent campsites, nine primitive campsites and three backcountry campsites. There are also three group campsites available. The inn features The Governor’s Table Restaurant, open seven days a week. A championship golf course and a trap and skeet range are also available. Fishing is another popular activity at the park.


Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park
404 Spring Creek Road
Delano, TN 37325
(423) 263-0050
Floating, canoeing and rafting are the major attractions. The rivers have rapids ranging from Class I to Class V. There is a 47 primitive tent campground. A scenic portion of the John Muir trail winds through the river gorge.


Indian Mountain State Park
143 State Park Circle
Jellico, TN 37762
(423) 566-5870
Visitors to the 203-acre park enjoy fishing at the lake, picnicking, camping, and hiking on the three trails.


Long Hunter State Park
2910 Hobson Pike
Hermitage, TN 37076
(615) 885-2422
More than 20 miles of hiking trails provide a variety of terrain and habitats and range from pleasant strolls to longer jaunts for the more adventurous. In addition, Sella’s Farm State Archaeological Area is a family-friendly attraction.


Norris Dam State Park
125 Village Green Circle
Rocky Top, TN 37769
(865) 425-4500
With more than 800 miles of shoreline, the park offers recreational boating, skiing, and fishing. The park has a fully equipped marina with boat ramp available to the general public. Houseboats and pontoon boats are available for rent along with other types of boats. The park has 19 historic cabins and 10 deluxe cabins. The park has two campgrounds both primitive and with hook-ups. The Lenoir Museum also has a diverse collection of many artifacts.


Old Stone Fort State Park
732 Stone Fort Drive
Manchester, TN 37355
(931) 723-5073
Several hiking trails including the main trail which follows the wall of the historic fort. The park’s museum has displays of prehistoric Native American replicas, dioramas and photos.


Panther Creek State Park
2010 Panther Creek Park Road
Morristown, TN 37814
(423) 587-7046
The park has 17 different hiking trails covering more than 30 miles of terrain at all levels of difficulty. There are also more than 15 miles of mountain biking trails that range from easy to difficult. Cherokee Lake provides year-round catches for anglers. Panther Creek offers seven miles of horseback riding trails with more under construction.


Pickett State Park
4605 Pickett Park Highway
Jamestown, TN 38556
(931) 879-5821
More than 58 miles of hiking trails. Cabins and campsites are available for rent. There are 31 campsites at the park, most of which provide electric and water hookups, picnic tables and grills. The park earned the prestigious Silver-tier International Dark Sky Park designation. Visitors can enjoy sweeping, rich views of the night sky similar to those found in many of the Western states.


Red Clay State Park
1140 Red Clay Park Road S.W.
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 478-0339
The park is home to a natural landmark, Blue Hole Spring. Red Clay is where the Trail of Tears began for the Cherokee. An interpretative facility contains exhibits, a video theater and more on the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears. It has a 100-person capacity picnic pavilion and 18 individual picnic tables. The park also features an amphitheater that can seat up to 500 people and is often used for musical and theatrical performances.


Rock Island State Park
82 Beach Road
Rock Island, TN 38581
(931) 837-4770
Great Falls is a 30-foot horseshoe cascading waterfall, located below the 19th-century cotton textile mill that it powered over 100 years ago. The Caney Fork River Gorge contains overlooks, deep pools and limestone paths perfect for hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking and exploring. There are safety recommendations for when hikers are in the gorge. The park also offers cabins and campsites for visitors.


Seven Islands State Park
2809 Kelly Lane
Kodak, TN 37764
(865) 407-8335
A premier birding destination with more than 190 species of birds sighted. More than eight miles of natural trails, rolling hills, and views of the Smoky Mountains. For paddlers and anglers, there is a small canoe/kayak launch that provides access to the French Broad River.


Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park
2609 North York Highway
Pall Mall, TN 38577
(931) 879-6456
The park pays tribute to one of the most decorated soldiers of World War I. It includes a visitor center modeled after York’s general store, his two-story house, a gristmill, the York Bible School, and various picnic facilities. In addition, a World War I reproduction trench lies behind the York home for visitors to explore. Park guides offer daily walking tours and a paid driving tour is offered on certain days.


South Cumberland State Park
11745 US 41
Monteagle, TN 37356
(931) 924-2980
The park is composed of more than 30,000 acres in nine separate areas and boasts some of the best hiking and backcountry camping in the region. There are more than 100 backcountry campsites scattered throughout the park.


Standing Stone State Park
1674 Standing Stone Park Highway
Hilham, TN 38568
(931) 823-6347
More than eight miles of day-use hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous. The park has 36 campsites, each with grill, picnic table, water and electricity. There are also 17 historic cabins and seven more modern cabins available. The famous National Rolley Hole Marble Tournament is held here every September.

Let us know which of these state parks are your favorites by leaving a comment below!

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