Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains we tend to take our beautiful park and the nature for granted. Beyond our National Park we have several State Parks that are not too far of a drive for you to visit and enjoy their beauty as well. Smoky Mountain Getaways would like to introduce you to a few of them to get you started.
Right in our back yard is the Seven Islands State Birding Park located at 2809 Kelly Lane, Kodak, TN 37764. Take Exit 402 on Interstate 40 to get to this peaceful park. This 416 acre park is a premier birding destination. Over 180 species of birds have been spotted at this State Park. The park features more than 8 miles of natural trails for hiking with beautiful views of The Great Smoky Mountains. Not only will you see many species of birds, but other wildlife can be seen here. This park is a peaceful retreat for the day or a few hours. Seven Island State Birding Park is also a research and education facility for schools and other groups. Seven Islands became the 56th Tennessee State Park in 2013. If you go to the TN State Parks website you will be able to find more info on this as well as other state parks with downloadable maps to each park.
In Morristown you will find Panther Creek State Park located at 2010 Panther Creek Rd, Morristown, TN 37814 on the Cherokee Reservoir. This park has 17 different hiking trails, 15 miles of mountain biking trails, and seven miles of horseback trails all ranging from easy to difficult. Cherokee Lake provides you with opportunities for fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, and canoeing. There are several stores and marinas to help you with your fishing, picnicking, or boating needs or rentals. You can enjoy views of Cherokee Lake and the Cumberland Mountains from the Panther Creek State Park. In addition to the downloadable maps, there is a geo-referenced trail map for your convenience. This map is through an app on your smart phone which uses your GPS not your cell signal, so that even if you don’t have cell reception, you can still use the map to navigate your way on the trails in many of the State Parks in Tennessee.
One of Tennessee’s famous natives is Davy Crockett, which brings us to the Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park. This park is located at 1400 West Gaines Street, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464. This 105 acre historic park not only celebrates Davy Crockett’s birthplace, but the pioneer, soldier, politician, and industrialist. There are picnic pavilions and a campground with 88 campsites located near the scenic Nolichucky River, which provides fishing opportunities for a variety of fish. A visitor center and replica cabin is on site in the State Park for you to learn more about Davy Crockett and the many things he did in his life and for our country.
Hopefully during your visit to our area you can find time to visit some of our state parks and learn, enjoy yourself, and be a part of nature for a time.