Tennessee – What to See in ‘23
Terrific Trails in TENNESSEE
Tennessee is filled with natural wonders in a refreshing four-season climate that encourages outdoor activities. Among the most popular are the state’s spectacular hiking trails, delightful urban paths, and driving tours to explore even more of Tennessee’s unforgettable destinations.
Wherever you go in Tennessee, you’ll find plenty of scenic adventure on hundreds of hiking and biking trails located in the 60 state and national parks throughout the state. The four-mile Fuller State Park trail near Memphis and the Pinson Mounds Archaeological Park’s paths connecting Native American historic sites are featured in West Tennessee. Middle Tennessee offers the nine-mile Fiery Gizzard loop in South Cumberland State Park, one of the nation’s top-rated hiking destinations, and multiple waterfalls along the Virgin Falls State Natural Area trails near Sparta.
The highlands of East Tennessee feature the greatest number and variety of hiking trails, including the 4.2-mile Point Trail at Lilly Bluff along the Obed River and the 10-mile Alum Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And be sure to enjoy at least a portion of the emerging Cumberland Trail, with about 70% of its eventual 300-mile route now open. More than 50 access points on 29 completed sections offer a variety of hiking options, from easy woodland strolls to more challenging mountain climbs.
After hiking some of the great Tennessee trails, get off your feet for one of the state’s signature driving tours: The Tennessee Music Highway runs from Bristol to Memphis, with historic sites along the way that highlight the state’s contributions to bluegrass, country, and blues music. For a shorter trip, take a two-hour drive on the Cherohala National Scenic Byway that starts in Tellico Plains, meanders across the North Carolina border, and features 15 panoramic overlooks with picnic areas. Or, you can enjoy a multi-day excursion by following the historical path of America’s early pioneers on the Natchez Trace. Parts of the iconic route can still be walked today, but most folks prefer to drive the 440-mile Natchez Trace Parkway that runs from Nashville to the banks of the Mississippi River.
And, if you’d also like to do some driving from the tee box, take a swing on the Tennessee Golf Trail with its nine beautiful daily-fee courses, three of which are also part of the six-course Bear Trace with award-winning designs by Jack Nicklaus.
Tennessee also has some of America’s finest urban walking trails, including the 16-mile Tennessee Riverwalk through the heart of Chattanooga, and 50+ miles of hiking/biking trails in Knoxville’s unique Urban Wilderness. In addition, dozens of small towns throughout the state feature revitalized downtowns and municipal parks that are a walker’s delight, thanks in no small part to the innovative Tennessee Main Street program. For more about those destinations and the reasons why so many are finding new homes there, go to RetireTennessee.org.
Find Your Ideal Home in Tennessee
There are many reasons people choose to relocate to or retire in Tennessee. For one, the cost of living is hard to beat. There’s no state income tax, and property prices are notably reasonable. Find your ideal home here.
By JG Walker