Tennessee is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It is the perfect place to ditch the city noise, breathe in some fresh air, and soak up all that Mother Nature has to offer. Whether you are a thrill-seeker looking for an exciting adventure or a laid-back tourist who just wants to enjoy the peaceful surroundings, Tennessee has something for everyone.
5 must-try outdoor activities that you can enjoy during your visit to Tennessee:
1. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding allows you to take in the stunning landscapes of Tennessee from a whole new perspective. As you meander through the countryside on the back of a gentle steed, you will see rolling hills, verdant forests, and sparkling streams in a way that you never could on foot or from a car.
And let’s not forget about the horses themselves. These magnificent creatures are the true stars of the show. Whether riding a majestic draft horse or a swift Arabian, you will be amazed by their power, grace, and intelligence. Do not be surprised if you find yourself forming a deep connection with your horse. After all, they say horses have a way of stealing your heart.
2. Bird Watching
Imagine yourself surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, immersed in the sounds of nature, and watching as the sky comes alive with a flurry of colors. This fittingly sums up the experience of bird watching in Tennessee.
One of the best places to go bird watching in Tennessee is the Cherokee National Forest. Located in the eastern part of the state, this sprawling forest covers over 650,000 acres of rugged mountain terrain and is home to hundreds of bird species. So, there is no shortage of avian beauties to marvel at in this scenic wilderness.
Typically, spring and fall are ideal times to take flight and experience the thrill of bird watching in Tennessee. During these migration seasons, you can spot an incredible variety of species as they pass through the state.
That said, you do not need to worry even if you cannot make it during migration season. Tennessee’s avian residents are always up for a photo op. In summer, you can catch glimpses of baby birds learning to fly, while in winter, you will have the opportunity to spy on the forest’s hardy waterfowl throughout the Volunteer State.
Tennessee’s unique geography and varied topography make it one of the best places in the United States for whitewater rafting. If you seek a world-class rafting experience, the Nolichucky River should be at the top of your list. This river was recently included in the International Rafting Federation’s Top 10 best rafting rivers in the world, thanks to its challenging class III and IV rapids. On top of that, you will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery as you navigate your way through the twists and turns of the river.
But what if you prefer a more peaceful paddling experience? No worries—Tennessee has got you covered. The state is dotted with creeks, streams, and rivers that offer placid floats through picturesque landscapes. One such option is the Buffalo River. It stretches over a hundred miles and offers primarily class I rapids. This free-flowing river provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Listen carefully to your guide’s instructions and follow their lead as you navigate the rapids. Always hold on to the raft’s safety rope and be prepared to paddle when instructed.
If you are a nature lover, a trek in Tennessee is an experience you cannot pass up. The state boasts a myriad of hiking trails that cater to varying skill levels, from gentle jaunts to demanding journeys that will put your stamina to the test.
Radnor Lake State Park is a prime starting location for your hiking journey in Tennessee. This beloved hiking destination is favored by locals and visitors alike. There are plenty of trails that accommodate different levels of fitness and experience (not all of us are trekkers, right?).
Don’t forget to carry a backpack with essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, first aid, and insect repellent. Bringing along a picnic lunch is also an excellent idea, especially when you go for a hike with your partner and kids. You can take a break and appreciate the stunning scenery while refueling and sharing stories with each other. As you trek, keep an eye out for Tennessee’s distinctive native plants and animals
What better way to unwind, relax, and spend time in nature than by casting a line into one of Tennessee’s many lakes, rivers, or streams?
Imagine yourself immersed in a cool stream, surrounded by the lush greenery of the mountains. The soothing sound of water and the warmth of the sun on your skin puts you at ease. As you cast your line, you can feel the anticipation growing with each passing moment. What kind of fish will you catch? A trout, bass, or maybe even a catfish? The excitement of the unknown is what makes fishing in Tennessee so thrilling.
But fishing is not just about the catch. It is also about spending quality time with loved ones, savoring nature’s beauty, and escaping the chaos of daily life. Tennessee offers a diverse range of fishing spots, from the picturesque mountain streams of the Great Smoky Mountains to the expansive reservoirs like Percy Priest Lake. There is something for every type of angler in Tennessee.
It’s worth mentioning that anyone 13 years and older must have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters in Tennessee. You can purchase a fishing license through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website.
While mapping out your trip to Tennessee, do not forget to factor in activities covered in this blog. By partaking in these outdoor excursions, not only will you be able to immerse yourself in the stunning natural world but also create precious memories with your nearest and dearest. So do not wait any longer—toss your gear in a bag and prepare yourself for a one-of-a-kind outdoor escapade in Tennessee!