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Tennessee ranks No. 1 for international travel growth in U.S. MORE
DOE's impact on Tennessee economy totals $5.6 billion in fiscal year 2017 MORE
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Outdoor Recreation


Other outdoor recreation

The East Tennessee region is internationally renowned for some of the most spectacular and accessible natural beauty anywhere.  Nature-lovers can choose from numerous parks and recreational spaces including vast forests, abundant fresh-water fishing streams, and lakes. 

Hikers, campers, skiers, rock climbers, kayakers, boaters, hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor sportsmen find East Tennessee to be the ideal outdoor sports location.

  • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country, with over 500,000 acres of rugged mountains, waterfalls, lush valleys, and breath-taking vistas, just minutes from downtown Knoxville.
  • The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys
  • The Obed Wild and Scenic River is part of the National Park System
  • Two national forests, nine state parks, numerous hiking trails, and three whitewater rafting rivers
  • Seven Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) managed lakes covering 266 square miles and nearly 3,500 miles of shoreline
  • Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center  has maps, flyers and other outdoor resources available to help everyone get out and play. Bike and boat rentals are available on the main level where River Sports Outfitters has opened their newest storefront offering retail sales, programs and classes.
  • Legacy Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization which works to assure that the community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces, and that those assets exist for generations to come. 
  • 1,000-acre Knoxville Urban Wilderness, championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, is a partnership with Ijams, AMBC, TWRA and the City and County of Knoxville. They are developing the 1,000-acre Urban Wilderness Corridor, when completed, will connect ten parks, feature thirty miles of recreational trails, three civil war forts, historic settlement sites, and diverse ecological features and recreational amenities.


East Tennessee river recreation
East Tennessee fishing
East Tennessee golf
East Tennessee rowing
East Tennessee hiking and rock climbing