An Adventurous Autumn Is Made In Tennessee

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - by Amanda Stravinsky
Carmac Falls, Dekalb County
Carmac Falls, Dekalb County
- photo by Chuck Sutherland

From the sound of Harley-Davidsons in the Upper Cumberland to feeling the rough surfaces of boulders in East Tennessee and getting a bird’s eye view of autumn colors in West Tennessee, travelers can look to Tennessee for an autumnal adrenaline rush.

Rock Climb

Knoxville is a climbing hub with more than 5,000 different routes within a three-hour drive of the city. Outdoor Knoxville guides adventure seekers to those routes which can be found in Tennessee natural gems like Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, Devil’s Racetrack, Black Mountain, and Ijams Crag to name a few.

Head to Obed Wild & Scenic River’s Lilly Boulders that are perfect for bouldering.

Additionally, Chattanooga is known nationwide for the miles of sandstone bluffs, crags and boulders that range in difficulty. Outdoor Chattanooga offers the equipment and insight into climbing and bouldering areas like the Tennessee Wall, Sunset Rock, Foster Falls, The Stone Fort, and Walnut Wall.  

On Wheels

Rev up an all-terrain vehicle in Huntsville, Tennessee to explore more than 19,196 acres of Brimstone Recreation. More than 300 miles of OHV trails and roads lead to overlooks and explorative points of interest. Other activities include kayaking, fishing and hunting. Enjoy the beauty of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains in this adventure wonderland.

Hug the curves of the 14-county Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee through the Carve the Cumberland guide which outlines 12 different motorcycle routes filled with tree-lined curves, hills, waterfalls, and rural attractions. Routes range from 77 miles to a more extensive 184 miles.

West Tennessee helps cyclists enjoy the crisp fall air while taking in the autumn colors. Check out Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park with its five-mile intermediate trail. Experience pavement, unpaved switchbacks and turns with some elevation gain, weaving through the forest’s colorful palette.

Shelby Farms Park offers a variety of trails for cyclists. Hop on the 10.85-mile Shelby Farm Greenline that runs from the Park to Memphis’ Midtown area. Have some quiet time among the pine and hardwood forest areas of the 2.75-mile Chickasaw Trail. Meet the challenge on the mountain biking Tour De Wolf which leads past hidden lakes and wildlife viewing areas.

Sky Dive

Whether it’s an individual skydive or visitors would like to enroll in diving school, Tennessee provides the means to get a bird’s eye view of fall color as participants jump from a plane and descend to a soft landing. With expert jumpers with years of experience, guests can suit up with skydiving companies like Sky Dive Tennessee in Tullahoma; Adventure Sky Divingin Nashville; and Sky Dive King Air in Whiteville (40 miles east of Memphis).

Hiking

Travel the Short Springs State Natural Area trail as it opens to Machine Falls in Tullahoma with its endless cascading water and opportunities for great photos. The 1.6-mile trail is a loop that’ll take hikers to the falls and back. For a longer hike, folks can cross the bridge to get to the other side of the waterfall. Step carefully as the path can sometimes be slippery.

Located near Smithville, Tennessee, the hike to Carmac Falls is a bit steep to get to but the reward is ample. It’s situated on the property of Evins Mill Resort, so call ahead and reserve the day picnic/hike package that’s listed for $20. It’s a great way to spend a romantic afternoon or family outing.

Driving along the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, travelers can stop off at milepost 404.7 to stretch and enjoy Jackson Falls that are beautifully sculpted as they cascade from the Duck River. A steep trail, about 900-ft. long, leads to the falls’ base. 


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