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.
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.
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!
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.
I always call shotgun and refuse to drive. I’m such a good friend LOL
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!)
On our way to Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park we had to stop at the legendary Leiper’s Fork Distillery. I definitely recommend doing the quick tasting for $7 per person if you’re into that kind of thing!