ABOVE: A cabin at Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee, where American bald eagles are common during winter. // SUBMITTED
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION
All 56 Tennessee State Parks are open and serving visitors, with numerous events and activities scheduled across the state in the coming days and weeks.
“We have lots of ways to accommodate visitors,” said Brock Hill, deputy commissioner of Parks and Conservation, in a press release announcing the special promotions. “Whether it’s through overnight stays, hikes for all tastes or events designed for specific parks, this is a great time of year to enjoy our state parks.”
Tennessee State Parks feature 372 cabins, 36 campgrounds, 1,100 miles of trails and more than 80 waterfalls.
The state parks are offering discounts of 25 percent off cabin and room rental rates through February 28, making for a great winter getaway. To obtain the discounts, visitors are asked to complete a sign-up form online to let state parks know they’re interested. After sign-up, an email response will give details on how to secure the discount. To sign up, visit https://tnstateparks.com/blog/
Many parks are offering deals for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s romantic stays at inns or dining at restaurants. Hiking is popular this time of year, and trail maps are available online or at the parks. The best time to see American bald eagles at Reelfoot Lake State Park is in the winter, and winter provides spectacular sights of frozen waterfalls at several parks.
Various events at state parks include informative speakers, photography outings, night hikes, star gazing, shoreline strolls, birding, music events, van tours, and workshops.
Interpretive programming gives Tennessee State Parks a competitive edge in outdoor recreation. A steady stream of roughly 1 million visitors each year attends one of more than 20,000 interpretive programs offered at state parks statewide. All Tennessee State Parks rangers are now certified by the National Association of Interpretation, making Tennessee the only state park system in the nation to have achieved that status.
For more information on winter activities at Tennessee State Parks please visit tnstateparks.com.