I think our time in Tennessee was the most hiking we have done with the kids in such a short amount of time. There were weeks that we didn’t get to go out and explore due to weather, my work schedule and Jeff’s shows. But we were able to see a lot and still barely scratched the surface of places to explore in middle Tennessee. We already have plans to see more when we return next fall.
We visited the Short Springs Natural Area in Tullahoma, TN and loved the area! We were the only people on the trail. In some areas you couldn’t even see the trail as it was covered in fallen leaves. Thankfully, the trail was marked on the trees so we weren’t lost for days in the woods. We tried to find Machine Falls but couldn’t find a path to view it. So we continued on the trail and ended up at the top of the falls. Or rather, where the falls should have been but because of the drought the falls weren’t flowing. It will be interesting to visit again and see the falls actually falling;)
Not far from Chattanooga, across the state line in Georgia, was Cloudland Canyon State Park. Oh my goodness we HAVE to go back there! What a gem. Beautiful views and a fun visitor center where we got to pet a rescued and soon to be rehabilitated opposums! They are very soft.
We visited Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester numerous times. It was interesting seeing the change in the falls with the changes in the rainfall. The park had no entry fee and was a short drive from our campground. There was an easy path and waterfalls which lured us back again and again.
Our campground was atop a hill and provided us with a nice, quiet, windy dirt road to walk up and down. There were also greenways both in Manchester and Murfreesboro that we enjoyed strolling along.
We became members of the children’s Discovery Center in Murfreesboro and there happened to be a walking path along the swamp. Any time we would go to the center, we would explore the outside area as well.