Outdoor Activities in Tennessee

It's time to choose your own adventure in Tennessee's Great Outdoors! What will you do in the land of America's most-visited national park – and the country's capital of documented caves? Tennessee offers waterfalls, fishing, whitewater rafting, the chance to walk – or crawl – through caves or roll down a hill in a bouncy ZORB! Tennessee's great outdoors offers more than 500 waterfalls, 2,000 miles of hiking and biking trails, 60,000 miles of streams, 540,000 acres of lakes and 10,000 campsites! 

Hike or bike the greenways around Memphis

Cyclists will feel the breeze as they pedal in and around Memphis. Greenways – nature-friendly corridors for walkers, joggers and bicyclists – are starting to take shape all over. Expansion of the Shelby Farms Greenline and the Wolf River Greenway in ongoing. The Greenline will head from midtown east to Shelby Farms, while Wolf River will eventually span 22 miles from the Mississippi River through Germantown. The popular Germantown Greenway also hopes to keep growing. Read more...

Hiking in Tennessee 

The possibilities for nature treks are limitless. Tennessee State Parks alone offer almost 1,000 miles of trails. Some of the nation’s most famous hikes cross through the state including the Appalachian Trail, which reaches its highest elevation at a towering 6,643 feet at Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The newer 300-mile Benton MacKaye Trail running from north Georgia to the northern edge of the park is a less-travelled alternative. Hardy backpackers also enjoy the Cumberland Trail, running roughly from Cumberland Gap to Chattanooga.

Watersports in Tennessee

With thousands of miles of streams and 125 lakes and rivers, there’s a lifetime of waterways to explore. The Tennessee River Blueway offers paddlers a marked 49-mile course from Chattanooga to Shellmound Recreation Area. Canoe down Shoal Creek in Iron City and tube along the scenic Buffalo River. The Eastern Appalachian region holds some of the East’s best white-water rafting. The Ococee, Obed and Pigeon rivers are challenging, while the Hiwassee and Nolichucky offer milder rapids. Tennessee lakes like Pickwick, Watts Bar, Dale Hollow and Kentucky are ideal for waterskiing, sailing, jet-skiing and boating. 

Memphis is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the nation’s largest and most iconic river. Whether you canoe or kayak in Memphis, paddling the waters along the Arkansas-Tennessee state line offers awesome views of the Memphis cityscape, including Big River Crossing, Hernando Desoto Bridge, the Pyramid and the Downtown skyline. 

Rock Climbing in Tennessee

Tennessee has become one of the premier rock-climbing destinations in the Eastern United States. Most outdoor climbs are within wooded glades deep inside forests in the Middle and East regions of the state. Sunset Rock in Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park is a popular urban climbing area as well.

Biking in Tennessee 

Biking is exciting in Tennessee, whether it’s a casual 5-mile road ride along the Mississippi River in Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park or a plow through the woods over roots and rocks in the Tennessee Overhill near the Ocoee River. You can ride from Reelfoot Lake to Memphis along the famed Mississippi River Trail. You’ll find more than 35 marked bike routes on roadways throughout all regions and dozens of popular club routes, including the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Caves & Caverns in Tennessee

Where you have limestone mountains, you have caverns. More than 100 have been documented here, varying in depth, length and size. Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville has even held a bluegrass performance down in its depths. Ruby Fall is another of Tennessee's must see attractions. The most visited underground waterfall and deepest commercial cave has been a family favourite for travellers for over 75 years. Ruby Falls in Chattanooga is perhaps the most famous then followed by Lost Sea Caverns in Sweetwater where you can take a glass bottom boat tour. 

Fishing in Tennessee

Fishing is as much a lifestyle as a sport here, and with so many waterways it’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy the outdoors. Rivers and streams in East Tennessee are natural places to catch trout. The Tellico River is a prime example, but you’ll also find them elsewhere in stocked ponds and lakes. Douglas, Dale Hollow and Reelfoot lakes are great crappie hangouts. Pickwick Lake is known for smallmouth bass, but you can find largemouth along the Tennessee River.

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