State Parks Gatlinburg TN

6 State Parks Near Gatlinburg TN: Exploring Nature in the Smokies of Tennessee

Gatlinburg, TN is surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, making it the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts. There are several state parks near Gatlinburg that offer unparalleled outdoor adventures. Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, picnicking, or wildlife watching, these state parks have something for everyone. Let’s explore the top 6 state parks near Gatlinburg TN and discover the natural wonders that await you.

Key Takeaways:

  • State parks near Gatlinburg TN offer a variety of outdoor activities for all interests.
  • These parks provide opportunities for hiking, camping, picnicking, and wildlife watching.
  • Gatlinburg’s state parks are known for their stunning natural beauty and unique ecosystems.
  • Visiting these parks is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • These state parks offer family-friendly activities and amenities for visitors of all ages.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: Underwater Exploration in Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a popular attraction in Gatlinburg that provides a unique opportunity to explore underwater ecosystems. With over 15,000 species of marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and exotic fish, this aquarium offers a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world.

Visitors can embark on an immersive journey through interactive exhibits, getting up close and personal with various aquatic creatures. The aquarium’s state-of-the-art facilities and educational programs make it an ideal destination for family outings and educational experiences.

One of the highlights of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the Shark Lagoon, where visitors can witness the magnificent sharks swimming above them through a transparent tunnel. It’s an awe-inspiring sight that leaves a lasting impression.

For the more adventurous, the aquarium also offers the thrilling opportunity to dive with the sharks under the guidance of experienced professionals. It’s an adrenaline-pumping activity that allows visitors to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

No trip to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is complete without exploring the Penguin Playhouse. Watch as these charismatic birds waddle, swim, and socialize in their icy habitat. It’s a delightful experience that appeals to visitors of all ages.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, aquarium lover, or a curious explorer, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit attraction in Gatlinburg. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the underwater world and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: A Natural Wonderland

Just a short drive from Gatlinburg, you’ll find the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spanning over 800 miles of trails, this park offers endless opportunities for outdoor exploration. From scenic hikes to wildlife watching, there’s something for everyone in this natural wonderland. Explore winding streams, breathtaking mountain views, and vibrant ecological communities.

Keep an eye out for black bears, elk, and various bird species that call the park home. It’s a paradise for nature lovers and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking Trails Wildlife
1. Appalachian Trail – Black bears
2. Alum Cave Trail – Elk
3. Rainbow Falls Trail – Various bird species

Mynatt Park: A Tranquil Picnic Spot in Gatlinburg

If you’re looking for a peaceful spot to enjoy a picnic in Gatlinburg, look no further than Mynatt Park. Nestled amidst the natural beauty of the area, this park provides a serene setting for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike.

Mynatt Park

At Mynatt Park, you’ll find lovely picnic tables set beside a tranquil stream, creating the perfect atmosphere to relax and savor your meal. Whether you’re planning a romantic picnic for two or a fun-filled outing with the whole family, this park offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But Mynatt Park isn’t just about picnicking. It also features a range of amenities to enhance your visit. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy tennis and basketball courts, perfect for some friendly competition. Children can frolic on the playground, letting their imaginations run wild. And for those who need a quick restroom break, facilities are conveniently located within the park.

Plan Your Visit to Mynatt Park

When visiting Mynatt Park, keep in mind the following details:

  • Location: Mynatt Park is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • Hours: The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
  • Admission: Entry to Mynatt Park is free for all visitors.
  • Facilities: Restrooms, picnic tables, tennis and basketball courts, and playgrounds are available for public use.

“Mynatt Park offers a peaceful retreat where families can unwind and create lasting memories amidst the beauty of Gatlinburg.”

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing picnic spot or a place to engage in recreational activities, Mynatt Park has it all. Embrace the tranquility, take in the natural surroundings, and enjoy quality time with your loved ones at this family-friendly state park in Gatlinburg.

Middle Prong Trail: Waterfalls and Rich History in Gatlinburg

For those who love waterfalls and want to delve into the history of the area, the Middle Prong Trail is a must-visit. This moderate trail takes you through a scenic wooded area, passing three stunning waterfalls along the way: Lynn Camp Prong Cascades, Lynn Camp Falls, and Indian Flats Falls.

The Middle Prong Trail is a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural significance, making it a favorite among hikers in Gatlinburg. As you hike along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by lush trees and vegetation, providing a peaceful and serene atmosphere for outdoor enthusiasts.

Not only does the Middle Prong Trail showcase the breathtaking beauty of waterfalls, but it also offers a glimpse into the past. Keep an eye out for remnants of old logging communities and historic structures that tell the story of the area’s rich history. It’s a unique experience that combines hiking with a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage.

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly hike or a trail that offers a blend of natural wonders and geologic formations, the Middle Prong Trail in Gatlinburg is the perfect choice. Lace up your hiking boots and prepare to be amazed by the spectacular waterfalls and the fascinating history that awaits you along this remarkable trail.


Are state parks near Gatlinburg, TN family-friendly?

Yes, the state parks near Gatlinburg, TN are family-friendly and offer a range of activities suitable for all ages.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Gatlinburg, TN state parks?

Gatlinburg, TN state parks offer a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, and wildlife watching.

Are there any hiking trails in Gatlinburg, TN state parks?

Yes, Gatlinburg, TN state parks have numerous hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful landscapes.

Can I go camping in Gatlinburg, TN state parks?

Yes, camping facilities are available in some Gatlinburg, TN state parks, providing an opportunity to stay overnight in the midst of nature.

Are there picnic spots in Gatlinburg, TN state parks?

Yes, several Gatlinburg, TN state parks have designated picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal surrounded by the scenic beauty of nature.

What kind of wildlife can I expect to see in Gatlinburg, TN state parks?

Gatlinburg, TN state parks are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, elk, and various bird species.

What outdoor recreation options are available in Gatlinburg, TN state parks?

Gatlinburg, TN state parks offer a wide range of outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, horseback riding, and nature photography.

Source Links

Scroll to Top