Best Tennessee Summer Hikes
It’s easier to stay healthy and physically active during the summer because there are so many fun and beautiful hikes you can experience! As long as you remember summer health tips like: bring along lots of water, wear sunscreen, take breaks, and bring healthy snacks, you’ll have a great time and make wonderful memories.
These are some of the best Tennessee summer hikes:
Cummins Falls State Park, Cookeville, TN
Located in Cookeville, TN, just an hour and a half west of Nashville and two hours west of Knoxville, is Cummins Falls. The hike to the falls is a bit steep, so wear waterproof hiking shoes and be prepared to exert energy. You’ll hike down to the water, where you can swim in it or sit and relax, then trek back up.
Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN
Not too far from Cookeville, you’ll find Rock Island. The State Park has a waterfall but also several different trails you can check out. The Lollipop hike (1.7 miles long) will give you beautiful views of the Caney Fork, the falls, and the dam. This hike is a bit easier than Cummins Falls.
Along the Natchez Trace, you’ll find several hiking trails near Franklin, TN and throughout southwestern Tennessee, heading into Alabama. The Baker Bluff overlook, near Jackson Falls, has one of the best views on the Trace.
Rutledge Falls, Tullahoma, TN
Rutledge falls is privately owned and is known for its feature in the movie, “Hannah Montana: The Movie.” There’s no charge to access the falls and the water is ice-cold. It’s great for a hike followed by a cool-down period.
Overton Park, Memphis, TN
Though Overton Park includes the Memphis Zoo, a 9-hole golf course, and other attractions, it’s also home to a 126-acre natural forest. The forest includes some of the oldest trees in Tennessee and is a glimpse into what an unpopulated Tennessee would look like. It includes four miles of unpaved trails, over a mile of paved trails, and a 1.4-mile limestone running trail. The trails are free to the public.
Rock City Gardens, Chattanooga, TN
Rock City Gardens includes the famous “lover’s leap,” an overlook on “Lookout Mountain.” It’s only six miles from downtown Chattanooga, but when you look out, you’ll see miles and miles of green. Though it’s a ticketed attraction instead of a state park hike, you can still get a decent workout while you take in the sights.