NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks remain open and free of charge for outdoor recreation as officials continue to monitor the impact of coronavirus in Tennessee. Time outdoors is proven to relieve stress and improve mental and physical health and is a way to maintain social distance. Local and state parks are useful destinations to find solitude in nature and enjoy the outdoors for solo adventurers and small groups alike.
“Many Tennesseans are going through a stressful time right now and being outside can help relieve some of that stress and improve our overall well-being,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson said. “At our State Parks, Tennesseans are able to find solace and joy in nature without compromising good public health practices.”
With open green spaces and miles of trails, individuals and families can explore on their own or establish a safe distance between themselves and others. Parks provide opportunities for both adventure-seekers and those looking for relaxation and solitude.
There is a State Park within an hour of every Tennessean. The Cumberland Trail offers challenging and stunning trail segments, spanning from Chattanooga to Kentucky. Parks like Panther Creek and Roan Mountain offer beginner to advanced mountain biking trails. Paddlers and fishermen and women can get on the water from Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee to Tims Ford near Chattanooga.
Paved trails near Nashville at Radnor Lake and Long Hunter provide easy walking opportunities for Middle Tennesseans. Birdwatching and wildflower walks can create a setting for a more contemplative experience. Visitors can also use a park as their landscape for a picnic, to read a book or practice photography skills. For more ideas on park experiences during this time, see here.
Parks are taking recommended precautions to provide a safe environment for staff and visitors, while recognizing the need for Tennesseans to practice self-care both mentally and physically.
Tennessee State Parks encourages visitors to follow guidance provided by the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health, and to use discretion based on personal health needs. For more details about what Tennessee State Parks are doing to help keep visitors healthy, see https://tnstateparks.com/about/keeping-visitors-healthy.