Tennessee – Leave the tie at home this Father’s Day (Sunday, June 19th)! Tennessee State Parks is the perfect setting to spend the day with dad – go for a hike, a swim or play a round of golf – these are just a few of the options available to you at one of our great 53 state parks.
We also wanted to remind you that Tennessee State Parks’ restaurants will be celebrating Father’s Day. There’s no better way to express your love and appreciation than to take dad out for a delicious buffet. Buffet selections and prices will vary, ranging from $11.50 to $14.95. Price does not include drink, tax or gratuity. Special prices for kids and seniors over 62 are available. Group reservations are recommended.
Finding a state park in your own backyard is easy to do and you don’t have to spend a lot of gas money to get there!
Tennessee State Parks offer a variety of activities and events throughout the winter. From great hikes to bluegrass – there’s something designed for the entire family!
Here are just a few state park events in your area.
The Father’s Day Buffet will be available beginning at 11:00am until closing at these state park restaurants:
- Cumberland Mountain State Park — 931-484-7186
- David Crockett State Park (Lawrenceburg) — 931-762-9541
- Fall Creek Falls State Park — 423-881-5241
- Henry Horton State Park — 931-364-2222
- Montgomery Bell State Park — 615-797-3101
- Natchez Trace State Park — 731-968-8176
- Paris Landing State Park — 731-642-4311
- Pickwick Landing State Park — 731-689-3135
We’ve also listed several upcoming park events – something for all ages! Stay tuned each week for additional details!
Bledsoe Creek State Park
Located off of Highway 25 in Sumner County, this 164-acre park is situated on the Bledsoe Creek embayment of the U.S. Corps of Engineers Old Hickory Reservoir near the old 1780s settlement of Cairo. Offering boating, fishing and hiking – the park also has an outstanding campground, which was recently renovated. Here are some great upcoming activities at Bledsoe Creek State Park:
Friday, June 17th, 7:30pm
Movies in the Park: Title TBA.
Saturday, June 18th, 8:00pm to 9:00pm
Night Hike the Mayo Wix Trail: Meet at Shelter 2 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Sunday, June 19th, 10:00am to 11:00am
Adopt a Tree: Meet at Shelter 2 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Thursday, June 23rd, 10:00am to 11:00am
Make a Butterfly Circle: Meet at Shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Friday, June 24th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Make Binoculars / Bird Hike: Meet at Shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Friday, June 24th, 7:30pm
Movies in the Park: Title TBA.
Saturday, June 25th, 10:00am
Scavenger Hunt / Hike the Mayo Wix Trail: Meet at the park office.
Saturday, June 25th, 8:00pm to 9:00pm
Night Hike the Mayo Wix Trail: Meet at Shelter 2 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Long Hunter State Park
Long Hunter State Park offers a variety of great programming for the whole family. Boat rentals at Couchville Lake are officially open and ready for summertime visitors. Park management also recently announced that the Couchville Lake paved trail is open after weather-related clean-up efforts. Other activities scheduled at Long Hunter include:
Friday, June 17th, 7:00pm – Dancing in the Park: The Civilian Conservation Corps was a major force in building state parks. For recreation, women were bused in for local dances. Step back in time as you learn about the history of the park and how to swing dance like the stars – or how the locals did in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Best suited for ages 10 and up.
Saturday, June 18th, 10:00am — Sherrod Bryant Marker Dedication: Join the park for the Sherrod Bryant marker dedication and learn about the history of the area – and about a major milestone in Civil War history. Bring your lunch and take a stroll afterwards to fully appreciate this historic area. Meet at Bryant Grove Recreation Area parking lot.
Saturday, June 18th, 3:00pm — Clay Modeling – Artifacts of the Ancient Ones: Sellars Farms State Archeological Area was home to the Mississippian Period Native Americans. Join Ranger Ponda at the park office to make your own artifacts like those left behind by this ancient culture.
Sunday, June 19th, 3:00pm — Foil Boat Building Contest: Celebrate Father’s Day at the park and spend quality time working together to build the most sturdy aluminum foil boat in all the land! Materials will be provided.
Sunday, June 19th, 6:30pm – Sunset Canoe Float: Spend the evening enjoying the beauty and serenity of Couchville Lake at sunset. Ages 6 and above. Reservations can be made at park office at 615-885-2422.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 25th-26th, join Long Hunter State Park for the Great American Backyard Campout. This is a national event that encourages thousands of people across the U.S. to camp out. This year, REI has partnered with Long Hunter State Park for a fun day and night of activity including, kids games, a “Leave No Trace” presentation, nature hikes and stargazing along with breakfast the next morning. Don’t own any camping gear? No problem! REI will be offering free camping gear rentals to registered participants and will bring them to Long Hunter State Park on the June 25th. This event is limited to 50 spots and reservations are required. To register, visit www.rei.com/event/23564/session/29087. Please call REI in Brentwood at 615-376-4248 to make your camping gear reservation after you register.
Edgar Evins State Park
Edgar Evins State Park is located on the shores of Center Hill Lake in the steep, hilly Eastern Highland Rim. The 6,000-acre park provides excellent recreational opportunities and accommodations on one of the most beautiful reservoirs in Tennessee. Wildlife is abundant, including three different owl species, numerous hawks and wintering bald eagles as well as the rare Cerulean Warbler – a summer resident of the park’s mixed hardwood forests, which include stands of Tulip Poplar, Oak, Hickory, Buckeye and Wild Cherry. The park was dedicated in 1975 and named for James Edgar Evins, a Dekalb County businessman and mayor of nearby Smithville. Some upcoming events at the park include:
Friday, June 17th
3:00pm – Owls: The Nocturnal Birds of Prey – Meet in the camp store for a presentation featuring owls found in Tennessee. Following the presentation, participants will take a night hike to listen for owls!
6:00pm – Black Powder and Firestarting Demonstration – Join Park Manager Carl Halfacre at the Peninsula (beside Courtesy Dock), as he demonstrates using a flintlock rifle and building a fire using flint and steel. All ages welcome!
8:00pm – Night Hike – Meet in the parking lot next to the Millennium Trail for a one-mile nature hike – in the dark! You never know what you may see or hear. Be sure to wear bug spray, closed shoes and to bring your flashlight.
Saturday, June 18th
2:00pm – Food for the Brood – It’s a lot of hard work feeding those baby birds! Compete in a relay race to see who can “feed” their “babies” the fastest! Be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Meet outside the old camp store.
4:00pm – Snakes – Gather at the Fire Circle to meet some of the scaly locals. Learn what makes them special to the environment and why you really do want them in your backyard! In case of rain meet inside the camp store.
6:30pm – Sunset Cruise – Meet at the Courtesy Dock for a relaxing tour of Center Hill Lake at sunset by pontoon boat. Limit 12 people. Please sign up at the Visitor’s Center or call 931-858-2114 or 931-982-3918. Will depart promptly at 6:30pm. Please arrive 15 minutes prior. Sorry no children under 3 years of age.
South Cumberland State Park
Located near Monteagle, South Cumberland is one of the newer Tennessee State Parks. Almost the entire park lies atop the Cumberland Plateau and, unlike most state parks, South Cumberland is made up of ten different areas located in four different counties. Be sure to check out these upcoming hikes and activities at beautiful South Cumberland State Park:
- Savage Day Loop – Friday, June 17th
- Stargazing – Friday, June 17th at 7:45pm
- Mountain Oak Loop Hike – Saturday, June 18th at 9:00am
- Animal Tracks – Saturday, June 18th at 2:00pm
- Native American Hike – Saturday, June 18th at 10:00am
- Pinecone Feeders – Sunday, June 19th at 2:00pm
Henry Horton State Park
Make a lifetime of memories for your family this summer with Henry Horton State Park’s Family Fun Getaway Package. The $140.00 (including tax) family package includes:
- Accommodations for two nights (based on availability)
- A picnic lunch, complete with a bucket of Henry Horton’s special-recipe fried chicken, rolls, side items and a gallon of tea!
- Two Tennessee State Park T-Shirts
- The special package is available through August 26th, Wednesday through Sunday
Henry Horton State Park features beautiful hiking trails, golf, an Olympic-size swimming pool, volleyball and tennis courts, playgrounds, Frisbee golf, horseshoes and basketball. Reservations must be made through the Henry Horton State Park Inn at 800-250-8612 or 931-364-2222. No other discounts apply.
Tennessee State Natural Areas
Tennessee Coneflower Tour
On Saturday, June 25th, join state naturalists for the Tennessee Coneflower Tour – an opportunity to see a rare species that was once on the brink of extinction, but today can be seen in the unique habitat of many of our Middle Tennessee State Natural Areas – including Couchville Cedar Glade, Mt. View Glade and Vesta Cedar Glades and Barrens. It will be peak flowering time for the Tennessee Coneflower, and an opportunity to celebrate the success of its recovery. This hike is moderate and non-strenuous. Participants should bring a lunch and plenty of water. Meet at the Target parking lot on Bell Road (Hickory Hollow Mall area) at 9:00am (Central).
Transportation will be provided but space is limited. Reservations are required by June 23 and can be made by contacting Brian Bowen at 615-532-0436 or . For maps or more information about these natural areas visit our website at: http://www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/
About Tennessee State Parks
Tennessee’s 53 state parks and 81 natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free 1-888-867-2757. For additional information, visit our Web site at www.tnstateparks.com.
Tennessee also has 81 designated State Natural Areas throughout the state, covering approximately 120,000 acres of ecologically significant lands. More information about Tennessee’s Natural Areas Program, including a complete list of all natural areas and scheduled field trips, can be found at www.tn.gov/environment/na/.