Tennessee – The Fourth of July is a time for celebration and family fun – and Tennessee State Parks offer a variety of ways to spend Independence Day! Below are just a few great Tennessee State Park events before and after the holiday – so get outdoors and enjoy a state park near you.
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.
Cedars of Lebanon
Named for its dense cedar forest, Cedars of Lebanon State Park offers camping, hiking and so much more! The park will host a variety of events this Independence Day Weekend from Friday, July 1st through Monday, July 4th. Special hikes, a campfire and jug band presentation, a pinecone feeder workshop and even a Civil War talk – there’s something for everyone and every age. Be sure to stop by the Cedars of Lebanon visitor center for a complete schedule of events.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls will hold its Annual Fourth of July Celebration this Monday! Dress up your car, your bike or yourself for the park’s “traditional” parade, which ends in Campground A. After watermelon and cake, participants will move to the field for events such as sack races, the egg toss, water balloon toss and other family favorites! For more information, please call 423-881-5708.
Fall Creek Falls State Park’s Summer Concert Series offers live music every weekend through September 5th. Featuring an array of artists, including country, bluegrass and folk, all concerts begin at 7:30pm (CDT) and will run approximately two hours. Admission is $3.00 and children six and under are admitted free. Hickory Wind will be the featured artists on Saturday, July 2nd, followed by Fredonia Bluegrass on Monday, July 4th.
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 July 4th Weekend activities at Bledsoe Creek State Park:
Friday, July 1st
- 11:00am – Arts and Crafts: Meet at shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road.
- 3:00pm to 4:00pm – Flag Folding Program – Meet at shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road
- 7:30pm – Friday Night Movie: TBA
Saturday, July 2nd
- 10:00am – Scavenger Hunt Hike / Mayo Wix Trail: Meet at park office.
- 3:00pm – Horseshoe and Corn Hole Tournament: Meet at game area on Deer Run Road.
- 5:00pm – Arts and Crafts: Meet at Shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Sunday, July 3rd
- 11:00am – Photo Scavenger Hunt / Tye Dye Party: Bring your own item to dye or get a bandana from the park. Meet at Shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road.
- 2:00pm – Arts and Crafts: Meet at Shelter 1 on Raccoon Creek Road.
- 6:00pm – Decorative Campsite Contest / Awards – Meet at Shelter 2 on Raccoon Creek Road.
Monday, July 4th
- Noon to 2:00pm – Pot Luck, Karaoke, Face Painting and More: Meet at Shelter 2 on Raccoon Creek Road.
- 2:00pm to 5:00pm – Family Fun Day – Tug o’ war, 3-legged races, balloon toss, sack races: Meet at stage area on Raccoon Creek Road.
Long Hunter State Park
Long Hunter State Park is holding a number of great Fourth of July events this weekend. 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:
Campfire Night at the Park: Friday, July 1st at 7:00pm – Join Ranger Ponda for the latest installment of the park’s “Friday Night at the Park” series, relax under the stars and enjoy some s’mores! Feel free to bring snacks, musical instruments, games, stories or any other campfire-appropriate items. Meet at Group Camp 1 (behind the park office).
Snakes of Tennessee: Saturday, July 2nd at 2:00pm – Come learn about the snakes of Tennessee and how to quickly identify venomous and non-venomous snakes. There might even have a reptilian visitor or two!
Day Loop Nature Hike: Sunday, July 3rd at 9:00am – Let’s hit the trails! Join the park for this four-mile nature hike on the Day Loop Trail and enjoy breathtaking views from high atop the bluffs of Percy Priest Lake. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Please meet at the Volunteer Trail/Day Loop trailhead on Bakers Grove Road.
Independence Field Day: Monday, July 4th at 10:00am – Celebrate Independence Day at the park with field games, sports, Frisbee and other family fun. Participants will also enjoy some juicy watermelon! Feel free to bring your own games or outdoor recreation equipment.
Burgess Falls State Park
Burgess Falls State Park and Natural Area in Sparta will host the Seventh Annual Butterfly Garden Celebration from 9:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday, July 16th. A variety of educational programs will be offered in the award-winning Native Butterfly Garden and surrounding park for this event. Scheduled programs will include:
- 9:00am – Walk in the Woods: State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath will take participants on an easy hike through the forest, talking about trees and telling their stories. Participants will meet at the River Trail/Service Road Loop trailhead.
- 10:00am – Goodness Snakes Alive: Slither over to the park amphitheater to learn about some of the park’s cold-blooded residents.
- 11:00am – Dragonflies and Damselflies: Join Richard Connors for an easy walk, learning how to identify these unique insects. This program will begin at the park amphitheater, and participants are encouraged to bring binoculars.
- 11:00am – Landscaping with Native Plants: Meet at the amphitheater to learn how to landscape with native plants and attract butterflies and other wildlife to your own yard.
- Noon and 2:00pm – Butterfly Identification Walk: Middle Tennessee Naturalist John Froeschauer will lead an informal butterfly identification “walk and talk,” beginning in the open garden and continuing into the nearby woodland habitat. His talk will focus on native butterfly food and nectar plants. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars. The program will be held at noon, with a repeat presentation at 2:00pm.
- Noon – Creek Studies: Participants will learn to measure a stream’s health by observing the animals that live in it. They will meet at the picnic pavilion and should wear wading shoes.
- 1:00pm – Medicinal and Edible Plants: Meet at the amphitheater for a short walk to look at some plants used for a variety of ailments and foods.
- 2:00pm – Hike to the Big Falls Overlook: Participants will join the park’s Ranger staff for an hour-long hike from the picnic shelter to the main falls overlook. They should wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Meet at the amphitheater.
Burgess Falls is a 350-acre park, which lies on the rugged Eastern Highland Rim in Putnam and White counties. It is noted for its sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, waterfalls and diverse forests. The Burgess Falls Native Butterfly Garden was created by park staff, the Putnam County Master Gardeners, countless volunteers and the Iris Fund group.
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 (call 931-924-2980 for more information):
Native American Hike: Join Ranger James on Monday, July 18th, at 10:00am at the Grundy State Forest’s parking area for an easy two-mile hike around the day loop trail. Bring water, snacks, and good hiking shoes and be prepared to learn how the Native Americans survived in wooded areas like the Fiery Gizzard.
Environmental Change Hike: Join Ranger James on Tuesday, July 19th, at the Grundy State Forest’s parking area at 2:00pm for an easy two-mile hike around the day loop trail. Bring water, snacks, wear good hiking shoes and bug spray and be prepared to learn about past and future environmental changes to the Grundy State Forest area.
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.