Tennessee State Parks
Nestled in shores of Fort Patrick Henry Lake in Colonial Heights, a suburb or Kingsport, you'll find Warriors Path State Park. The unassuming park consistently ranks among the top five most visited state parks in Tennessee. The top five include:
- Reelfoot Lake
- Radnor Lake
- Warriors Path
- Cedars of Lebanon
- Fall Creek Falls
We can round those out even further with the top ten, by including:
- Paris Landing
- Big Ridge
- Pickwick Landing
- Mongomery Bell
Warriors PathJohn Dabbs/Photographer
When asked what makes Warriors Path' special, Kim Schofinski of Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation says the 950 acre park is home to premier boating and fishing, hiking, an internally-renowned mountain bike trail ssytem, an award winning nature education program, and a nationally-recognized golf course.
The variety of available sports and types of activities gives a lot of possibilities to park visitors. Being in the heart of the Tri-Cities region helps too - in this writer's opinion.
State Parks camping
The park system experiences the most camping at Fall Creek Falls, Harrison Bay, Tims Ford, Cedars of Lebanon, and Montgomery Bell, according to Schofinski. These numbers are based on campgrounds with the highest number of nights sold for 2021.
Camping fees in Tennessee State Parks start at $12 per night for tent camping sites, and $28 per night for RV sites. Note that prices vary from park to park within the state park system, and also by season.
There have been some serious upgrades within the state park sytem lately. This year the state hosted grand openings at newly renovated lodges and other facilities at Paris Landing State Park, Henry Horton State Park, and Fall Creek Falls State Park.
Last year the Go Green With Us program announced a partnership with electric automobile manufacturer Rivian to install Rivian Waypoint EV charging stations within the parks. The program which began in 2015 continues to grow and expand.
Park beginnings and history
The first state park was Harrison Bay State Park. The park is a 1,200-acre state demonstration park developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s along the shores of Chickamauga Lake. Opened in 1937, the bay gets it name from the now partially submerged town of Harrison, Tennessee.
Meeman-Shelby, Montgomery Bell, and Fall Creek Falls were National Park Service Demonstration Areas before they were designated as state parks. Tennessee home to some of the most beautiful state parks in the U.S. and Thrillist even named Fall Creek Falls State Park as one of the 36 coolest state parks in the nation, in a March 2022 article written by Jay Gentile and Jaqueline Kehoe.