Dayle Fergusson 2017-01-11 02:08:52
Near Gatlinburg TRAILBLAZING Explore the lush diversity of Cherokee National Forest hugging the Tennessee and North Carolina border or hike the Appalachian Trail. Ride the horse trails crisscrossing the Cumberland Plateau in Big South Fork. Discover shady forests, sandy trails, waterfalls and rivers. East Fork Stables offers horses for hire, cabins, campgrounds and more than 100 miles of trails. The charming horse community at Spruce Creek may lure you back to purchase your own equestrian retreat on the edge of Big South Fork. Hiking, biking and horse trails wind through the forested hills of Percy Warner Park on the southern edge of Nashville. Escape with your family for a day of fresh air and exercise. Descend into the underground chambers, caverns and tunnels of Ruby Falls Cave in Chattanooga. A guide will take you to see a 145-foot underground waterfall. Hike the rugged trails in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg for spectacular 360-degree views of the Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee Ridge and Valley, and Great Smoky Mountains. Frozen Head Mountain, at 3,324 feet, is mantled with ice and snow in winter. Ride more than 300 miles of off-road vehicle trails at Windrock Park in Oliver Springs, or bring your off-road toys to Ride Royal Blue in Pioneer to explore more than 600 miles of trails, offering an adventure for riders of all skill levels. Both spots offer on-site camping, RV sites and cabins for an unforgettable stay-and-play experience. Bald River Falls, Tellico Plains WILD WATERS Follow the ridge trail to Foster Falls northwest of Sequatchie; then, cross the suspension bridge and hike to the deep pool at the base of the 60-foot waterfall. Sport climbers will enjoy the challenge of strenuous wall and roof climbs. Viewed from the road or by hiking through Bald River Gorge near Tellico Plains, Bald River Falls cascades 100 feet and is touted as one of East Tennessee’s most spectacular waterfalls. Shoot miles of continuous rapids with rafting outfitters on the Ocoee, Little Pigeon, and Nolichucky Rivers in Tennessee. Or, snorkel crystal-clear waters of the Conasauga River to experience the only underwater wildlife viewing in Tennessee. HUNTING & FISHING Drop a line in Watts Bar or Melton Hill Lakes near Oak Ridge, or fish Chickamauga Lake, the third best bass fishing lake in the southeastern U.S. Catch great fishing competition tips for Dale Hollow Lake and Center Hill Lake from Jack Link’s Major League Fishing reality TV show. Explore Cherokee Lake, home to the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series. Plan an outdoors getaway in Linden, staying in the restored historic Commodore Hotel, and hunt for wild turkey and deer. Or, fish the Tennessee River at Mousetail Landing State Park. At Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge in West Tennessee, an abundance of waterfowl, deer and spring turkeys make for a hunting playground. STATE PARKS - FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Campgrounds and cabins invite family recreation at the picturesque Tims Ford State Park in the shadows of the Cumberland Plateau. (Bonus: Tent campers can stay in one of the campgrounds or enjoy camping on one of the six islands!) Fish the reservoir, explore by boat or canoe, or play the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Only 65 miles from Nashville, Edgar Evins State Park on the shores of Center Hill Lake offers camping, bird watching, hiking and fishing, perfect for the family. Ideal for camping, hiking, ziplining, horseback rides and backcountry camping, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee’s most popular state park, is lush with cascades, gorges, waterfalls and streams. Hike past Fall Creek Falls, plunging 256 feet, to Piney Falls and Cane Creek Falls. Cast your rod from the fishing pier at Paris Landing State Park on the western shore of Kentucky Lake, where more than 100 species of fish abound. Swimming, beach volleyball, boating and wildlife spotting are fun for the whole family.
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