I was inspired by another Tennessee hiker to give myself a 30 hikes challenge. It happened to be 35 days before my 30th birthday so my husband recommended I do 30 adventures before I turn 30. Challenge accepted! I have a passion for being in the woods and even more of a passion for photography. This was the perfect opportunity to get myself in better shape and work on bettering my photography skills.
I say that to say this: while we all may dream of spending our lives traveling in a VW bus around the western United States or where have you, there is an impressive amount of natural beauty to be explored right here in our own backyard.
I've always enjoyed being in the great outdoors since I was just a little boy. There is just something about being in the mountains that satisfies my soul.
You've got to try this at least once......
Top spots in Tennessee to get your Outdoor Gear
10 Spots to Wander in Chattanooga by Ashleigh Gallop
Tennessee's top places to see in the Spring
In the near future we will launch our new T-Shirt line, Tri-Star Adventures. The initial design acompanies Instagram Tennessee's love of photography with the Tri-Star Adventures spirit of wanderlust. That spirit of adventure inspired this blog post as we highlight some of our favorite places across the Volunteer State.
Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls is Tennessee's largest and most visited State Park. The park is located in Pikeville, TN and is around a 2 hour drive from Nashville or Knoville and is about an hour and 15 minutes from Chattanooga. The dramatic 256 foot waterfall is the highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River and it gives the park its name. This is a must see, so be sure to go after a few days of rain for even better photos. The park also offers over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. Make time to check out the Cane Creek suspension bridge that is over 150 feet long located near the nature center.
For more information check out Friends of Fall Creek Falls.
Lookout Mountain, TN is a fantastic place to spend a spring day. Park in Historic St. Elmo at the base of the mountain and ride the Incline Railway to the top of the mountain. Commonly reffered to as "America's most Amazing Mile" the incline Railway offers riders a unique experience up the mountain. Once at the top, don't forget to take in the view from the observation deck and then walk a few blocks down the street to Point Park. Point Park is part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Civil War Battlefield. Here in November of 1863 the "Battle above the clouds" was fought. Be sure to check out the Visitor's center to learn more about the battle and take the short hike to take in the views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River Valley.
At 6643 feet Clingmans Dome is Tenneessee's highest point and is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy the breathtaking views as you drive through the park and be sure to pull off at some of the overlooks. The road to Clingmans Dome ends in a large parking lot, from here a strenuous half mile hike awaits to reach the summit. The trail is paved, but can be quite steep at times and temperatures often vary 10 - 20 degrees from nearby lowlands so bring a jacket and water. The cool wet conditions near the summit actually make the area you are hiking through a coniferous rainforest. An observation tower at the summit offers you 360 views that can stretch 100 miles on a clear day. If possible, try to make the trek for sunrise or sunset and tag your photos #InstagramTennesse.
Tennessee is home to 56 beautiful state parks. This week Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville was named Tennessee's park of the year.
This is the highest award given to a State Park. To be nominated for this award Parks must meet specific criteria including excellence in ares of innovation, interpretation and resource management in addition to fiscal responsibility.
In 2015, Radnor Lake had over One million visitors. They also offered over 600 programs to the community including wildflower hikes, canoe floats, and birds of prey and reptile programs.
Recent additions to the park were made possible through a $40,000 grant to assist resource management projects including adding 33 acres to the park, opening a new aviary, and a new observation deck on the lake.
For more information on Radnor Lake, click here.
Radnor Lake, Burgess Falls, and Rock Island are a few of the more popularly tagged state parks on Instagram Tennessee. What's your favorite?