State Parks Pigeon Forge TN

5 State Parks Near Pigeon Forge TN: Explore Natural Beauty in Tennessee

Tennessee is blessed with a wide array of state parks, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the region. In this article, I will introduce you to five state parks near Pigeon Forge, TN, where you can embark on outdoor adventures and discover the tranquil splendor of Tennessee’s landscapes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the diverse landscapes and activities offered by state parks near Pigeon Forge, TN.
  • Engage in outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, fishing, and birding.
  • Discover the historical significance, ancient structures, and cultural heritage of these parks.
  • Enjoy family-friendly activities and make lasting memories in nature.
  • Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Tennessee’s state parks near Pigeon Forge.

Gateway to the Smoky Mountains: Gatlinburg, TN

As a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, is an important tourist destination in Tennessee. Nestled amidst the stunning beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers a unique blend of natural wonders and thrilling attractions.

Gatlinburg TN

One of the must-visit attractions in Gatlinburg is the world-renowned Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With its vast expanse of pristine forests, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, the park provides endless opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting. Visitors can explore the park’s numerous trails, such as the popular Rainbow Falls Trail or the scenic Alum Cave Bluffs Trail.

Besides the national park, Gatlinburg also offers a range of exciting attractions. Ober Gatlinburg, the only ski area in the state, provides an exhilarating experience for winter sports enthusiasts. From skiing and snowboarding to tubing and ice skating, there’s something for everyone at Ober Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg Skylift Park is another highlight of the city, taking guests up 1,800 feet to the top of Crockett Mountain. The ride offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and the picturesque town of Gatlinburg.

For a bird’s-eye view of Gatlinburg and its surrounding beauty, a visit to the iconic Space Needle is a must. Located in the heart of downtown, the Space Needle offers an observation deck with 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains, the city, and the surrounding valleys.

Gatlinburg is not only a paradise for nature lovers but also a haven for thrill-seekers. The city is home to exciting activities such as ziplining, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding, providing adventure and adrenaline for visitors of all ages.

When it comes to dining, Gatlinburg offers a variety of culinary delights, ranging from traditional Southern cuisine to international flavors. The city boasts an array of restaurants, cafes, and breweries, ensuring that every visitor’s palate is satisfied.

In Gatlinburg, visitors can experience the perfect blend of natural beauty, exhilarating attractions, and Southern hospitality. Whether you’re exploring the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, riding the scenic Sky Lift, or enjoying the breathtaking views from the Space Needle, Gatlinburg is a destination that will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Top Attractions in Gatlinburg, TN

Attraction Description
Great Smoky Mountains National Park An expansive national park known for its breathtaking natural beauty, hiking trails, and wildlife.
Ober Gatlinburg The only ski area in Tennessee, offering winter sports activities and stunning mountain views.
Gatlinburg Skylift Park A scenic chairlift ride to the top of Crockett Mountain for panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains.
Space Needle An iconic observation tower in downtown Gatlinburg, providing panoramic views of the city and mountains.
Adventure Activities Ziplining, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and other thrilling adventures for adrenaline seekers.
Culinary Delights A wide range of dining options, from Southern cuisine to international flavors.

With its natural beauty, thrilling attractions, and warm hospitality, Gatlinburg, TN, truly embodies the spirit of a perfect tourist destination in Tennessee. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, family-friendly activities, or simply a serene escape into the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers an unforgettable experience for all.

Serene Wildlife Refuge: Seven Islands State Birding Park

Located about an hour northwest of Gatlinburg, the Seven Islands State Birding Park offers a tranquil escape into nature. Situated on Kelly Ln in Kodak, TN, this beautifully designed wildlife refuge is surrounded by the scenic French Broad River. With its diverse landscapes, including grasslands, rolling hills, and meadows, this park provides a picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Seven Islands State Birding Park offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Hiking and biking trails wind through the park, allowing guests to explore its natural beauty and spot wildlife along the way. The grasslands and meadows provide an ideal habitat for a wide variety of bird species, making it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts.


The park’s involvement in bird education and research is commendable. It actively contributes to conservation efforts and helps track bird populations. With over 200 recorded bird species, Seven Islands State Birding Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise and a significant resource for bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Seven Islands State Birding Park Highlights:

  • Location: Kelly Ln, Kodak TN
  • Surrounded by the beautiful French Broad River
  • Diverse landscapes including grasslands, rolling hills, and meadows
  • Trails for hiking and biking
  • Opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation
  • Active involvement in bird education and research

Historical Fort and Natural Beauty: Fort Loudoun State Park

Situated about an hour and a half southwest of Gatlinburg, Fort Loudoun State Park is a historical site and outdoor recreational area. The park features the reconstructed Fort Loudoun, one of the oldest British fortifications on the eastern front, built during the French and Indian War. It is located on an island in Tellico Lake. The park offers opportunities for fishing, paddling, hiking, picnicking, and birding. Visitors can explore the fort, witness reenactments, and visit the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. With its rich history and natural beauty, Fort Loudoun State Park is worth a visit.

Fort Loudoun State Park

Located in Vonore, TN, on Fort Loudoun Rd, Fort Loudoun State Park is a historical gem that allows visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in the events of the 18th century. The park’s focal point is the reconstructed Fort Loudoun, which stands as a testament to the region’s strategic importance during the French and Indian War.

Fort Loudoun State Park is nestled on the shores of Tellico Lake, offering stunning views and a tranquil setting for outdoor activities. The lake itself is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, attracting anglers from near and far. Whether you prefer casting your line from a boat or a quiet spot along the shoreline, you’ll find a variety of fish species that call Tellico Lake home.

For those looking to explore the park’s natural beauty on foot, Fort Loudoun State Park boasts several hiking trails that wind through forests and along the lake’s edge. These trails offer a chance to observe the area’s diverse wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

Fort Loudoun State Park is a hidden gem for history enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike. With its well-preserved fort, picturesque lake, and abundance of recreational activities, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.

Aside from its historical significance and natural beauty, Fort Loudoun State Park offers a range of recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Paddling enthusiasts can explore Tellico Lake’s calm waters and discover hidden coves and tranquil inlets. The park provides boat rentals and a boat ramp, making it easy to embark on a paddling adventure.

Birding enthusiasts will be delighted by the park’s diverse avian population. From songbirds to waterfowl, Fort Loudoun State Park offers a prime location for observing and photographing a wide variety of bird species. Binoculars in hand, visitors can venture along the park’s trails and witness the beauty and grace of the feathered inhabitants.

Activities Location Features
Fishing Tellico Lake A variety of fish species
Paddling Tellico Lake Boat rentals and ramp available
Hiking Throughout the park Scenic trails with diverse wildlife
Birding Throughout the park Opportunities to observe various bird species

Immerse Yourself in History

One of the highlights of Fort Loudoun State Park is the reconstructed Fort Loudoun. Built-in 1756, the fort played a crucial role in the French and Indian War and served as a British outpost. Today, visitors can explore the fort and gain insight into life during this turbulent period in history. The guided tours and interactive exhibits provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, transporting visitors back to the 18th century.

Fort Loudoun State Park offers a unique blend of historical significance and natural beauty. From its well-preserved fort to the peaceful shores of Tellico Lake, this park is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, and anyone seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Mountain Ridges and Ancient Structures: Big Ridge State Park

Located about an hour and a half northwest of Gatlinburg, Big Ridge State Park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance. The park spans three mountain ridges, each showcasing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Along with the pristine mountain streams that flow through the park, Big Ridge State Park also borders Norris Lake, providing the perfect setting for outdoor activities.

Visitors to Big Ridge State Park can indulge in a wide range of recreational activities. The park offers camping facilities for those looking to spend a night under the stars, with options for RVs and tents. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the park’s extensive trail system, which caters to varying skill levels and rewards adventurers with panoramic vistas.

Fishing enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to cast their lines in the sparkling waters of Norris Lake, known for its abundance of species such as bass, crappie, and catfish. For those seeking a refreshing dip, the designated swimming areas in the park provide the perfect respite on hot summer days.

One of the highlights of Big Ridge State Park is the chance to explore remnants of ancient structures believed to date back to the Mississippian period. Hiking trails meander through old cemeteries and pioneer settlements, offering glimpses into the rich history of the area. This unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance makes Big Ridge State Park a hidden gem in the Tennessee state park system.

Recreational Activities at Big Ridge State Park

Activity Description
Camping Enjoy a night under the stars at one of the park’s campsites. Choose from options for RVs and tents.
Hiking Explore the park’s extensive trail system, offering stunning views and opportunities to discover ancient structures.
Fishing Cast your line in the sparkling waters of Norris Lake and try your luck at catching bass, crappie, or catfish.
Swimming Cool off in the designated swimming areas in the park on hot summer days.

Water Sports and Mountain Trails: Panther Creek State Park

Panther Creek State Park is a hidden gem nestled in the Holston River Valley, just an hour north of Gatlinburg in Morristown, TN. This picturesque park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking to camp under the stars, explore scenic hiking trails, cast a line for fishing, cool off with a refreshing swim, or cruise along the Cherokee Reservoir for boating adventures, Panther Creek State Park has something for everyone.

Activities at Panther Creek State Park

  • Camping: Set up your campsite and immerse yourself in the serene natural surroundings.
  • Hiking: Discover the beauty of Panther Creek’s mountain trails, offering breathtaking views at every turn.
  • Fishing: Reel in the catch of the day at the Cherokee Reservoir, known for its abundant fish population.
  • Swimming: Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the reservoir and enjoy a day of relaxation.
  • Boating: Explore the vastness of the Cherokee Reservoir and enjoy water sports activities such as kayaking, jet skiing, and sailing.
  • Birding: Delight in the diverse bird species that call Panther Creek State Park home as you stroll along the tranquil trails.

One of the highlights of the park is the Point Look-Out Loop Trail, where you can experience panoramic views of the majestic Cherokee Reservoir and discover a secluded beach along the way.

Panther Creek State Park offers a perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping water sports and peaceful mountain trails, making it a true paradise for nature lovers. Whether you’re seeking adventure or seeking solace, this hidden gem is the ideal destination.

Plan Your Visit to Panther Creek State Park

Make the most of your outdoor adventure by planning your visit to Panther Creek State Park. Here are the details you need:

Location Panther Creek Park Rd, Morristown, TN
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Birding
  • Campgrounds
  • Docks
  • Picnic areas
  • Beach access
  • Boat ramps
Hours 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Plan your visit to Panther Creek State Park and experience the thrill of water sports and the tranquility of mountain trails in one spectacular location.

History and Outdoor Recreation: Warrior’s Path State Park

Warrior’s Path State Park, located about two hours northeast of Gatlinburg, offers a unique blend of history and outdoor recreation. The park is named after the Great Cherokee War and Trading Path and features a Boundless Playground for children of all abilities. It is also home to an internationally renowned mountain bike trail system. With its location along the Patrick Henry Reservoir and the Holston River, visitors can enjoy a variety of water sports, including boating and angling. The park also boasts an 18-hole golf course and a 22-hole disc golf course, making it a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Boundless Playground: Fun for All

At Warrior’s Path State Park, inclusivity is a top priority. The park features a Boundless Playground, designed to accommodate children of all abilities. This fully accessible playground provides a safe and engaging environment for children to play, explore, and socialize, regardless of physical limitations. With features such as wheelchair-accessible swings, sensory play elements, and rubberized surfacing, the Boundless Playground ensures that all children can enjoy the benefits of outdoor play.

Mountain Bike Trail System: Thrilling Adventures

For adrenaline junkies and mountain biking enthusiasts, Warrior’s Path State Park offers an internationally renowned mountain bike trail system. Spanning over 10 miles, these trails cater to riders of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders seeking a thrilling challenge. Riders can expect a diverse range of terrain, including technical descents, steep climbs, and fast-flowing singletracks. With breathtaking views and a true test of skills, the mountain bike trails at Warrior’s Path State Park guarantee an unforgettable adventure.

Water Sports: Explore the Reservoir and River

Situated along the Patrick Henry Reservoir and the Holston River, Warrior’s Path State Park provides ample opportunities for water sports enthusiasts. Boating enthusiasts can explore the scenic reservoir, while anglers can cast their lines and try their luck at catching a variety of fish species. The park offers boat ramps and rentals, making it convenient for visitors to embark on their aquatic adventures. Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle or an action-packed day of boating and angling, Warrior’s Path State Park has something for everyone.

Golfing Excitement: Tee Off in Serene Surroundings

Warrior’s Path State Park is also home to an exceptional 18-hole golf course, set amidst the serene surroundings of East Tennessee. Golfers can enjoy a challenging round of golf while taking in the picturesque views of the park’s natural landscapes. With well-maintained fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens, the golf course at Warrior’s Path State Park caters to players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to improve your swing, this golf course offers a truly enjoyable experience.

Facilities Activities
Boundless Playground Mountain Biking
Boat Ramps and Rentals Golfing
18-hole Golf Course Hiking
22-hole Disc Golf Course Fishing

Explore Natural Wonders Near Pigeon Forge TN

Pigeon Forge, TN, is not only known for its tourist attractions but is also surrounded by several state parks that offer opportunities to explore the natural wonders of the area. These state parks near Pigeon Forge TN provide a perfect escape into nature with their diverse landscapes and outdoor activities.

For those who love hiking, there are numerous hiking trails to choose from, each offering breathtaking views of Tennessee’s scenic landscapes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’ll find trails suitable for all levels of difficulty. And if you’re a camping enthusiast, these state parks offer well-maintained camping grounds where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the great outdoors.

But it’s not just about hiking and camping. These state parks also offer a wide range of outdoor activities for the whole family. You can enjoy picnicking by the riverside, fishing in crystal-clear streams, or even trying your hand at water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. With their family-friendly amenities, these state parks near Pigeon Forge TN are perfect for creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

So, the next time you visit Pigeon Forge, TN, don’t forget to explore the nearby state parks. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or someone who simply enjoys the serenity of the great outdoors, these state parks provide the perfect setting for your outdoor escapades. Discover the beauty and tranquility of Tennessee’s state parks near Pigeon Forge and create unforgettable experiences.


What are the state parks near Pigeon Forge, TN?

The state parks near Pigeon Forge, TN include Seven Islands State Birding Park, Fort Loudoun State Park, Big Ridge State Park, Panther Creek State Park, and Warrior’s Path State Park.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy at these state parks?

At these state parks, you can enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating, birding, and wildlife observation.

Are these state parks family-friendly?

Yes, these state parks offer activities suitable for visitors of all ages, making them ideal destinations for families.

Can I go camping at these state parks?

Yes, these state parks provide camping grounds where you can pitch a tent or park an RV for a memorable outdoor experience.

Are there hiking trails in these state parks?

Absolutely! These state parks offer a variety of hiking trails that allow you to explore the natural beauty and discover hidden wonders along the way.

Are these state parks located near water bodies?

Yes, some state parks are located near rivers, lakes, or reservoirs, providing opportunities for water sports such as fishing, paddling, and swimming.

Can I learn about the history of the area at these state parks?

Yes, some state parks feature historical sites, forts, and museums where you can learn about the region’s fascinating past.

Are these state parks easily accessible from Pigeon Forge, TN?

Yes, these state parks are within a reasonable driving distance from Pigeon Forge, TN, making them convenient for day trips or weekend getaways.

Are there any unique features or attractions at these state parks?

Each state park has its own unique features and attractions, offering something special for visitors, such as birding opportunities, ancient structures, or scenic mountain trails.

Can I enjoy outdoor recreation activities like mountain biking or golfing at these state parks?

Yes, some state parks offer amenities like mountain bike trails, disc golf courses, and even golf courses, allowing you to enjoy various outdoor recreational activities.

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