What It’s Like to Hike Through Southern America’s Beautiful State Parks

A very special person in my life and I are making it our mission to hike through as many State parks as we can get to in 2018! We both love being outdoors and are always up for exploring new territory, the challenge of building a campfire when the wind is blowing, catching fish when no one else can seem to, marveling at the majesty of mountains, waterfalls and forests… Basically there’s nothing we don’t like about making new discoveries outdoors! Over the last month we’ve visited Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park (NBF) and Falls Creek Falls State Park (FCF). Both times we opted to stay in a cabin considering it was between 9 and 18 degrees outside, but we’re looking forward to breaking out a tent and really getting the full experience come Spring.

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Both of these parks in Tennessee have really nice cabins with tons of room and beautiful views. At NBF you’ll have to gather your own firewood for the outdoor pits, but at FCF there are wood sheds fully stocked with kindling and a convenience store close by to buy a starter, matches, etc.

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

If you’re really trying to make memories, and want to document your time at the park, make sure you’re phone is fully charged and bring along a back-up battery! If you’re staying over-night you may want to charge up your phone in your car if you aren’t staying in a cabin! Just something to think about if you are worried about your battery dying from all the picture-taking I imagine you’ll want to do!

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

The trails are all very well-marked and both parks have easy-to-follow maps available at the visitor’s centers. Personally, we thought it would be difficult to get lost unless we were hiking in pitch dark, in which case we’d just bring flashlights! There are hiking trails anywhere from 1 to 20 miles long. You must have a permit to hike the 8+ mile trails since they are typically done over-night, and the Park Ranger needs to know who is out in the woods at night for everyone’s safety.

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Selfies on the way to camping for the weekend!

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Sunrise on the lake at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park TN

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

Falls Creek Falls Tennessee State Park

I always call shotgun and refuse to drive. I’m such a good friend LOL

Leipers Fork Distillery

Leipers Fork Distillery

Leiper's Fork Distillery Tennessee

Sunrise over the lake Nathan Bedford forrest state park Tennessee

Camp Fire at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park TN

Tip: You can absolutely live off of hotdogs and s’mores in the wilderness… just sayin’ — wait for the embers to die down in your campfire, wrap up the hotdogs in foil and let them slow roast for about 10 minutes! So delicious, especially on a cold night! (Disclaimer: you can’t live off just hot dogs and s’mores in the wilderness, but you get my point!)

Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park Lake

Ice Crystal Formations by the Lake at NBF State Park

Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park

Leipers Fork Distillery

On our way to Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park we had to stop at the legendary Leiper’s Fork Distillery.Β I definitely recommend doing the quick tasting for $7 per person if you’re into that kind of thing!

Leipers Fork Distillery

I really love canoeing and white water rafting, so hopefully we can hit up Rock Island State Park in the Spring. Here is a list of all TN State Parks. Which one would you take a friend to?

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13 Comments

  1. February 2, 2018 / 20:33

    Oh my — how breathtaking is that waterfall! Love it.

  2. Annaliese
    February 2, 2018 / 21:36

    This is such a great goal to visit as many state parks as you can- I love it!! I wanted to buy a state park pass in Vermont last summer after I moved but my work schedule was still too unpredictable that I couldn’t justify the expense. I did find one state park that I loved going to though!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  3. February 3, 2018 / 15:10

    ahhh need to visit more state parks!! I was just in TN but didn’t have a chance to visit any of their parks which I was super bummed about! I need to make a trip to get back asap!

  4. February 3, 2018 / 19:48

    Omg that waterfall is gorgeous!

  5. Melissa
    February 4, 2018 / 01:36

    The landscapes look beautiful! I love hiking and this looks like it was a lot of fun!

  6. February 4, 2018 / 11:04

    Oh my, those pictures are absolutely incredible! The one of the sunset is especially my favorite!

  7. February 4, 2018 / 19:43

    oooohhh, i might have to do this with my boyfriend one day! i think it would be such a fun trip <3

  8. McKenna Bleu
    February 5, 2018 / 14:52

    I need to spend more time in TN!!!

  9. February 5, 2018 / 16:54

    These are all such scenic views! I really need to get on these hiking trails!

  10. February 9, 2018 / 17:51

    Wow these state parks look so beautiful! I really enjoy hiking and you have inspired me to look into taking a hiking trip! Thank you πŸ™‚

Let me know what you think!