Pandemic practices like social distancing and masking have required us to rethink our entertainment and vacation plans. As you and your family look for ways to enjoy some leisure time, consider these fun outdoor activities that Tennessee has to offer.
Tennessee has some amazing hiking trails at its state parks and natural areas. Pack a picnic lunch or some snacks in your backpack and make a day of enjoying nature. For a list of Tennessee hiking opportunities that include waterfalls, cave tours and birding opportunities, visit the Tennessee State Parks hiking page.
If you want to take your hiking beyond a day trip, most parks have camp sites open that allow for social distancing — many of which are pet-friendly. Keep in mind that most park pavilions, picnic areas and playgrounds are closed, so pack accordingly and enjoy meals with your family around the tent, along a scenic waterway or at an overlook. If you prefer an RV over a tent, the state has many sites equipped with water, electricity and sewer for vehicles ranging from 20 to 100 feet. The Tennessee State Parks camping page provides more detail and an opportunity to reserve a tent or RV campsite online.
Paddling, Boating or Fishing
Whether you have your own canoe or kayak or you want to rent one, many of Tennessee’s state parks offer paddling opportunities for families. For a list of paddling sites and new safety protocols, visit tnstateparks.com. If you prefer fishing, make sure you obtain a license and know the general rules by visiting the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency fishing information site. Children under age 13 are not required to purchase a license.
Whether you like mountain biking across wooded trails or cycling the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, Tennessee offers opportunities for all, from advanced to beginner level riders. Be sure to always wear a helmet and reflective gear and take a map and bike repair tools. Also pack snacks and water to stay hydrated. For more information about cycling opportunities and locations, visit the Tennessee State Parks biking page.
From Pickwick Landing in West Tennessee to Warriors’ Path in East Tennessee, state courses offer many options to those who enjoy golf. To learn more about the nine state park golf courses available, visit the Tennessee State Parks golf page.
If you’re engaging in these activities with others who live outside of your home, you should drive in separate vehicles, practice social distancing, mask whenever possible, wash or sanitize your hands frequently and use safe food sharing practices. For more information on how to protect yourself and others while enjoying the fresh air, visit CDC.gov/coronavirus.
We’re all experiencing pandemic fatigue and there’s no better cure than to enjoy the outdoor beauty that Tennessee has to offer. For more recreational ideas, visit TNVacation.com. Stay safe and enjoy!