Friday, June 24, 2016

2 Gems in the State of Tennessee


(Pictured above is Rock Island State Park)

Frugal Family Travelers recently marked two places off the bucket list on a trip to Tennessee.   Sure, the Great Smokey Mountains National Park is a beautiful place, but don't dismiss the many state parks found there as well!  There are many hidden gems in the TN state parks to satisfy those with a wanderlust for natural beauty!   Regardless, of the season one chooses to visit, there is fun to be had at the parks below!

Burgess Falls State Park


Among our first stop was the amazing Burgess Falls State Park!   A short hike led us to a protruding rock ledge from which the water flows!  This ledge creates a beautiful pristine scene reminiscent of a tropical paradise.  At the time of our visit, the stairs leading to the base of the falls were not accessible, due to structural problems.   If traveling to the base of the falls is something you strongly desire, we would highly recommend calling the park office for an update regarding the repair status,.  We were a little disappointed, not having access,  but still loved our visit here. In addition, to the large falls at the end of the trail there are many smaller falls to see as your traverse along your way!





Rock Island State Park


The next stop on our journey was Rock Island State Park!   This location ranks among the top of our list for "most interesting" waterfalls!  It's hard to fully capture the beauty of this waterfall or its uniqueness, as the water literally seems to spill out of the side of the mountain and empty into the adjacent river below!  It is important to note that, like many areas, it is prone to flash flooding.   The area is equipped with a flashing light and warning siren to alert travelers to evacuate to the parking area when a threat is present. Do not let this be a reason to skip a visit here!  It is very safe and the hike is less than a couple of blocks to the parking area!


 

 
Tips:
Prior to departure, check the park hours and for possible closures. Hike times vary for those of varying age and skill - factor in extra time.   Never enter a long trail at dusk! Pack a first aid kit, water, bug spray and snacks! Sometimes cell service is limited or unavailable on hiking trails so let someone know when you enter and depart a trail. 


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